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"$upercapitalist": Never Trust an American Who Calls You "Bro" 

Wednesday, Aug 22 2012

Even caped do-gooders couldn't save $upercapitalist, a dramatic dud whose title refers not to some big-business hero but rather to wheelers and dealers living lives of swank suits, fast cars, loose women, plentiful drugs, and goofy corporate-espionage spy games. Focused on the efforts of hotshot Asian-American trader Conner Lee (Derek Ting) to sabotage a Hong Kong import/export company at the behest of his U.S. hedge fund boss Mark (Linus Roache), Simon Yin's film has no relationship with actual reality but a great familiarity with corniness, be it overcooked slow-motion, ham-fisted flashbacks, or tedious moralizing about the importance of family and the evils of greed. After much bacchanalian revelry, Conner learns these truths via his relationship with beautiful colleague Natalie (Kathy Uyen) and a young boy who's trotted out like a prop, as well as through conversations leaden with exposition. Conner's development of a conscience makes plain the film's simplistic portrait of Americans as soulless, avaricious slimeballs and the Chinese as righteous, dignified champions of family values. Such binary political commentary, however, is in keeping with the story's generally turgid good-versus-evil plotting, which ultimately hinges on the obvious lesson that you should never trust a man who constantly calls you "bro."

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Nick Schager


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