Misunderstood by 1*-giving 'Star*Wars' reviewers who have not progressed past "Raiders of The Lost Ark" and similar Disney-inspired stuff. This is NOT going to be everyone's cuppa, for sure, least of all the flesh addicts who just wanna see some rare bits of Asia Argento (though she certainly obliges there) but if you can go beyond mainstream popcorn movies, whether you appreciate Assayas' work or not - "Irma Vep" is one of my faves, a unique weapon made for Maggie Cheung to wield, ( Irma Vep  [DVD]), this may surprise you, not least for seeing Kim Gordon, from Sonic Youth, which gladdened me somewhat. She added a definite decadence; a chanteuse to chose who lives and who dies in Shanghai. Hand-held camera work is not my preferred style but it really suits the nihilistic narcissism of the dead-behind-their-masks protagonists (Asia Argento is sublime as the lusty and perpetually failing self-immolater). Lost-within-themselves murder-erotica, BDSM-kidnap and fetishistic-extortion; a drug'n'drink-fuelled thriller. If you like stylish films, and care not if there isn't always the Hollywood start-finish, 180° face-to-face chit-chat, nor other comfortable mainstream cinema devices, it's worth the price, not least to to see such trans-global transgression! A few surprises await. Do not expect anything and you may be rewarded. A 4-star film, tho' I gave 5 to suffer the hateful Emailers who threatened me for writing a previous version of this positive review.