Mikael Håfström and John Cusack team up once again, following the great success with their Stephen King adaptation 1408. In a change of creative direction, they now return to the sort of picture that put silver to the screen and once helped define cinema as an audiovisual experience larger than life. Mere months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese-occupied Shanghai has become a nest of corruption – a city vibrant of wartime paranoia.
American citizen Paul Soames, played by Cusack, arrives to Shanghai to investigate the strange circumstances surrounding the death of his friend, and soon finds himself dragged into forbidden love and governmental conspiracies. Benoit Delhomme’s indulging pictures invite us to a stylish mystery, located somewhere inside the shadows and fog of film noir.
Never becoming a superficial style study, Shanghai belongs to a certain league of filmmaking once considered the trademark of classic Hollywood cinema. –Stockholm International Film Festival
Jan Mikael Håfström (born 1 July 1960 in Lund), known as Mikael Håfström, is a Swedish screenwriter and director. Håfström directed the exorcism thriller The Rite, which is based on a novel from Matt Baglio. —Wikipedia
A pitch-black fever-dream of classic noir told at fast-forward pace, with actors clearly enjoying their game. +1 for "The Shanghai Gesture" reference at the casino.