Who is the code-breaker? Trailers for Chinese blockbuster THE MESSAGE

Contributor; Derby, England
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Who is the code-breaker? Trailers for Chinese blockbuster THE MESSAGE

Nothing on ScreenAnarchy about this yet that I could see, so let's play catchup - WWII espionage thriller THE MESSAGE from Chen Kuo-Fu ([i]Double Vision[/i]) and Gao Qunshu ([i]Tokyo Trial[/i]) looks to be the next high-profile Chinese blockbuster. Mainland production giant Huayi Bros. are throwing money at it, along with an A-list cast (Zhou Xun, Li Bingbing, Huang Xiaoming, Wang Zhiwen), some pretty slick production design, an intriguing premise and lots of room for nationalist melodrama. Could be a classic, could just be an entertaining bucket of popcorn, but either way it's looking very promising. Synopsis, a YouTube teaser, first trailer and relevant weblinks all follow after the break.

[quote]1942, Nanking. Following a series of assassination attempts on officials of the Japanese-controlled puppet government, the Japanese spy chief gathers a group of suspects in a mansion house for questioning. A tense game of cat and mouse ensues as the Chinese code-breaker attempts to send out a crucial message while protecting his/her own identity.[/quote]

Teaser trailer:

First trailer:

[i]The Message[/i] was apparently scheduled for a ten month shoot - first news of production was announced in April, though Huayi have not yet confirmed any kind of release date.

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More from Around the Web

Six character posters for [i]The Message[/i] can be found at CriEnglish [url=http://english.cri.cn/6666/2009/07/08/1221s499835.htm]here.[/url]

More about The Message

emfarrellJuly 22, 2009 1:36 AM

I think it's more the 1942 period setting plus the plot of subverting the Japanese puppet government during their occupation of Nanking that ties it to Chinese history. Thematically, it seems more an espionage thriller, quite intense.

The "other" big Fall 2009 film, "Jian guo da ye", is about the founding of the modern China government, so is much more directly related to the 60th anniversary.

CfensiJuly 22, 2009 2:32 PM

This movie is being made because the espionage series An Suan was hugely popular in China (you should watch it, it's really good) and this is based on work of the same author.

I feel like this movie needs way more coverage than it's getting here. It's the pet project of Hua Yi's biggest film company. All the cast names are the top actors in Hua Yi.

I feel a bit disgusted so many reviewers are praising City of Life and Death for being restrained. not falling into a "communist trap". It was a massacre, and the one-dimensional watering down of it was so disappointing. It's like "releasing a movie in Israel about a bunch of stupid Jews being freed by their awesome Nazi friend and praising it for not following the “Zionist trap.”"


Matthew LeeJuly 22, 2009 2:51 PM

I'll take restraint over [i]Men Behind The Sun[/i], personally, and I think [i]Schindler's List[/i] is vastly over-rated. But hey, opinions and all that. What do I know?

I agree [i]The Message[/i] deserves attention, though, regardless of whatever politicking it turns out to contain. These trailers and the posters just seemed like the most significant publicity material they've released so far, and emfarrell's site appears to be doing a good job of pulling together the rest.

emfarrellJuly 23, 2009 7:12 AM

Yeah, HY has been pumping out enough bits and pieces (posters, stills, videos, etc.); I wonder when they plan to launch an actual web site. We've just collected the six new "character profile" videos recently released, on a new page:


(and put a link to this Twitch thread! Thanks, guys!)