The Replacement Killers

Dir: Antoine Fuqua
Star: Chow Yun-Fat, Mira Sorvino, Michael Rooker, Jürgen Prochnow

With Jackie Chan having apparently conquered America at long last [Rush Hour making the biggest September opening ever], it seems a good time to look at Chow's first American movie. It's not as bad as, say, John Woo's first, but it does fall some way short of his Hong Kong films, largely because Chow is given little more to do than fire guns and look cool - simultaneously, most of the time. Fortunately, there's probably no-one better on the planet at these two facets of "acting", and this helps buoy up a film whose director (name presumably not pronounced Fuq-u-a') has a stronger grip on style than substance. Still, a supporting cast which includes Rooker, Prochnow and Danny Trejo commands respect, though Sorvino's forgeress, who becomes tangled with Chow after he refuses to kill a cop's son, is little more than a token girlie despite some nods to making her feisty. And we all know girlies have no place in Hollywood action films... [Whining feminists, feel free to vent here] The end result is a film that shakes you by the hand, rather than grabbing you by the throat as it should.


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