I don’t have high expectations for “Shanghai Fortress” (2019) after I’ve read about how it was panned by critics basically for everything, to the point that the director and scriptwriter had to respectively issue public apologies for the film’s box office failure. (Whatever happened to standing up for your work?)
I still remained curious about the film notwithstanding the negative publicity shrouding it so I went to check it out. I’ve always loved Shu Qi for the longest time, and her presence would help me sit through this. But remember, I am a movie viewer, not a film critic. I just want to be entertained. Of course, I would still prefer a well-rounded story and good performances from the actors.
Generally, I enjoyed the film. It’s obviously derivative of a few Hollywood blockbusters — “Independence Day”, “Transformers”, “A Quiet Place”, to mention a few. The love angle between Jiang Yang (played by Lu Han) and Lin Lan (Qi) can be a tad corny in this day and age, and I have to admit some of the lines elicited unwanted laughter on my part (perhaps the scriptwriters intended it that way, I don’t know) because of the sheer predictability.
I find the special effects at par with the best players in the film industry. (It’s a big budget production anyway, I didn’t expect cardboard cutouts.) It’s just difficult to believe that the Shanghai residents portrayed in the movie could still carry on with their day-to-day lives even if the alien invasion had gone on for five years and had already wiped out multiple population centers around the world. Would have expected chaos to be pervasive even if there exists a formidable shield that protects Shanghai from the extraterrestrial invaders.
“Shanghai Fortress” is available on Netflix. Go see if it’s worth your time.