The Replacement Killers (1998) Poster

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papa sorvino is right to be proud
loui-in-stlouis13 June 2005
i think this movie rocks -- it is the best place to watch Mira Sorvino be entertaining and hot.

i just bought the DVD in a bargain bin and i can't stop watching it. OK it's a bit of a TV movie script. but it's a year ahead of the matrix, and i dare you to watch it without making production comparisons. in fact, i can't watch the matrix any more. so much for movies with great scripts.

so much of the goodness of this movie relies on Mira Sorvino's screen presence that it plays a bit like a bit music video -- it's just plain fun to see her on screen. Chow Yun Fat is good, and this American Chinese boy (me) likes seeing a hybrid movie like this... well, it's fun to see the Chinese guy wear nice suits and kick some a$$ too. i can't watch any of the crappy hong kong stuff that the other users seem to think is superior to this. i can see how HK martial arts lovers wouldn't like this -- it's a very different, very American movie. personally, i'd rather see more clones of this movie than more jackie chan.

hey, did i mention Mira Sorvino is hot? i even like the relationship chemistry that develops here -- sort of like the David Carradine character wandering the desert in the Kung Fu TV shows -- he never even gets to kiss the pretty girl who falls for his decency, but the mutual respect is better that way. more movies need to take this route.

i'm not a Mira watcher -- i've only seen her aphrodite and some awful film school $hit i'm sure she wishes she never made, and her happy day on the Oscar alumni stage. as a Harvard guy, i'm not sure i want to see her in romy and michelle. this was simply a great role for a very underutilized actress at the right time in her life during the era of east-west action fusion. if i were producing movies, i'd kick myself for not watching this movie sooner and taking advantage of Mira Sorvino in her prime. it's not too late -- check our her recent IMDb pics. papa sorvino was right -- his daughter is great, and anyone who says otherwise should get a cap in his knee. this movie is the proof.
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7/10
Chow Yun Fat chews up Hollywood perfectly!
george-844-38463322 July 2014
I'm a huge fan of CYF - for almost 30 years now. His on-screen persona is just the finest and he is one of the best actors out there!

But with other HK stars transfers to Hollywood - where the big wigs all claim that they know what is best - I was quite concerned for his debut.

Replacement Killers actually plays quite well!

Still carrying that 90's look, we are treated to 85 minutes of stylish Hong Kong wanna-be shoot outs and angles that sometimes overdoes the John Woo homages - some of which are pretty good, some that just ended up quite slow.

Regardless, it was a great introduction to the US audience for HK's coolest actor, and an enjoyable film nonetheless!
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10/10
An excellent movie that I've enjoyed through many viewings
Mitche26 February 2002
I suppose this is actually a B movie, but there's something about this movie that keeps me coming back to see it again every few months. Maybe it's the rather unique (for Hollywood, anyway) relationship between Meg and John. I mean, they don't even so much as kiss each other and barely touch at all! But I think they make the screen sizzle, nonetheless.

I must admit I love the action in this movie, too. Every once in a while I wonder how a small time forger learned to fight and shoot like she does, but then I blissfully ignore it and just enjoy the movie.

Great action scenes, wonderful relationship development and great acting by Mira and Yun-Fat Chow make this a movie I'm sure I'll see many more times.
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9/10
Hits the center of the bulls-eye with hair-raising accuracy.
mhasheider17 April 2002
Wild and absolutely menacing thriller involving Chow Yun-Fat (in his American film debut) as John Lee, a quiet yet resourceful hit-man who along with a sarcastic forger, Meg Coburn (Mira Sorvino), become involved when Lee refuses to take out someone close to a cop (Michael Rooker), who shot and killed his mobster boss' drug-dealing son during a drug bust and in the process, Coburn and Lee are also targeted by his superiors.

It's a brilliant debut for Yun-Fat and director Antoine Fuqua ("Bait", "Training Day"), both of whom show their skills with such respect. Some of the shoot-outs that take place in some areas that you wouldn't even think of (car wash, alley, movie theater, etc.). Plus, the cinematographer Peter Lyons Collister and composer Harry Gregson-Williams excell in making the movie even more entertaining. The scenery has a very colorful and artistic look to it and the music doesn't get too loud. I think of the movie as "Lethal Weapon" made like in the style of John Woo, who is one of the film's producers.

"The Replacement Killers" certainly hits the center of the bulls-eye with hair-raising accuracy.
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Watch this movie for it's action, you'll enjoy it more.
cbenavidez15 February 2001
Those of you who desire a deep, thought provoking, plot. One which leaves you asking questions, after the movie is done. Well, guess what? This is not the movie for you. However, if you are seeking a high intensity, past paced, exciting, action-packed, drama, stay tuned because the ride has just begun. This is the second time I have watched this movie. I watched it when it first came out and then again just last night. I can't help it but Chow Yun-fat is definitely the Sean Connery of our eastern brothers.

I will admit that this movie is not for everyone. Then again, you can't make everyone happy all of the time. You can make some people happy some of the time. This movie made it's money's worth, so apparently it made most people happy most of the time.
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10/10
This is superb Hong Kong action stuff !!!
incubus-421 December 1999
Wow, this movie just blew me away !!! I am a fan of the John Woo type of action movies and I must say that even he was just one of the executive producers, his mark is all over this movie!!!

The result is very good : Nicely paced action sequences, more story and emotions than in your average Hong Kong action movie (But not as much story development as in an American production, but in this genre this just isn't needed that much, it would just slow down the pace), well acted , you kinda start feeling sympathetic for the leads and you'll certainly hate these villains. This is a thrill ride from beginning till the end. And this is where I have my only point of criticism : The movie is way to short !!! 80 minutes and the credits start to roll!!! You'll almost start to beg for more... I'll best describe this movie as a cross between "Face-Off" and "The professional" from director Luc Besson. A must-see for every action movie lover.
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Great action
Kazuya-425 July 1999
Regardless of what many other people say, if you like action then you should check this out. Granted, the film is not going to win any awards for storyline, in fact the storyline is fairly weak, but in terms of action this is one of the most adrenaline filled action packed movies I have ever seen. I am a big Chow Yun Fat fan and although this is not on par with some of his HK films, it is better than the debuts of many other HK actors/directors (John Woo and THAT terrible Van Damme film anyone?). Mira Sorvino is a great co-star too. Overall, if you are looking for an action packed roller coaster of a film then check this out, but if you prefer to have a little more substance in your movies then you should check out The Corruptor which places more focus on the storyline.
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8/10
Chow Yun-Fat brings ultra-cool to Hollywood
latymer143 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Some may call this film "derivative" but many HK productions are about revenge and/or organized crime. While it may not be as kinetic as other CYF films like Hardboiled or The Killer, it also lacks the campy moments found in those films. In this respect, CYF's performance is slightly superior to his HK work because he is required to be far more subtle than some of his more over-the-top roles. Heresy, i know, but what many people might see as the film's vices could be considered virtues: less action and fewer lines of dialog allow a more authentic emotional story to develop and CYF to do more actual acting. The opening sequence is brilliant as pure cinema and must be seen. The relationship between John Lee and Meg Coburn is unique in this genre in that it's basically a buddy situation with romantic undertones; it is one of the best things about the film. (It's such a cliché when characters just hop into bed 10 minutes after meeting.) Highly recommended.
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8/10
A Chow fan
Ishallwearpurple7 March 2001
I bought the video only because I wanted to see Chow in his other American films after seeing him in Anna And The King. I have now watched it many times. He is the most magnetic presence on screen I have seen in a long time. I am not a shoot um up fan but I can just zap through most of that and watch the characterization develop between the two main people and they are very good. I wanted to know more about both of them and that is the only criticism I have, since I know that this was made for action fans and those who like non stop guns blazing away. For me, I wanted to know about John and Meg. But that would have been another film. Just for Chow and Sorvino, I give it a 7 of 10.
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10/10
Roller-coaster ride from start to finish
l_cobern19891 May 2008
From the start of the film you know what to expect. This is Chow Yun-Fats first film in America and I think he does a brilliant job. Gets his character spot on. The directer Antoine Fuqua did a brilliant for his first feature film and can't wait to see his films in the future.

The shootouts he produced were brilliant and reminded me of some of Chow Yun-Fats past films. They lasted a good time and were not boring at all. Chow Yun-Fats movement with the gun is just like he did in "The Killer". He moved like some kind of ballerina with guns which reminded me of him in "Hard Boiled". I love shootouts and the ones in these are some of the best I have seen. The shootout in the car wash was brilliant. Loved the way the made it look in there.

The story was OK. Not great but OK. I no the story has probably been done before but most stories have been. I liked the way they made Chow Yun-Fats character to be caring person, not someone who goes around killing people for fun. Mira Sorvino acted her role brilliantly which showed she was a Academy Award winner.

Overall I really enjoyed this film and thought it was a brilliant action film. I'm sure this will be a great film for action fans to watch and also for you Chow Yun-Fat fans. The shootouts will blow you away
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8/10
Good stuff
When the son of a powerful underworld boss, Mr. Wei, is killed in a police raid he swears vengeance. John Lee is the hit-man assigned with the task to carry out the hit, but despite a successful career as a contract killer he finds himself unable to pull the trigger. Even more upset, Wei sends in a duo of ruthless assassins, the replacement killers of the title, to kill both John and carry out his assignment.

This is the first feature length film for a successful music video director so it probably doesn't look so hot, but don't be fooled: this is one terrific action movie. Antoine Fuqua serves up a very assured and stylish direction while keeping the film going at an exciting pace. The shootouts are spectacular and are among the most furious seen outside of Hong Kong cinema. The film's performances are also strong and while the action makes the film exciting, they make the film involving.

The film is not to high on the originality scale as Chow Yun-Fat has played the self-conscious hit-man going against a ruthless underworld many times and the screenplay is for the most part predictable, but as an action movie it works very well. 8/10

Rated R for intense violence, and profanity
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7/10
Fast-paced, enjoyable fun.
tarbosh2200010 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
John Lee (Yun-Fat) is an expert marksman/gunman/assassin/gun enthusiast who works for crime lord Mr. Wei (Tsang). All his life he's followed the orders of his superiors, but when his latest hit is meant to be carried out not just on a hardworking cop named Zedkov (Rooker), but also his seven-year-old son, Lee finds he can't pull the trigger. In order to disappear and get back to his family in China, he needs forged documents, so he goes to see Meg Coburn (Sorvino), an expert in such things. Soon enough, Wei sends many waves of goons to kill off the unlikely duo. When an underboss, Kogan (Prochnow), can't kill them fast enough, Wei sends for "The Replacement Killers" - played in the movie by Schweiger and Trejo - to kill not just Zedkov but also Lee and Coburn. This all sets the stage for lots and lots of gun shooting. Who will get killed and who will get replaced? Find out today...

It seems pretty obvious, especially looking back now, that The Replacement Killers was an attempt to bring John Woo-style action to Hollywood. Woo did act as executive producer, after all, but did not direct the film. That, in this case, went to Fuqua, and this was his first feature-length production after a career making MTV videos in the 90's, and it really, really shows. There is a lot of style and flash, but not much of a narrative structure, as you might expect from a background like that, and certainly on someone's first attempt. (Evidently there was more character development at one point, but it was left on the cutting room floor). If this all sounds like negative criticism, it's not. The movie is lightweight and entertaining, and without a doubt it delivers the action goods.

Chow-Yun Fat is one of the coolest cats around, and no one looks more awesome shooting guns or putting on sunglasses. In the 90's there was an attempt by Hollywood to also put Jackie Chan in theaters, and that was appreciated, but seemingly did not last long. We, of course, enjoyed seeing Operation Condor (1997) and Jackie Chan's First Strike (1996) on the big screen. If it could be done with Kung Fu, why not Gun-Fu? And who better to play the classic "killer with a conscience" than Chow-Yun Fat? With endless gun battles and slo-mo moments (slo-moments?...actually that would be misleading as there are no slow moments in the film), all set to the sounds of the prerequisite late-90's electronica such as Tricky, The Crystal Method and Death in Vegas (apparently Portishead was unavailable), how can you lose? If you're a fan of action setpieces (and who isn't), you don't.

Such things as described above were tried unsuccessfully before, i.e. Killing Time (1998), but, thankfully, The Replacement Killers gets the simply-plotted assassin shooting movie right. There's enough cannon fodder for the good guys to shoot at and it never really lets up. Backing up Fat and Sorvino is an impressive cast of Comeuppance favorites: Michael Rooker as the cop, Danny Trejo as one of the Replacement Killers, the fascinatingly-named Clifton Collins Jr. is the "Machine Gun Joe" character, Patrick Kilpatrick as a baddie, Jurgen Prochnow as another baddie (looking a lot like Robert Davi here), and, in blink-or-you'll-miss them goon roles, action mainstays James Lew and Al Leong. And at only 84 minutes without the credits, it all comes in at a good running time. More movies - hell, ALL movies - should be 84 minutes. Kudos to the production for a reasonable length here.

So while wags may complain that there's not much substance and the whole thing is like an extended music video, those people are missing the point. There's no time to waste as The Replacement Killers remains fast-paced, enjoyable fun.
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THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS (1998)
punctate24 June 1999
Tarance Wei son is killed by a detective, so he decides to hire John Lee to kill the detective's son. John can't do the job and figures his family will be in danger. He attempts to get to China and meets up with Meg. The two become partners in this action packed movie. The movie has a lot of style but there isn't real strong substance. The action scenes are quite good and there are funny scenes throughout the movie and the final action scene was done quite well. I give this movie 3/5. Rated PA
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8/10
fast furious, non-stop and stylish
OK, so it's hokey with no proper storyline and no character development or believable interaction between those on screen, but boy does it work! You can keep your over long pretentious tales of what real gentlemen the mafia, the triads or whatever are. I'm not interested that whilst they're busting my old lady they're being good to theirs. Goodies versus baddies or even baddies versus baddies means action and if we are to have action let's have it like this, fast furious, non-stop and stylish. It doesn't have to look as good as here but it helps. This film is a wondrous ride and do we pause for a romantic interlude? Do the fantastic pair, Chow Yun-Fat and Mira Sorvino even touch each other? I don't think there was time for that, time only to pick up two or two dozen guns and fire them all at once, all the time. Wow this is silly comic book stuff, but real fun.
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Very good Hong Kong stylised action movie Excellent
zrow-212 October 2000
Very entertaining movie however too short and lacks just a small bit of background story yet still mind blowing action.

Although its too Americanised and also the influence of a music video director as main director takes away a small bit.
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Guns, Guns, Everywhere!
Bash1 September 1999
This is one of the best explosive movies I have ever seen. This movie is all about shootings this, shootings that. Chow Yun-Fat is another good man I am looking after; he is like a professional in guns and shooting (very talented and skilled). I own this movie too. This kind of action movie made me feel so good that this just reminds me of a hero. I like shootings mostly. Chow Yun-Fat is the man!!!
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Art is what you make it.
RedNaw12 April 1999
What can be said? Whenever Chow Yun-Fat gets on the theater screen, one can't help but be drawn to his charisma and super-human presence. Whereas other actors may depend on their physical presence or "witty" lines to carry them through a movie, Chow Yun-Fat is able to catch the average viewer off-guard. This film is rather short on plot, admittedly. However, one should remember that John Woo started out releasing films like "BlackJack" and "Hard Target" for American audiences. "Face/Off" was quite popular, riding on the laurels of "Broken Arrow". Speaking personally, I'm glad John Woo hasn't sacrificed his trademark gunfight sequences for plotlines that go nowhere.

Having the main character have a sense of honor is not a new concept in John Woo action films (i.e., Face/Off) but it is a welcome one. Chow Yun-Fat and Mira Sorvino are also an unlikely match, but their combined presence makes this an enjoyable film. As long as one can put the reality button on hold for a short while, this film offers an enjoyable bullet-fest that should sate the pallet of any action fan.
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8/10
Excellent, but not a movie for everyone.
sherlintristan12 April 2016
A mindless action movie, from a mindless action director Antione Fuqua, this being his second directorial debut. Those who are fans of Chow-Yun Fat and the Hong Cong action genre will be more than able to enjoy this more than decent American interpretation of the energetic direction of John Woo. However, those not familiar with the genre, (which is considered most people), will have trouble toning in to this action thriller due to the lack of a fully constructed plot.

Now that I have written my critic consensus on the movie itself, I will give my personal opinion on this extremely underrated American take on most John Woo Hong Cong Action flicks. Personally, this movie doesn't have many problems in terms of an action movie, it is just overlooked due to its motivation of the story that leads to the action. Performance wise, I had never seen Mira Sorvino is any other films, but her performance was satisfactory due to her smart remarks and corniness, she also has great chemistry down the line with Chow-Yun Fat's character. I also happen to be a fan of Chow-Yun Fat, who in most cases, gives his best performances in Hong Cong action flicks, but this performance is not to be overlooked, as he might not say much, but in this case letting the handgun do most of the talking is just fine with me. My final thoughts of the film is that it is much worth seeing due that all Chow-Yun Fats masterpieces are made in China. Personally, I would say just make an exception, you more than likely will not be disappointed, and if it does, it was worth the try.
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4/10
Forgettable action thriller.
poolandrews12 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The Replacement Killers starts late one night during a drugs bust on the dock's, cop Stan 'Zeedo' Zedkov (Michael Rooker) shoots Chinese smuggler Peter Wei (Yau-Gene Chan) in self defence but Peter's father & crime-lord Terence Wei (Kenneth Tsang) is rather upset about his son being killed by a cop & orders John Lee (Chow Yun-Fat) to kill the cop's seven year old boy in revenge. John cannot bring himself to do it though which also upsets Terence Wei & John is soon added to his hit list, John needs to get out of the US & back to China & hires forger Meg Coburn (Mira Sorvino) to knock him up some fake papers. However before she completes them Wei's men catch up with her & John, after a shoot-out John & Meg are left stranded on the run from Wei's men & influence as he wants them both dead at any cost...

Directed by Antoine Fuqua I personally think that The Replacement Killers is a very shallow & forgettable HK action style US action thriller that I didn't like when I saw it in the cinema back in '98 & still didn't like it when I saw it again last night. The Replacement Killers is yet another one of those films available in more than one version, there's the common theatrical cut which was widely released & then there's the 'Extended Cut' (interestingly not known or advertised as a 'Director's Cut' anywhere) which runs for around ten minutes longer give or take a couple of minutes & I will be basing my comments on the ordinary theatrical cut which is the only version I have ever seen. The plot is very thin, it contains all the hallmarks of a John Woo Hong Kong action flick dealing with themes likes trust, betrayal, honour, family, loss & revenge but The Replacement Killers is a very shallow & forgettable US attempt at copying that distinctive John Woo action style. The character's are paper thin (although to be fair to it the 'Extended Cut' apparently has more development), the dialogue is sparse & almost minimal & the actual action scenes are surprisingly poor & lacklustre. Virtually every action sequence in The Replacement Killers is the same as the last with constant shoot-outs between bad guy's who can't shoot straight & good guy's who rarely ever waste a bullet. It becomes very tiresome & I found it pretty tedious too, I just thought it was a poor story with poor repetitive action scenes & overall I am really struggling to say anything particularly positive about this film.

Apart from a shot up car & an exploding van at the end every action scene in The Replacement Killers feels exactly like the last with lots of people shooting at each other. OK sure the locations change but various people jumping over things, sliding across the floor & dodging bullets are essentially exactly the same from one scene to another. I usually like the big budget brainless Hollywood action films & find them very entertaining but this I just couldn't get involved with or get into at all. Although the shoot-outs are well choreographed they are fairly flat & repetitive in my opinion. The film tries to be very cool with lots of dance music, stylish cinematography that keeps the camera moving & darting about & there's lots of posturing & posing as various character's wear the latest sunglasses, carry & shoot using two guns instead of one & dress in sharp suits but there's absolutely no substance to go with the style.

According to the IMDb this had a budget of about $30,000,000 which amazes me, I can't really see where all that money went at all. There are no big Hollywood stars, not much in the way of action & I don't understand why this cost so much to make. Shot in Los Angeles in California. The acting is alright but no-one is given too much to do, this was Chow-Yun Fat's US feature film debut, Sorvino is OK while Michael Rooker is wasted in nothing more than a cameo.

The Replacement Killers is a Hong Kong style action thriller that I thought was actually pretty poor all round, a really shallow & dull plot along with some repetitive action scenes kill it for me.
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4/10
Mindless Shoot-em-up
esh-329 August 1999
This could have been a good movie with just a bit more thought and better plot. I get very tired of heroes that can gun down four bad guys (all shooting back with machine guns) with just a pistol. Mira Sorvino and Yun-Fat Chow wasted their talents creating believable characters in this.
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10/10
Fat and Sorvino Added Substance to the Movie
UniSolOmega16 May 2005
Assuming that anyone watching a movie with the name, "The Replacement Killers," has to love action movies in the first place, it has to rank among the best. The replacement killers themselves were as colorful as they were ruthless. The shootouts at the movie theater and especially at the car wash were different and interesting. I liked the character Loco. Though he was a minor character, he definitely added some color to the movie. Besides the almost nonstop action, it actually does have a plot with substance, and Fat and Sorvino work well together in adding feeling to the movie. I think that, overall, the characters were strong.
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3/10
Not Enough Gunfights
quake-417 May 2003
This movie, despite what you think it may be about, is really about gunfights. There are more gun battles in this film than there were in the Civil War. Pistols capable of shooting dozens of rounds without reloading, criminals who could not hit their target (even wounding it) despite blazing away with - oh let's say - a billion rounds of ammunition, and a hero that is capable of killing them by the dozens. Did you know that you cannot be shot if you drop and roll? Yes, it's true, the gangster shootout version of duck and cover during an atomic attack. Drop and roll deflects all bullets headed your way. So, if you like gunfights with automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and the only reason your life has meaning is to see gunfights with automatic and semi-automatic weapons, then this, believe me, is the movie for you.
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3/10
*1/2 OUT OF FIVE
bronsonskull7211 July 2003
Chow Yun-Fat stars as John Lee an assassin who bulks at killing a kid for a mobster (Kenneth Tsang) who becomes a target when the replacement killers come to finish his job, he teams up with a forger Meg Coburn (Mira Sorvino) while they run for their lives in this sub par and empty actioner. I guess my mistake was expecting much more from CYF's American debut, because Don "The Dragon" Wilson could star in the movie in CYF's part, and the movie would have turned out the same. Too much style and not enough substance make The Replacement Killers a movie better left replaced.
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10/10
kick ass reverse revenge.
yothepottersson7 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
One word can describe this film - AMAZING. Chow Yun-Fat has proved that he has action in his veins. Mira Sorvino has proved to the world of cinema that she is by far THE performer of her family, good looks and kick ass skills. Michael Rooker is one of my favorite actors and this role proved to me that he can handle the roles put out in front of him. In the world of Chinese triad, Yakuza and all things illegal this film rolls them into one great script adding in three great performances and a mix of action, intrigue and witty one liners makes for a blockbuster. All three characters have good/bad qualities and makes for great viewing pleasure. The chemistry of Mira & Chow is fantastic. Hated Mira in high school reunion but this has changed my opinion of her. Action from start to finish - BRILLIANT. Mystery - Who is the good guy? Leave it to you to decide.
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