Movie Review: Dangerous Liaisons (2012)

I recently watched the North American premiere of Dangerous Liaisons (危險關係) starring Zhang Ziyi, Jang Dong-gun, and Cecilia Cheung at the Toronto International Film Festival. As far adaptations go, this one took the safe route.

Set in 1930's Shanghai, China, this version loyally followed the plot of the films that came before it: 1988's Dangerous Liasons (set in France), and 1999's Cruel Intentions (set in New York). This classic story of seduction and malice actually looks pretty tame under Jin-ho Hur's helm and it even has moments of unintended comedy.

What folks would appreciate is the sweeping scale of the film as it recreates an age of pre-World War 2 China and the visuals are quite colorful. Color seems to be a recurring theme in the film as it is used in the characterization (ie, Zhang the good girl wears light, Cheung the seductress wears dark tones). Apart from the nice to look at cinematography, the film offers very few sparks.

Dangerous Liaisons is a beautiful, yet uninspiring addition to the canon of films that adapted Les Liaisons dangereuses.

Rating: 2.5/5