The Replacement Killers

The Replacement Killers

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The Replacement Killers

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For his Hollywood debut, Hong Kong action star Chow Yun-Fat plays a conscience-stricken contract killer who, after refusing to perform a hit on grizzled cop Michael Rooker's young son, must team with Mira Sorvino's midriff to escape the police and the Chinese mob. Simply bringing the charismatic Chow to America is itself commendable, and the transplantation and language barrier—during long stretches, The Replacement Killers may as well be a silent film—haven't dimmed his star power. Let's hope Chow's next film is better than this one. Director Antoine Fuqua, best known as the man behind Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" video, knows how to light a scene beautifully, but little else. The action, generally announced by swelling techno music, comes off as sub-typical Hong Kong stuff run through a Van Damme/Jeff Speakman filter. Grungily glammed-up Sorvino is sadly miscast in a spunky-girl-genius role that seems better suited to Natalie Portman or Juliette Lewis. And the film's attempts to portray the gritty urban underbelly look more like something out of a Punisher comic book. Chow has a future in a America if given better material with which to work; here, he's wasted in a movie that's forgotten 20 minutes after the credits roll.

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