Chi Yin's "In a Strange City" is the first disappointment in the Grande 4-Plex's outstanding International Showcase series. Relentlessly solemn and proceeding at a glacial pace, it aspires to comment on alienation and corruption in contemporary Taipei, topics that have been dealt with previously in Taiwanese films with considerably more style and energy. By default, the result is a tedious, trite soap opera.
Kuei-Mei Yang stars as a beautiful high school chemistry teacher caught up in an affair with a petulant businessman (Winston Chao) whose political ambitions bring increasing entanglements with the underworld. Meanwhile, Yang has her hands full at school trying to help a deeply troubled student (Rong-Gao Gu). Despite a busy schedule, Chao makes time to whisk Yang off to a foreign city--it looks to be in the Philippines--for passionate trysts on a quite frequent basis. Although the film has been handsomely produced it really has nothing to recommend it.