Shanghai Surprise | Chicago Reader

Shanghai Surprise

The Shanghai surprise, I guess, is that—surprise!—there's no movie, only an unreasonable facsimile of one, and the price of your ticket has been shanghaied to pay for the stars' weekend breather in Hong Kong (standing in here for a very obviously absent Shanghai). Sean Penn and Madonna are the not-to-worry couple on the trail of an opium cache, and they get to play period dress-up (the story takes place in 1938, for no discernible reason) and take in the local sights like a pair of stopover tourists, while nonentity director Jim Goddard (maybe it's an alias: with a film like this on his resume he's not likely to work again soon) unenthusiastically shoos them through their paces. To call this one a potboiler would be too kind; rip-off is closer to the truth (1986).

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