'Supercapitalist'

"Supercapitalist" starts promisingly, as Wall Street trader Connor Lee (Derek Ting) predicts a radical drop in the Federal Reserve interest rate and is sent to Hong Kong, where he becomes an unwitting cog in an international conspiracy.

“Supercapitalist” starts promisingly, as Wall Street trader Connor Lee (Derek Ting) predicts a radical drop in the Federal Reserve interest rate and is sent to Hong Kong, where he becomes an unwitting cog in an international conspiracy. But like several previous tales of financial chicanery, Simon Yin’s stock-manipulation drama fails to make its fiscal twists compelling, as elaborate setups tracing Connor’s rise, fall, corruption and redemption serve as mere pretexts for simplistic moral oppositions pitting family values against hedonistic excess. Pic’s futures look bearish upon Aug. 10 limited release.

Echoing films from “Rollover” to “Margin Call,” “Supercapitalist” relies on terms like “hedge fund” to hype credibility and establish ethical distinctions between good trades and bad ones. Hong Kong’s futuristic architecture and elegant skyscrapers rep the rich, decadent lifestyle that awaits Connor, at the invitation of his coke-snorting, womanizing cohorts. Meanwhile, an intensely committed beautiful woman (Kathy Uyen) and a sympathetic little boy are aligned on the side of the angels. Connor, who has daddy issues, appears naively unable to distinguish between options. The denouement, though protracted, seems inevitable.

Supercapitalist

Reviewed on DVD, New York, July 30, 2012. (In Asian-American Film Festival.) Running time: 96 MIN.

Production

(U.S.-Hong Kong) A Random Art Workshop production. Produced by Derek Ting, Joyce Yung, Keith Lau, Diana Footitt, Juyoung Park. Executive producers, J.A.H. Lee, James C. Chie, Phillip Yin, John C. Hsu.

Crew

Directed by Simon Yin. Screenplay, Derek Ting, Yin; story, Ting, Young Cho. Camera (color, HD), Derrick Fong; editors, Ting, Yin, Derek Fong, Phoebe To; music, Ben Robinson; production designers, Vicky Chow, Niquan Riley; costume designers, Harry Lam, Tsang Shuk Fan.

With

Derek Ting, Linus Roache, Richard Ng, Kathy Uyen, Darren E. Scott, Lester Chan, Eugene Kang, Kenneth Tsang. (English, Cantonese dialogue)

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