Urban Cinefile
"I got to play with my own fuckin' light sabre; can you imagine? "  -Ewan McGregor on playing in Star Wars - Chapter 1
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

REPLACEMENT KILLERS, THE

SYNOPSIS:
A professional assassin finds himself the target after he refuses to make a hit for a mob boss. John Lee (Chow Yun-Fat) is a renowned assassin who's hired by Mr. Wei (Kenneth Tsang) a powerful mob boss who wants LA cop Stan Zedkov (Michael Rooker) bumped off, after Zedkov killed Wei's drug dealer son in the line of duty. But Lee finds that he can't complete the job once he sees that Zedkov has a young son of his own. Thus, Lee himself becomes a target as Wei tells his right-hand man (Jurgen Prochnow) to take care of both the cop and the assassin. Hoping to quickly leave the country, Lee visits Meg Coburn (Mira Sorvino), a document forger who starts to make him a passport when Wei's men storm in and attack. Now on the run, Lee and Meg must fend off the relentless, gun-toting thugs who want to kill both of them, while preventing the murder of Zedkov's son.

"With bullets galore from all angles, Replacement Killers chalks up lots of well executed action, but little heart or tension, in this first outing from director Antoine Fuqua. Trying to emulate his success in Hong Kong, Chow Yun-Fatís first American film has plenty of action for the fans, but his English is heavily accented is at times somewhat difficult to understand. Chow is reminiscent of a gentle giant, with great screen presence - muscle with conscience: he exudes a spiritual calm, even as he is nimble by foot with a fast gun pointing in every direction. And he wears the dark shades well. (They say Quentin Tarantino borrowed his look after seeing him in one of his films.) The characters are one-dimensional - black or white - but hey, this is mindless entertainment, where youíre not supposed to think much. Mira Sorvino is effective as the street wise passport forger, who wears a symbolic razor blade around her neck, to symbolise her craft perhaps, or perhaps her razor-sharp reflexes. Sorvino hasnít really shone since her Oscar-wining role, but this one suits her better than her role in the doomed Mimic. The look of the film is terrific, but itís all on the surface, and very little emotion is expended - either in terms of drama or caring for the characters. Harry Gregson-Williamsí complex and often exciting music score works well, ranging from violin passages to rhythmic, climactic orchestrations. The ending reeks of emotional insincerity, and the film leaves the viewer less than satisfied, in spite of all the good points."
Louise Keller

"One can imagine that someone out there is trying to emulate John Woo. On this silly and over-directed piece of cinematic flatulence, Woo is an executive producer, and his stylistic influence is prevalent, in one of the most derivative films of the year. Sure there are some moments where the film making is above-average, the editing is sharp and the odd action sequence is handled with panache. But one has the faint feeling of deja-vu; it's a case of been there, done that. The film is a dark, dingy and repetitive affair, even dull for the genre. As for Hollywood's discovery of Chinese action star Chow Yun-Fat, what were they thinking? His lack of English is evident; he speaks so poorly that he's incomprehensible, and he's as wooden as they come. No wonder they gave the best dialogue (actually most of it) to Mira Sorvino, who has energy as the tough forger caught up in a series of dangerous misadventures. The film has been done to death, there's no semblance of originality, and it all adds up to tedium on an extravagant scale. The film's one shining note is that clocks in at under 90 minutes. Even that's too long for this all-style-and-no-substance piece of nonsense."
Paul Fischer

Email this article

__________________

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0
__________________

REPLACEMENT KILLERS (MA)
(US)

CAST: Chow Yun-Fat, Mira Sorvino, Michael Rooker, Jurgen Prochnow, Kenneth Tsang, Til Schweger, Danny Trejo, Clifton Gonzalez Gonzales, Randall Duk Kim

DIRECTOR: Antoine Fuqua

PRODUCER: Brad Grey, Bernie Brillstein

SCRIPT: Ken Sanzel

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Lyons Collister

EDITOR: Jay Cassidy

MUSIC: Harry Gregson-Williams

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Neomi Shohan

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 5, 1998

VIDEO RELEASES: August 9, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Col TriStar

RRP: $19.95







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017