14 March 2007 | michael_suttles
A mediocre story that mainly serves as propaganda
I'm definitely not what you might call a flag-waving, patriotic American, but this movie managed to offend me on numerous occasions with its exaggerated portrayals of American cruelty and depravity. Nearly every American--with the exception of the LA police (ha!)--is a criminal, pervert, or jerk, and the Chinese main characters are more or less the only sane ones. First, the innocent Beijing girl (Fan Xu) gets robbed and tied to a chair by thugs. Later, she and her friend enter a restaurant which happens to be in the process of being burgled. The mean American criminals in the restaurant single out our Chinese male protagonist (You Ge) because he doesn't have money in his wallet and they pistol whip him. And America isn't just portrayed as full of thugs, but perverts, too. While in the police station, You Ge is pinched on the ass by--horror of horrors!--a transvestite.
I have no problem with the main premise of the movie--namely, that immigration to America is difficult and the picture-perfect society foisted on the world by Hollywood is far from reality. But that doesn't mean that the US is solely made up of criminals and good people are extinct. I have great respect for Chinese culture, but this movie mostly serves to show the "bad side" of America, while holding China up as a symbol of harmony. Don't even get me started on the cheesy love story.
Or maybe I'm wrong, and I just need to spend more time in LA.