In this movie, Jason Bateman plays a character named Adam Fletcher, an American who returns to the United States after years in China. It is interesting that there is no discernible connection between the leading characters that have lead to the audience rooting for one, or the other.
With the help of his daughter Alicia (Jamie Chung), he travels to Beijing where he enrolls in the Film Academy and prepares to make his debut film. But he soon realizes that things are not what they seem and that the director is trying to make a movie out of nothing.
When Eugene gets stuck in a little white elevator at a construction site, he is rescued by the sister of the director. Eugene ends up meeting the same director's daughter. As Eugene sets off on his journey to China, he comes face to face with the kind of Chinese women that he has been dreaming about.
As the film progresses, we learn that the director is actually his daughter, and the circumstances of her disappearance all along have been a fabrication in order to manipulate her brother. It turns out that she was a corporate executive for a construction company in China. She has been attending many international film festivals and using her connections, her company has been awarded an unspecified award.
At the same time, her brother has been in contact with the leader of the team behind the mysterious murder of the director. And the story goes that they were just waiting for Eugene to arrive before sending him to meet the director.
It also turns out that the true villain of the piece is a Chinese man named Lin Huang, played by Edward Yang. He is working for a Chinese organization that had been tipped off about Eugene's plans. And before he can come for him, he is cornered by a group of SWAT officers who made it their mission to kill him.
Of course, none of this makes much sense and it does make the movie quite hard to follow. But overall, it is a great thriller that leaves you with some unanswered questions. For instance, why does Eugene have all these connections to a Chinese organization?
It is also a big question that never seems to be answered. But the end is satisfying and leaves us with a great movie experience. Personally, I found the movie to be kind of lacking in plot, but I would not have gone into it with a plot disliking, and the great ending is worth the wait.