Red Corner, movie review, film review, entertainment
|Michael A. Maynez|
The first time in history, that a Chinese President, Jiang Zemin, decides to visit America and he is greeted with so many protests on Human Rights and the relinquishing of Tibet. Along comes Cassidy, Richard Gere, and his volatile "Red Corner" was the release date of this movie a coincidence, or just excellent timing? Will the hype sustain the intentions?
Richard Gere who has been highly critical and outspoken in Chinese Human Rights and a dedicated follower of the Dalai Lama, might have chosen a stronger vehicle to augment his case. As it is, it presents a very weak case and rather hokey story line. American entrepreneur, caught in bed with a girl he picked up at bar, which just happened to be an important general's daughter. She is dead and poor Richard, has her blood to answer for. Of course Chinese authorities are not to happy about all this. The movie becomes almost laborious, except for the fact that he assigned a lawyer, the captivating creature, Bai Ling, remember her from "The Joy Luck Club". The hype here is that she can never safely return to China for doing this unsympathetic role toward her fellow Chinese. Did I forget to mention that Gere is a lawyer himself in the entertainment industry?
Of course the photography is glossy by Karl Walter Lindenlaub, almost reminiscent of "Seven Years In Tibet", in a fortune cookie sort of way. Most of Gere's photography had to be done in a studio, because of his persona non-grata in China. It is being pushed as explosive, provocative; suspenseful thriller. The only thing that shows signs of fireworks are the chemistry that Gere and Bai Ling bring luminously to the screen. Jon Avnet works hard at his director's job, maybe too hard. This is a slow boat to China.
Produced by: Jon Avnet, Jordan Kerner, Rosalie Swedlin, Charles Mulvehill
Directed by: Jon Avnet
With: Richard Gere, Bai Ling, Bradley Whitford
Costume designer: Albert Wolsky
Music by: Thomas Newman
Special visual effects and digital animation by: Digital Domain
Film editor: Peter E. Berger
Production designer: Richard Sylbert
Director of photography: Karl Walter Lindenlaub
Co-producers: Martin Huberty, Lisa Lindstrom
Executive producers: Wolfgan Petersen, Gail Katz
Written by: Robert King
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Original Date Sunday 2 November 1997
Updated Sunday 2 November 1997