Release Date(s)2017 (June 26.2018)
Studio(s)Tri-Coast Worldwide (Cleopatra Entertainment)
- Film/Program Grade: C
- Video Grade: A
- Audio Grade: B
- Extras Grade: C-
In this Asian production with a diverse cast, a Chinese engineer named Yan Jian (Dong-xue Li), referred to as “The China Salesman”, goes to North Africa for his employer DH Telecom to win an important telecommunications competition which will help them secure all communications between North and South Africa. While installing cell phones in Uganda as part of the contest, he learns of a dangerous and corrupt conspiracy. One of the competitors, Michael (Cloivs Foulin), a French spy, has been instructed to win the competition in order to gain control of Africa’s mineral resources. He is assisted by Kabbah (Mike Tyson), leader of an African tribe, and Lauder (Steven Seagal), a mercenary for hire. Ultimately leading to a civil war between North and South African militaries, Jian and his colleagues are stuck in the middle and the future of their telecommunications system hangs in the balance.
China Salesman is quite the experience. For American appeal, as mentioned earlier, the film features former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson and iconic martial arts action star Steven Seagal. Early on, the two battle each other, but despite the clever and resourceful editing, it appears that they weren’t even in the same room together. Giving credit where credit’s due, Tyson was a tremendous, ferocious boxer in his day, but his acting ability ranges from amusing to inept. The performances as a whole are not the greatest, not to mention a few scenes that seem to have little to do with the overall plot. To add to the somewhat confusing story, throughout the film the dialogue from Asian actors continuously switches from Chinese to broken English and, unfortunately, it becomes difficult to understand what’s being said.
In essence, China Salesman is a “sit back, relax, and enjoy the violence” kind of movie. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, the musical score is excellent, and the film does have good production value going for it. Director and co-writer Tan Bing also did a fine job keeping the pace of the film up. If nothing else, it’s far from boring.
Cleopatra Entertainment presents China Salesman in its original aspect ratio of 2.35: 1, in 1080p with an MPEG-4 AVC encode. The image quality is outstanding with beautiful, vivid, deep colors and strong textures. Blues, reds, and browns stand out as being the most polished. Skin tones also look natural. Daylight and outdoor scenery are visually stunning as well. It’s just a pleasure to watch. The lone audio option is an English 5.1 Dolby Digital track. No audio issues were detected. Dialogue, firearms, and explosions come in loud and clear without sounding overly aggressive. Unfortunately, there are no Chinese audio options. English subtitles are only provided when the actors speak Chinese, and they’re very easy to read.
The supplements don’t offer much. There’s a slideshow, a promotional video, and trailers for several other movies from the Cleopatra Entertainment catalogue, including Diamond Cartel, 8 Assassins, Tam Cam, The Rift, Blood & Glory, and China Salesman as well.
If there was ever an action film where you didn’t need to over think the plot and simply be entertained by combat scenes with assault rifles, grenades, and other weapons of mass destruction, China Salesman is that film. At the very least, watching it in high definition makes for an excellent viewing experience!
- David Steigman