Kill or be replaced.
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 10/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In reading reviews for Chow-Yun Fat's first American movie, The Replacement Killers, it seems people either really liked it or really hated it. I, myself, really loved the movie.The story centers on John Lee (Chow Yun-Fat), a hitman who fails to carry out a contract for moral reason, and soon finds himself and his family targets by the mob that hired him. In an effort to save his family, he goes to Meg Coburn (Mira Sorvino), a specialist in making forged documents, to hire her to make him a passport so he can get back to China and protect his family from the vengeful wrath of an Asian mafia. She soon becomes entangled in the war between John and his former employers. In the meantime, other assassins are brought in, the replacement killers, to finish what John couldn't, and to also kill John for his failure.Some have complained that the movie is too short, but I would say it's tight. How many times have you watched a movie and thought the movie could have been shorter? So many times I have thought certain scenes in movies serve no other purpose other than to pad out the run time. This is a lean movie (87 mins) with lots of action. The pacing was such that it didn't allow for a lot of character development, but I felt there was enough to drive the story. I think Antoine Fuqua did an excellent job directing this movie, keeping the focus on the action rather than getting mired in useless details.Some have criticized Mira Sorvino's character and her change of heart in the movie, saying that it was unrealistic. Well, I thought the whole movie was unrealistic, but I was just along for the ride. Did that element hurt the movie? I didn't think so...unrealistic? Maybe, but how many HK actions movies have you seen where something comes out of left field, like a main character changing allegiances? She did speak of how sometimes it was necessary to do the right thing, doing that one good think to make up for all the bad things. Most movies require a suspension of disbelief, and some require more than others. If you really want pick on a character that acted unrealistically, look at Kogan, played by Jurgen Prochnow. He appeared to be a high ranking member in the Asian mob after John but in a few scenes we see him involved in doing rather menial tasks better assigned to henchmen. His boss, Terrence Wei (Kenneth Tsang), did say something along the lines of taking a more hands on approach after the first failed attempt on John's life, but I think Kogan might have taken it a little too serious. At one point, he was staked out eavesdropping on a cop, trying to get specific information. Didn't seem like he would be so involved at that level of operations, but I let it slide.Anyway, I had a lot of fun with this movie, and while not substantial in some areas, it certainly delivered with the action. Slick visuals, fast pacing, and lean story come together and work where others have failed. Also, the soundtrack really works well, complimenting the movie nicely, while not overshadowing it."
Good Lord! The Bad guys actually look like bad guys!
cookieman108 | 04/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"That's effin' illegal! In a day where every bad guy that has appeared in an action movie looks like he escaped from a guess jeans commercial, its nice to see a movie where the bad guys look like some SOB you would not want to meet in a dark alley. And with the likes of Dan Trejo and Jurgen Pronchow in this movie you've got plenty of them.PLOT Same old song and dance as a lot of other movies, Morally righteous assassin (how the heck does that work anyway?) John Lee (Chow Yun Fat) refuses to kill the son of the cop (Micheal Rooker)that killed the son of his employer, Mr. Wai. So Mr. Wai calls in two assassins(Trejo and some other guy) who don't know the meaning of the word low profile. Their job, kill John then kill the boy. Meanwhile John, realizing that his disobedience has pissed off his boss, needs to get his family out of Shanghai before they get eliminated. From the far side of the stage enters Meg Coburn (Sorvino) a document forger who can turn Wai's army of rent a thugs into hamburger with the best of them. After Wai's trenchcoat & Armani clad goons make swiss cheese out of her home, she and John pair up to stop Wai.REVIEW First off, Kudos to Fuqua for being one of the few directors who ever did the Woo-trademark two fisted gunfight the right way. (Bad memories of Double Impact's sucky shoot outs starting to arise....ack! eye's glazing over....medic!) The action scene are awesome, kick butt, etc.,etc. and score brownie points for the unusal locations they're set in. There's one set in a car wash (While its running, not only is he dodging bullets, but hot wax as well!) another takes place in a movie theatre showing a Mr. Magoo cartoon and a video arcade, where SEGA product placement doth conquer all. The final shootout is also ultrabitchin' to watch, concluding with a who-can-reload-and-shoot-the-fastest-mexican-standoff between Chow and his ex-boss.And the photography and camera work in this movie is pretty damn impressive, meaning this is one good looking movie, whether the camera lingers on a Buddha statue or on a hood getting splattered in slow mo.Any problems? 'fraid so dear listener, while the gunfights make this movie worth watching, the performances range from Above average, ( Chow being a cool & silent Charles Bronson type) to cheesy (Jurgen Pronchow spouting off every cliched line in the book and coming up with a few new ones. ) However watching Sorvino doing a Dirty Harriet routine is fun. (Heck watching Sorvino is fun period! heh heh) and the actor who plays Mr. Wai has his moments. The script is predictable in parts but adequate enough.Overall, a good action pick to watch with a bowl of popcorn in your lap and that special someone sitting by you when you have and afternoon to kill."
Great Replacement Entertainment
Ronald T. Stevens | New Orleans, LA USA | 10/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy this action packed movie every time that I watch it. Watching this movie in Blu Ray is an extraordinary experience. The richness of the video is outstanding. I want to watch the movie even more now that I have it on Blu Ray format.
REPLACMENT KILLERS Review
Crazy Jim | Massachusetts | 08/30/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The American acting debut of Chow Yun-Fat is routine at times but never boring. While Antonie Fuqua, a long-time music video director making his feature film debut, is certainly no John Woo, he shows incredible promise.Chow is a hired assassin who is called in to take out a police officer's family in retaliation for the murder of a mob kingpin's son. When he can't do it, the bosses call in "replacements" to hunt him down. Mira Sorvino, in quite possibly her sexiest role ever, is a document forger who gets caught up in the whole mess."Replacement Killers" moves so quickly that it seems to be over as soon as it gets started. In that time, we are treated to an exceptional but somewhat overly-stylized action film. The influence of John Woo's style on Fuqua is clear here. Though in some cases, it is a good thing. Chow's John Lee is not an emotionless killer. We get a glimpse into why he makes the decisions he does. Chow does a better job with the English language than most new stars from overseas do. He's no Jackie Chan. Sorvino for the most part doesn't have much to do here. She does make for some nice eye candy but her role isn't much defined. Overall, "Killers" could stand to have been at least a few minutes longer. The overwhelming musical score from Harry Gregson Williams is excellent and helps magnify the mood of the film. Chow Yun-Fat fans will no doubt want to see this over and over again as he really gets to shine here. In closing, it is a real crowd-pleaser."