HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birth of the Dragon
Revenge of the Pink Panther
Thelma
Stratton
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Shanghai Job, The Orlando Out EastBuy this film here.
Year: 2017
Director: Charles Martin
Stars: Orlando Bloom, Simon Yam, Lynn Hung, Hannah Quinlivan, Thomas Price, Wu Lei, Liang Jing, Ying Da, Chang Rong, Yi Zhengfu, Zhang Lyon, Wang Ruoxi
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Danny Stratton (Orlando Bloom) runs his own high security transportation business in Shanghai and was doing very well until his team were entrusted to look after the priceless Van Gogh painting Sunflowers. He was sitting in the back of the armoured truck with the artwork when he was called by his girlfriend Ling (Lynn Hung) on the phone; he was about to inform her he had important news for her when suddenly there was an explosion and the vehicle was sent flying. Dazed, Danny was able to make out a figure enter the compartment and steal the painting, and from that point to this, a year later, his S.M.A.R.T. security line has seen its name become mud. What to do now?

We jump a year later after that prologue to catch up with our hero, and find him running a scam where he pretends to beat up two of his team members, Mach Ren (Simon Yam) and J. Jae (Hannah Quinlivan), in return for cash from the bar customers they dupe. How the mighty have fallen, and you might have been able to say the same for Bloom, well into ageing geezer mode at this stage in his career with the Cockney accent to match, but seeing this international co-production go straight to DVD and streaming in his native United Kingdom was something of a comedown from the blockbusters he had been starring in during the previous decade of his career, albeit in ensembles.

You could see the thinking behind taking this part, as the Chinese market for movies was opening up substantially in the most populous nation on Earth and the West was capitalising on this, mostly with blockbusters (or attempts at them), but also with smaller, mid-budget efforts with an imported star. Maximise the profits would appear to be the thinking, there was a lot of money to be made, but that only counted when the audiences went to see the projects in the first place, and by all accounts the Chinese were less than interested in the antics of Mr Bloom, even with the presence of the prolific Mr Yam backing him up. It might have been because Yam's role was somewhat inconsequential.

The other Asian actors did not have the same fanbase as him, another reason that The Shanghai Job, or S.M.A.R.T. Chase as it was also known, failed to catch on. All that said, it was easy to be critical of this and its air of second hand thrills with not exactly electrifying elements, but there was a place for mid-range action flicks, and in truth there was nothing egregiously amiss here, it was your basic caper movie of a sort that had been of interest since the nineteen-sixties and stuck to that tradition with a tone that was bright enough, and updated various aspects to a more modern sensibility. Mostly by use of drone technology, not only to capture shots of Shanghai from the sky for a spot of visual panache, but also to become a part of the storyline as the team includes a whizz kid (Wu Lei) who knows about these things.

Wu seemed to be getting a big build-up to potential stardom here, but he would have to look elsewhere in his filmography for that kind of profile, as Bloom appeared to be the main man as far as the exposure went, though his fight scenes were afflicted with fast cutting syndrome which suggested he was less adept at the martial arts (or whatever he called what he was doing) than some of his co-stars: basically hand to hand combat was reduced to one shot, one punch (or kick. Or headbutt). The narrative was simple enough, easy to follow and nothing taxing: Danny had to get the painting back, and got involved with a corporation who want him to transport a priceless vase (yes, it was a bit Jason Statham in places), but also may have some connection to the theft of the Van Gogh. The Shanghai Job, which was not as much fun as The Italian Job (Michael Caine version, please), burbled away pleasantly enough, slickly produced, eventful and inoffensive. Sometimes that's just what you want. Music by Mark Kilian.

[The Signature DVD has no extras, but the film itself looks and sounds fine.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 261 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
The Elix
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
   

 

Last Updated: