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Review: Formosa Betrayed

Newsflash: All was not rosy during the Reagan years
By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 1, 2010
2.0 2.0 Stars

Had Adam Kane's Formosa Betrayed come out 25 years ago, it might have been an eye-opening exposé. Now, however, it's a clumsy political thriller whose only purpose is to remind the willfully ignorant that all was not rosy during the Reagan years.

FBI agent Jake Kelly (James Van Der Beek) doesn't know anything about the Far East, so he's the ideal candidate to go to Taipei and "observe" an investigation into possible local links to the murder of a Taiwanese professor in Chicago. Seeing armies of helmeted police beat people in the streets is disconcerting, so Jake follows up tips from hunted dissenters to uncover a wide-ranging conspiracy.

It's all based on a true story, but the revelations seem more historical than urgent, and Kane's awkward storytelling (flashbacks and flashforwards, chunks of exposition introduced by questions like "So, what do you know about the history of my country?") does little to bring it back to life.

  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Movies, Ronald Reagan,  More more >
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