Red Corner | Chicago Reader

Red Corner

Richard Gere is arrested in Beijing for the murder of a model he's spent the night with, and since he'd passed out drunk, he doesn't remember what happened. Obviously he couldn't have killed her; if there were any doubt, his court-appointed lawyer (Bai Ling) couldn't grow to respect him—and their relationship wipes out any lingering sense of Gere's sleaziness. Some cheesy “experimental” editing makes it obvious that the murder victim (Jessey Meng) had been setting him up when she seduced him, though she got the short end of that stick. Gere had come to China representing U.S. media interests, and the movie's bland, ambivalent criticism of business ethics mixes messily with the Kafkaesque indignities—a thudding condemnation of the Chinese legal process—he endures as an accused foreigner who doesn't speak the language. Robert King (who also wrote Cutthroat Island) was apparently inspired to write this story, originally set in Russia, after he had a difficult time resolving a confrontation with police in Italy because he didn't speak Italian. Directed by Jon Avnet (Up Close & Personal).

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