Snakehead Trailer: The American Dream Meets The Chinatown Underworld

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It's easy to think otherwise, based on which movies tend to get all the attention, but America doesn't actually have a monopoly on crime dramas. "Snakehead" is attempting to invigorate the classic genre by providing an outsider's perspective, telling the story of a Chinese immigrant making her way to New York and plunging headfirst into the seedy underworld of Chinatown mobsters, drug rings, and smugglers in the hopes of providing a better life for her family. The story, based on real life events, is also covered in the true crime novel written by Patrick Radden Keefe, "The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream."

Check out the trailer for the movie below.

Snakehead Trailer

Courtesy of Collider, "Snakehead" is written and directed by Evan Jackson Leong, a Chinese-American filmmaker perhaps best known for the 2013 "Linsanity" documentary. According to American Film Showcase, Leong was mentored by popular blockbuster filmmaker Justin Lin and worked with him on both "Better Luck Tomorrow" and "The Fast & the Furious." This film is a significant step up for him and the trailer hardly betrays any hint of inexperience or uncertainty behind the camera. The gritty, visceral footage pulls no punches in depicting the desperate straits that Sister Tse (Shuya Chang) finds herself in upon arriving in Chinatown, calling out the lies of the so-called "American Dream" and presenting the Snakehead himself, Sung Kang, and his all-powerful criminal family as a force to be reckoned with.

The novel, "The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream," provides even more hints as to the direction of this movie, painting an enticing picture of "The Godfather" meets "Goodfellas" meets "Chinatown." The book is described as:

"In this thrilling panorama of real-life events, Patrick Radden Keefe investigates a secret world run by a surprising criminal: a charismatic middle-aged grandmother, who from a tiny noodle shop in New York's Chinatown managed a multi-million dollar business smuggling people."

The three main leads of "Snakehead" are comprised of Shuya Chang ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny," "Counterpart," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"), Jade Wu ("The Blacklist," "Luke Cage," "Magnum P.I.") & Sung Kang ("Better Luck Tomorrow," "The Fast and the Furious," "Raya and the Last Dragon"). The official synopsis is as follows:

Sister Tse comes from China to New York via a human smuggler known as a snakehead. She gains favor with the matriarch of the crime family and rises the ranks quickly, but success isn't the only reason she came to America. Sister Tse needs to reconcile between personal success and her family.