In the early 1980s, an FBI Agent is assigned to investigate the murder of a respected professor. Through his investigation, he unearths a spider web of international secrets that has been thriving within college campuses across America for decades. His investigation takes him across the Pacific to the island nation of Taiwan, where with the help of the outspoken widow and an unlikely spy, he learns that the Professor's killing was not a random act, but a desperate move by a scandalous government intent on keeping its nefarious activities under wraps. Our detective soon finds himself on a collision course against the U.S. State Department, the Chinese Mafia, and the Nationalist Chinese Government - in a land where the truth is not what it seems and the only people he can trust, cannot be trusted at all. Inspired by actual events.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN December 07, 2018 at 07:33 AM
I managed to see Formosa Betrayed at a film festival and was really blown away. Political suspense films rarely grip you this much while still holding onto their intelligence. Wherever you are you must try to get to a theater to see this or anticipate the DVD release because it is not one to miss. Many political thrillers get bogged down in technicalities or are just idiotic in their execution, but Formosa Betrayed hits every right note. I was skeptical too when I saw James Van Der Beek was the star, but he truly rises to the occasion. Will Tiao also amazed me despite the fact that he is essentially unknown. Formosa Betrayed takes you through a whirlwind of action, suspense, and the fight for justice. Get out to the theaters on February 26th to see it; you won't regret it!
Reviewed by FilmRap8 / 10
An Exciting History Lesson
An FBI agent in the 1980s is following the clues of a murder of a mid-western university professor in search of the killers. If you didn't know anything about the history of Taiwan alias Formosa, you would still no doubt find this a very riveting, suspenseful, exciting thriller. However, if you know the history of this embattled country or as you may be able to figure it out from the unfolding story, the intrigue becomes even more meaningful. You may remember that little island off the coast of mainland China was the refuge of Chiang Kai-shek and his followers after the communists took over the mainland of China. It became a very strategic location as the United States made a commitment politically, financially and militarily to protect it from the Communists. What you may not have appreciated is that this government was corrupt and oppressed its people in the worst ways possible in order to keep itself in power. His son continued the martial law after Kai-shek's death in 1975. It was not until a time frame after this movie that Taiwan became a true thriving democracy. Will Tiamo, a co-star of the film was also one the creative forces behind the movie as one of the writers and the person most responsible for raising enough money to make the film before it was even written or cast. He wanted to tell the story of his parent's generation and the oppressive environment which existed in the land of their birth. FBI agent Jake Kelly played by James Van Der Beek encounters deception, murder, and torture. He also realizes that his own government, for political reasons, is not keen on exposing these terrible things. This all adds up to a top rate adventure story with conflict and a moral dilemma of the main character. The screenplay was based on various true events and was skillfully directed by Adam Kane. Although the movie has just received a distribution deal with a release date at the end of February, 2010, we suspect that it may not make it to your local theater or hang around there very long. So if you are at all inclined to see an exciting history lesson, be sure to look for it or put it on your Netflix queue.
Reviewed by Leofwine_draca5 / 10
FORMOSA BETRAYED is better as teaching material than it is a thriller. It's an unashamedly political movie that aims to explore the complex and often murky goings-on in early 1980s Taiwan, where government-sponsored assassinations were more often than not the norm and where the secret war with China continued unabated.
Onto this admittedly intriguing backdrop has been stapled a somewhat straightforward thriller, with American import James Van Der Beek investigating a murder. A whole host of Asian-American actors play in support to either help or hinder him along, and there are some admittedly exciting and/or shocking moments thrown in along the way. However, this is very much a B-picture in feel in terms of style and execution, although that unusual backdrop makes it worth watching.