4.0 out of 5 stars
Mixed feelings, 14 July 2013
Some fabulous shots of Hong Kong in the 80s. The glittering lifestyles of the wealthy and realistic depictions of how everyone else lived. Superb scenes of the harbour,skyscrapers, and the beautiful country. The story by James Clavell is great and a lot of the book is skilfully brought to life.
Dreadful cheesy soundtrack (sugary strings, cliched "sexy" saxophone themes) from which there is no escape. This really grated.
Pierce Brosnan looks and acts the part most of the time but on several occasions goes way over the top into ham acting, especially when he starts to glower and adopts his "angry" voice which to me sounded ludicrous.
The American leading lady was very poor. Sad to say she lacked any charisma, power or glamour and the love scenes with Pierce were absolutely cringemaking. She just wasn't attractive enough for the idea of Dunross falling for her to be credible.
Special effects at the end of the film were straight from a 1950s B movie.
I enjoyed John Rhys-Davies as the villain but he too (I suspect deliberately) did plenty of chewing of the scenery.
Unlike a few other reviewers I thought Julia Nickson-Soul did well. Incredibly beautiful though she overdid it in her many desperate, eager-to-please moments.
All in all it was fun to watch but the whole production (complete with Dallas-style title sequence) felt very dated. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had seen it in 1988.
I'm probably being a bit generous giving it 4 stars but I recommend it to anyone who liked the book and/or is interested in a HK version of Dallas!