"I am a huge Madonna fan. I love her music. I love her movies (not because I think she can act but because they're always so bad they're good). But this movie is an exception to all the others. It's just bad. Words can't describe. I think what made it so painful was the fact that it went on forever. Just when you think it's over something else happens. Once that's over with something ELSE happens. After that, something ELSE happens. And then something else. And then something else. And all that really happens is Madonna and Sean Penn run around like idiots. I'm sure this movie must be really embarassing for them. Madonna's performance is so wooden and if Sean weren't cute he wouldn't be any fun to watch either.I wish I could give this movie 0 stars."
A Must For The Madonna Completist!
Leonard Huang | Nanuet, USA | 04/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's hard to believe that 21 years have passed since this Madonna-Sean Penn disaster was first released. And time has not worked any wonders on this clumsily plotted, awkwardly incompetent movie. What you get with this SPECIAL EDITION release is a beautifully remastered picture with 5.1 sound, a gaggle of special features which are quite funny (one of which I'm actually on--listen for me on the fans commentary, I'm the bitchy New Yorker in the room!). It's a movie only a dedicated Madonna fan could love, and if you are one, then you simply must upgrade!"
Shanghai Surprise (1986)
Chad DeFeo | Philadelphia, PA USA | 01/12/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Madonna has already made herself a star by releasing three albums, Madonna (1983), Like A Virgin (1984), and True Blue (1986), and starring in her first film, Desperately Seeking Susan. Sean Penn has already been a big hit with his roles of Mick O'Brien in Bad Boys, Brad Whitefield Jr in At Close Range, and his most memorable, Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times At Ridgemont High. The married couple star in this mediocre film about two different people who wind up falling in love.Sean Penn plays Glendon Wasey, a miserable man trying to a get ticket back to the states. Madonna is Gloria Tatlock, a missionary nurse who seeks the curing powers of opium for her patients. The two find each other and are on a mission to find this opium. Doing all this, the two begin to fall in love. The film was a total flop in the box office. It is not a great film, but isn't that bad. It started to heat up towards the end. It's sort of worth the money."
Not for the faint hearted
Nicky | God's Country | 09/16/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Make no mistake this film is dreadful. But you can't blame it all on Madonna's acting. The script is appallingly bad and the film cannot decide whether to be a romantic comedy or an Indiana Jones style action adventure. In the end it's neither, the budget just doesn't stretch that far. The scenery is nice though and Madonna does look stunning, even though she looks like she is bored stiff and is reading her lines from an autocue. The only intersting bit and redeeming quality this film has is Sean Penn's acting. He carries the film and the look of fondness he has for Madonna in the one-on-one scenes with her is obvious. She also shows signs of animation when she is acting one-on-one with Sean. And then just when you thought this movie couldn't get any worse Madonna gets to utter the most cringeingly awful line ever in the history of the "talkie". "Guns bring pain - opium eases pain", just dreadful. I wouldn't recommend buying this DVD unless you're a very, very dedicated Madonna fan."
Bad... but perversely enjoyable
H. R. Trigg | Swindon, Wilts United Kingdom | 03/17/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The story is rubbish, the acting is bad, however I did enjoy it in some perverse way! (One of those, its so bad its good films perhaps?)
Know-one comes out of this film unscathed. Penn's character is completely annoying; his histrionics really grated on my nerves and Madonna's acting has never been worse (the crying scene has got to be seen to be believed).
The scenery is beautiful though, and possibly the only other noteable thing this film has going for it, is that Madonna is absolutely stunning in it."