Reviews of ''Seven Years in Tibet,'' ''Red Corner'': Brad Pitt and Richard Gere go to Asia, and neither of their films travels well to video
Reviews of ”Seven Years in Tibet,” ”Red Corner”
Yes, it’s time once again for Exotic Cultures as Seen Through the Eyes of Really Good-Looking White Males, with Brad Pitt (technically playing Austrian explorer Heinrich Harrer, but let’s get real) finding inner peace in Seven Years in Tibet and Richard Gere battling a corrupt justice system in China in Red Corner. Which one to rent depends on whether you like your xenophobia faintly dull or didactic. Tibet amounts to a choppy travelogue as Harrer bounces from mountain peak to prison camp to the forbidden city of Lhasa. We’ve seen it all before — the teacher-pupil/father-son bond between Harrer and the young Dalai Lama is right out of The Last Emperor. Sadly, Tibet‘s primary virtue — stunning location shots — is compromised by the usual pan-and-scan butchery.
Corner, meanwhile, in which smug attorney Gere is falsely accused of murder while closing a TV deal in China, suffers by comparison to Perry Mason — who knew that the Chinese, too, leap to their feet from the peanut gallery in mid-trial to offer unsworn testimony? It’s all too laughable to be offensive, whereas Tibet is too conventional to be more than mildly enticing. Tibet: C+; Corner: D+