Farewell My Concubine, Chen Kaige's sweeping account of political upheavals in 20th-century China, rode on a wave of unconsummated desire between two male opera stars. The Chinese helmer's first English language film again spins off lustful obsession, but the demure restraint of his Palme D'Or-winning masterpiece is replaced by hefty dollops of sex.
Multimedia designer Alice (Heather Graham) embarks on a gratuitous sexual odyssey after locking eyes with brooding mountaineer Adam (Joseph Fiennes). But she soon suspects that her mystery man prefers killing to shagging.
Set in an unconvincingly laid-back London and rendered embarrassingly limp by tortuous pacing, this clunker will make audiences groan for all the wrong reasons. The screenplay (based on Nicci French's novel) is cringeworthy, and Kaige's inability to spot when English-speaking thesps are reciting rather than acting produces scenes that vary from lifeless to laughable
Neither Graham's jiggling breasts nor Fiennes' pneumatic buttocks can save this disaster.