Red Corner (1997) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: An American attorney on business in China, ends up wrongfully on trial for murder and his only key to innocence is a female defense lawyer from the country. Runtime: 122 mins Release Date: 31 Oct 1997
A great movie, but no one has seen it! (by Tiger-71)
After I saw this movie, I had to see it again. Most likely it was because it was on HBO and I missed the first thirty minutes. I'm glad I rented it though. It is a great movie and I would have wanted to see it again anyway.It was sad though. I spoke with many of my friends after seeing it the second time and told them about it. They just looked at me and said, "Red Corner? What's that?" I was sad that most of my friends have never seen such a great movie! Gere and Bai's performances were wonderful! It is one of the best movies I have ever seen. I hope my friends <more>
eventually see it and if you haven't, you should.********** - 10 Stars
A Sensitive, Compassionate and Compelling Movie (by ebender-1)
I think this was an excellent movie. It's hard to believe that this was not filmed in China the settings looked so authentic. The directing was very good. Richard Gere gave his usual superb performance and Bai Ling was brilliant. Some people seem to think that this movie was being too hard on China. I read some of the quotes that the Chinese actors made who were in this movie, they said the movie was being too lenient, I tend to believe them. Just because Richard Gere is a Buddhist doesn't make him biased as some have suggested, he is too gifted an actor and too much a gentlemen to <more>
let his spiritual beliefs affect a movie, his compassion sure, but not spiritual beliefs. Too many people think it's hate, but what it is, is his compassion. Just be glad we live in a democracy and have compassion for those who don't. I can't imagine what it would be like to find myself in a situation like the character Jack Gere in the movie - it would be terrifying.
On the video cover is a four star rating with the large words 'An explosive performance by Richard Gere'. I thought Bai Ling's performance is equally good if not better. It is the performance of these two leading characters that made this a powerful movie. However, I am disappointed that Jon Avnet chose to have the leading lady speak in English on some scenes that could be more authentic if she had spoken in her mother tongue. Still it is a must see! One of the few that will stand the test of time.
I thought this movie was excellent! (by Mannequin)
I'm not sure why so many people are giving this film such a poor review. I thought the movie was suspenseful and thrilling. I loved Bai Ling and I thought Richard Gere did an excellent job acting in this film. Admittedly he did carry the film "on his shoulders" as another reviewer suggested, but I don't think that takes away from the movie at all. He was, afterall, the lead role.I've seen this movie a dozen or so times and my impression of it has never been bad. Again, I've always found this movie to be quite thrilling. And everyone I've shown it to has felt the <more>
same way.Anyway, I thought I should defend the film since so few are giving it its due credit.Check it out, rent it sometime. Maybe you'll see it's not so bad as everyone suggests. I easily rate this an 8/10.
The airport runway finale was the most romantic movie farewell since " Casablanca". A don't miss movie,,,Ben Matlock would have been locked up for life for contempt of court.
Change is nothing simple (by Dr_Coulardeau)
This is a poignant film about today's world and how change can come to a country, any country. In this case we are dealing with China. Corrupted people are framing up an American TV man in order to prevent a contract being signed that does not go in the right direction for their interests. The point is that the corrupted and plotting official is the son of a highly respected man, a son who was educated in the West and brought back his corruption, or at least a good knowledge and know how about it, from his foreign sojourn. He is using the opaque situation in changing China to cover up his <more>
dealings and has a little group of plotters and accomplices to manage his operations. But the film tries to show how the Chinese today are realizing from their own experience and history, even from their own culture that includes Mao Zedong and a couple other revolutionaries, that they have to change in their own minds and then change their country. This cannot come from outside, especially not from the US that is no model, neither social nor economic nor even political, but it has to come from inside, from deep down in the souls, the minds and the spirits of the Chinese. What is most difficult for us to understand is that the Chinese live on a completely different set of principles and concepts and that they have to invent a new open society from their very concepts and philosophy. Democracy for example cannot be the same thing in China and the USA or France, for the very simple reason that it is not the same in the USA, Great Britain, France of Italy, not to speak of Japan and Finland. There is not one model. There are many models that are therefore no models at all. The film very carefully and cautiously tries to show us how the mind of a person can open little by little when confronted to real life if that person is simply honest with himself or herself, with his or her own principles, with his or her conception of justice. This leads that person to considering the very concept of human being, of individual, of subject, of what is necessary for that individual to feel free and happy. The very point we are confronted to with China is that it is one fourth of humanity or so and no one has any interest in a brutal and uncontrolled change in a direction that is not carried and supported by the heritage of the country, its history, its culture. The United States have a strange but understandable reaction in front of the rest of the world because they are all the descendants of immigrants who left a culture and a history behind them to build out of conscious and willful choices a new history and a new culture, a heritage that became something that had to be built out of nothing or very little. They cannot understand that other countries will not be able to do any change that would break up the fabric and material of the country itself. If you did that you would provoke a ferocious reaction that could just wash you away in one wink of an eye. Actually the Americans today are not better or worse than other countries and peoples. If we from outside told them you have to rationalize your political system on the let's say German model, they would jump to the sky, and yet how can we accept that the political system is not the same in all the states, that citizens have to publicly declare themselves democrat or republican to be able to take part in the primaries, which goes against the very principle of democracy which is the secrecy of our political choices and our ballots. And If Europeans told the United States that they have to ban the death penalty within one or two or three years to be granted the privilege of being recognized as a democracy and keep the status of permanent veto-endowed member of the Security Council of the United Nations that could be withdrawn from them because of their not having banned the death penalty, they would react violently and viciously. Yet to join the European Community you have to ban the death penalty. This film is a marvelous demonstration of this fascinating question, even if it is slightly sentimental.Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
Underrated Political/Courtroom Drama (by ccthemovieman-1)
For about a dozen years, it was hard to find too many films Richard Gere made which weren't interesting and well-made. This was no exception. Once again, he "delivers the goods" and is involved in an interesting story.Gere, a follower, I believe, of the Dalai Lama whom the Communists forced out of Tibet, uses this film to get his shots in at his mentor's enemy. Anyone who thinks this is just a coincidence is pretty naive. Nonetheless, the facts support the film's stark, brutal portrayal of Communist China's leadership. At the very least, it shows a regime unwilling <more>
to hear both sides of a story. Hollywood has often given the same treatment to the U.S. government, showing it more often in a corrupt light, which is ludicrous compared to restrictive Communist China. Anyway, Gere really dominates this film, being in almost every scene. This is your basic frame-up-then-prove-your-innocence-in-court story. It keeps your attention throughout although I thought the ending was a bit confusing because things happened almost too fast for the viewer to take in. At two hours, the film could have been trimmed a tad but the lulls in here were not much. Overall, an underrated film and unjustly criticized by the national critics, most of whom don't like it when communism is bashed.
Not well received back in 1997, this film deserved a much kinder evaluation, and in light of present geopolitical and commercial developments even appears to have been prophetic. But of course hindsight's always easy, and since most people who reviewed Red Corner eight years ago never lived in mainland China, it was likewise not highly probable they would see it through the same jaded, seasoned eyes. And in fact, it helps to be experienced in China living when watching Red Corner, for much of its deeper mannerisms only become apparent if you know how and when to look for them.For example, <more>
Richard Gere as subtle and low-key as usual portrays Jack Moore, a US-based business person willing to forego ideals and politics in order to enter the much vaunted mainland market, hyped up to be the best thing since instant noodles, when in fact like everything in life, it too comes at a price. When time arrives to sign a large media contract, Moore wants to pause and assess particulars by the book. He also notices China's newly-found penchant for blunt nationalism oops, "patriotism", done nicely by a scene where he gauges club-goers' vehement reactions to a coaxing DJ , and doesn't quite feel good about his local contacts including excellent veteran James Hong . But as a simple mortal, Moore joins a gorgeous catwalking model Jessey Meng at his hotel room for a night of brief pleasures. Brief, because the next morning begins with him dragged away by Beijing cops who, having found the girl's dead body in the room and her fresh blood all over him, proceed to assume the American guilty.Now, Red Corner's not a racist film. It doesn't fall into obvious stereotypes, nor does it contain any racial slurs or profanity at all . Asians aren't made to be villains, just as the uncaring US embassy staff do not in any way represent the Western contingent. Having said that, the movie doesn't shy away from painful issues. It clearly conveys xenophobic attitudes found among mainland people and authorities, as many who've lived there can attest to. Of course, not everyone's like that, and competent actress Bai Ling The Crow, Anna and the King does well as Moore's honest, crusading defense attorney, Shen Yuelin, during what quickly devolves into a kangaroo court. Meanwhile, Red Corner shows the abusive treatment our protagonist's subjected to, often to the point of endangering his life. When asked, Shen Yuelin's assistant says that Moore's frequent beatings are simply "because he's a foreigner", a familiar sentiment to non-Chinese residents of the mainland. Similarly, the Americans involved in this legal fiasco wish to distance themselves from aiding Moore, as doing so might work against commercial interests based on sheer greed. Thus Red Corner preceded its time by faithfully showing how global factions are willing to play along just to get that great juicy carrot dangling from a stick most don't want to acknowledge. As of 2005, companies like Microsoft and HP openly pursue a policy of appeasement when it comes to China, willingly accepting political strings attached to what are supposed to be mere commercial activities.And if you don't consider all that a sign of the film's credibility, how about the fact that mainland authorities quickly moved to ban it and prevent its cast and crew from entering China? Just for its attempt to challenge an authoritarian mindset and stand for free expression alone should Red Corner be applauded. Additionally, it's a mostly believable project from start to finish, accurately sampling many of China's social staples through concepts such as "guanxi" connections and "da ge" basically a nickname for somebody more respected than oneself , yet doesn't make any claims of exotica, while steering clear of clichés save for Yuelin living with her kindly old grandmother . There's one scene showing Yuelin speaking to a police official in English so as to avoid making him "lose face", which is utter nonsense of course probably the actor doesn't speak Chinese . Moore himself speaks just a bit Putonghua standard Chinese , as do many of the business people and newly-arrived in mainland China. Again, familiar from real life, as was the interaction between him and the locals. Beyond that, for something made almost entirely in California, Red Corner passes for Beijing with very few glitches vehicles sometimes don't look authentic , featuring ample attention to detail and an atmosphere faithful to the original. Certainly, some footage was covertly shot in Beijing itself, yet due to the government's disapproving attitude, production had to relocate back to the States. All in all, Red Corner also plays it fair, going to show that China does have judicial systems with a potential to work as well as any others. It makes a point of addressing the mainland's criminal code, and court hearing procedures all appear in detail. Plus, eventually the truth does come out, and while it's pretty obvious who dunnit from the get go, this isn't the main point here.The point is a warning against oppression wherever it may be and whatever form it may take, and a cautionary note regarding the perils of blind opportunism. Just because somebody promises you a gilded prize for playing by their rules doesn't mean those rules stop applying once the prize is obtained, if at all. And if we're not careful, there won't be too many reviews of this critical nature in times to come. Relations with China, as with any other nation, should be equivocal and based on standing for your own values, not another's, and that means not compromising liberties and freedoms standing at the very core of enlightened, progressive society. Like Red Corner's tagline says, leniency for those who confess and comply, severity for those who dare resist, that will be our downfall.Rating: * * * *
A strong and enjoyable film, sadly overlooked. (by Rod-54)
This is a very well written and directed film with good locations and very good acting. The discourse on the Chinese approach to justice and the potential for corruption in their state-centered society is sharp and, from my experience, accurate. It is delivered as part of an entertaining story with very strong performances by the leads. I like Richard Gere in this, as I do Ling Bai's performance. Their chemistry attracts the viewer and helps us through the difficult issues the film addresses. A must see.