Replacement Killers

The Replacement Killers

Chow Yun-Fat

Columbia, 1998, 88 min.

Stars: Chow Yun-Fat ("John Lee"), Mira Sorvino ("Meg Coburn"), Michael Rooker ("Zedkov"), Kenneth Tsang ("Terence Wei")
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Producers: Matthew Baer, Bernie Brillstein, Terence Chang, Christopher Godsick, Brad Grey, Michael McDonnell and John Woo
Writer: Ken Sanzel
Cinematographer: Peter Collister
Editor: Jay Cassidy

Available on video (full frame) from Columbia

Available on DVD from Columbia - a review can be found here

To go to the official The Replacement Killers site, click here

Click here to see a trailer (8.7 meg .mov clip)

Thanks to JoBlo's Trailers for the clip

Chow Yun-Fat and Mira Sorvino

"Kill or be replaced."

John Lee (Chow) is a cold-blooded hitman whose refusal to kill a child puts him at the top of crime boss Terence Wei's (Tsang) hitlist. Enlisting the aid of a skilled forger (Sorvino), John must try and stop Terence before he kills John's family.

Okay, let's admit, we've all seen this "killer with a conscience" plot many times before, so the burning question is how well is it done? Well, it's actually pretty good. Though I didn't really like the film the first time I saw it, on repeated viewings, it does tend to grow on you... though first-time director Fuqua is no John Woo. He uses all of the elements compentently and the film has a nice visual style, but the action sequences are edited horribly. They're cut up much too fast (all the gunfights look like a music video) and we can never really linger on one element. Another sticky point is Mira Sorvino; for an Oscar winner, she delivers her lines so stiffly it's almost like she's making fun of Chow's speaking style (by the way, Chow's English is pretty good) and while she looks good running around with her shirt open, she really isn't that convincing as an action star. All in all, though, The Replacement Killers is an above-average action movie and a nice US debut for Chow Yun-Fat.


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