21 October 2008 | med_1978
If you are a Diane Lane fan and you feel you must have this film think again
Since No-one has bothered to post a review of this film, although 29 people have voted. I thought I would be the first to leave a comment. First off I have to say I am a big admirer of Diane Lane and her work. I had read no reviews of this movie and just new what was printed on the back cover. I had an rough idea from IMDb of the plot and the movie sounded interesting, the fact it was foreign made actually appealed also and of course Diane Lane in one of the main roles with Donald Sutherland also in the film made it a must for me.
I watched the 119 minute US released version twice over, and I have to say both times the movie felt like it was over 3 hours long. This film was truly an ordeal to sit through.
The acting was not too bad from the Oriental actors, but the Donald Sutherland and Diane Lane Characters seemed really out of place. Diane Lane's line delivery at times was awful and she seemed totally miscast anyhow. She was playing a character called Lian Hong but did not look remotely Chinese/Japanese. Donald Sutherland, who was hardly in the film at all had an English accent and his part seemed completely unnecessary and just an excuse to put a big name actor in the production.
The direction was poor (not surprising as the Director was actually the writer and had never directed a film before or since) and very misguided. At times there is so much going on you cannot keep up with who is doing what to whom. Then there are the scenes where the Director just seemed to want to fill in time and the same scene of Wild horses running over open land makes an appearance at least three times and also scenes of the great wall of China and various Chinese Statues. These scenes have no purpose within the story and seem to be there just to enhance running time.
The lighting in some of the night time sequences is sometimes so bad you cannot make out anything at all. There are also some nude scenes (unfortunately none featuring Miss Lane)which did not seem necessary either. This film should have done much more with the worthy material but sadly fails miserably and ends up as a misguided mess.
All this and the film cost $23.7 million, where did all of this budget go ? It does not really show up on-screen as the film seems very cheap at times.
If you are a die-hard Diane Lane fan I guess you must see it, but be warned do not spend too many hard earned dollars as you will be disappointed.