Shanghai Express Reviews
Marlene Dietrich has an intriguing quality that perfectly fits this role. It?s impressive when she turns the corner and starts betraying emotions she?s not willing to admit. Clive Brook is OK as her costar, but he is a bit flat. But I did like their interactions with one another, because you can sense the history between them even before they spell it out for us (which was kind of unnecessary.)
The story doesn?t always work for me. There are some sections where it feels like the movie is spinning its wheels waiting for the next big moment, and other times when it feels like it?s racing ahead without letting things breathe. However the climax is extremely satisfying and makes up for a lot of the flaws. I?m happy that I?ve seen Shanghai Express, because it?s a powerful tale even if it meanders a little along the way.
The director himself openly admits a large number of his films are more style over substance and this is definitely the case for Shanghai Express.
Anna May Wong is the scene stealer in my opinion, but the film is a little dull & relies heavily in its exotic backgrounds which are clearly Los Angeles Studios.
A film that has merit & must be soon but not a impacting film, a little so-so....