Sino-Italian thriller - sort of

Sino-Italian thriller - sort of

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By Adrian Wan

Japan and Italy are not generally seen as closely linked, but Amalfi joins the two - to a certain extent.

Diplomat Kosaku Kuroda (Yuji Oda) is assigned to the Japanese embassy in Rome. He is there to protect Japanese from a possible terrorist attack, when a young girl's abduction triggers a series of such strikes.

A film to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fuji Television network, Amalfi is undoubtedly a labour of love on the production front. Shot in Italy, it features stunning landscapes and breathtaking architecture - to the extent it strays from its purpose of advancing the storyline.

Non-Italian diva Sarah Brightman's appearance is billed as a snazzy attraction, but the fact that she doesn't do anything else except sing like an angel is strange - and she is clearly lip-synching.

Like most Japanese thrillers, Amalfi has its share of melodrama - for instance the annoying over-acting of the mother whose daughter is lost, and Kuroda's emotionless facial expressions.

Featuring an Italian policeman who speaks Japanese and people that go scot-free after causing an international disaster, the film leaves the audience frequently wondering whether the situations could really happen.

The tune, Time to Say Goodbye, is heard several times in the film and eventually one is motivated to agree with it.

YP rating: 3/5

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