The Cantonese hero Fong Sai Yuk becomes involved in the secret brotherhood "The Red Flower", who are trying to overthrow the Manchurian emperor and re-establishing the Ming dynasty. The ... See full summary »
In this modern day Romeo and Juliet, kung fu action star Jet Li plays Romeo to hip-hop singer, Aaliyah Haughton's Juliet. Li is an ex-cop investigating the murder of his brother, who had ties with the Chinese mafia in America. Aaliyah plays the daughter of the American mob boss. Neither side approves of their romance, so, obviously, kung fu action ensues, with a soundtrack by Aaliyah.Written by
Pugnax the Great <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The x-ray "bone-breaking" sequences in the film are similar to a famous scene in Sonny Chiba's The Street Fighter[Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken (1974)]. However, the ones in Romeo Must Die are far more advanced, presumably through the use of CGI. See more »
In some shots the American football that Han is holding is obviously computer generated. See more »
The credits during the opening of the movie are first given in Chinese characters and then are translated into English. See more »
The UK version was cut by Warner Bros. to get a "15" rating. 30 seconds of violence were removed including blood spurts from gunshots, a throat punch, shots of a scorching bowl being pressed onto Jet Li's hands and Li's burned hands being scraped whilst Li is dragged around, heavy punches, a head-butt and a throat chop. See more »
Thoroughly average, with a few elements above and below that
Have you ever felt cheated because you never got to see a movie before that includes X-ray POV footage of a person's spine being severed, a football game that turns into a Three Stooges episode, a part where a Chinese crime lord has his colleagues chained up in a refrigerated boxcar before they're murdered and dismembered with meat-cutting instruments (thankfully off-camera), and mentions that the Oakland Raiders moved again? Fear not, once you see ROMEO MUST DIE.
There isn't much else to say about how this movie's tone jumps all over the place. It's a predictable but decently engaging movie. What makes it worth renting is the presence of Aaliyah, Jet Li, and especially Delroy Lindo. There's little doubt this movie did well off the marquee value of those first two--and they're both good here, separately and together--but Lindo is a great actor and invests Isaak O'Day with a dramatic presence that insists we take him seriously.
It's a huge tragedy that Aaliyah died so young, and a great loss for the movies she would have been superb in; she saves her thin, poorly developed character from being useless and makes Trish interesting. Jet Li shows he can be tough or funny, whatever's needed at the moment, and it's nice to see an action star who seems to LIKE doing action film roles. Note: I have to agree with Roger Ebert that seeing Li doing FX-aided fight scenes was pathetic; Li's a fighting FX just by being himself, and we saw that in LETHAL WEAPON 4 and hopefully will again in the future.
For all that, this and GONE IN 60 SECONDS were the quintissential average films of 2000. As far from great as awful, both got 5 out of 10 from me.
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