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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.32%
Worth A Look: 9.76%
Average: 29.27%
Pretty Bad48.78%
Total Crap: 4.88%

3 reviews, 23 user ratings

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Corruptor, The
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by Ryan Arthur

"Better than The Replacement Killers. But still crappy."
2 stars

Messy. Uneven. And not that great.

I soooooo wanted to enjoy this film. Alas. It wasn't meant to be.

Nick Chen (Chow Yun-Fat) is a Chinatown cop. He's decorated, but he's also on the take, as most people in Chinatown are believed to be (at least, that's how it's played in this movie). He's caught in the middle of a gang war between a group of young Asian thugs and the older, more established Asian mob, run by Uncle Benny (Kim Chan, the exact same actor who played the exact same role with the exact same character name in Lethal Weapon 4). Chen may also be getting played by Henry Lee (Ric Young), a Chinatown businessman who is the corruptor of the title.

In comes whitebread Danny Wallace (Mark Wahlberg), who says he's there to learn from the best.

Stop for just a second.

We now have entered movie formula territory. We'll have a buddy cop movie from here on out, where Danny and Nick won't get along at first, until Danny proves himself and earns Nick's respect. We'll have a fish out of water tale, as Danny adjusts to being the only white guy in his unit. And because he's the only white guy in a group full of Asians, we'll also realize he's hiding a secret, a secret that's obvious if you're a fan of cop films.

(spoiler ahoy)
Internal Affairs.
(end spoilers)

So now we just roll through the motions to the inevitable conclusions. Ho hum.

Chow Yun-Fat is, of course, electric. He's the reason the flick gets two stars instead of just one. Wahlberg is adequate, although he seems ill at ease with the action star vehicle.

Director James Foley, who also directed Glengarry Glen Ross and After Dark, My Sweet (character and human behavior driven movies) is out of his league. He can't frame or shoot an action sequence worth a damn. A gun battle in a lamp store (!) is poorly lit even before the guns start blazing.

It's a lamp store! A LAMP STORE! Even when those places are closed, every light in the place is on!

A car chase/gun battle seems to have been shot and edited by Michael Bay (some might say that's a good thing. I won't). It's all cut-cut-cut, and there's not enough time to register what's going on or to follow the action. You're never sure exactly what's happening.

There's the prerequisites for Americanized Hong Kong movies: low angle shots, two fisted gunplay and a weird whooshing sound when one scene cuts to the next, and lord did that get annoying.

And don't get me started on the soundtrack.

A disappointment, to be sure. If it's Chow Yun-Fat you want, rent The Killer or Hard Boiled. If it's Marky Mark you want, rent Boogie Nights. But this movie is one to avoid.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 03/27/99 03:18:23
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User Comments

3/03/11 chris c Moral cop story, in somewhat style of Cop land but fascinating with its moral questions 4 stars
3/17/04 Cindy Sanoguet I love Jon Kit Lee 5 stars
12/31/02 Jack Sommersby Splendidly crafted, but script is mediocre and Wahlberg is pallid. 2 stars
7/31/02 KMG It was so fucking boring my VCR ACTUALLY ATE THE TAPE! 2 stars
6/19/02 LyonHeart44 Chow is always worth watching, and gets an extra half-star...pity the movie really wasn't. 3 stars
6/03/02 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne A "what were they thinking" misfire all around. Lame and boring. Stars wasted. 2 stars
4/12/02 Dina Anything with Mark Wahlberg is a pretty decent movie, he's a good actor. I liked the movie 4 stars
9/20/00 Terrie Smith Run-of-the-mill action stuff; has potential but doesn't offer anything different. 3 stars
7/20/00 Monday Morning Not "Just Average"...this was "Unbelievably Average". Mark musta lost a bet. 3 stars
5/10/99 Hans Hadinata This is a pretty good movie 4 stars
5/07/99 Diptherio Chew young fat is nasty 5 stars
4/16/99 lucas jackson it was so shitty compared to fats old movies fuck it sucked 2 stars
4/15/99 Jon Jackson Ryan A's review said it all 2 stars
4/07/99 agustin kinda boring for CYF but it gave asian actresses to portray more whores 3 stars
4/02/99 The Incredible Sulk How disappointing. 2 stars
4/01/99 Ah Dooey Awfully bad movie. 2 stars
3/29/99 jvt As a Chow Yun Fat fan, this movie was just painful to watch 1 stars
3/28/99 HeatherLadyBug Looks like Marky is going to have to put his fake schlong back on 2 stars
3/23/99 Bobby Luv This is movie is worth a look just to soak up the instincts of Chow Yun-Fat 4 stars
3/21/99 Daddy Rich Good action scenes. Other than that, just average. 3 stars
3/17/99 Mr Showbiz Neither Chow Yun-Fat nor Wahlberg can bring any zip to this rote cop thriller. An $8 nap. 1 stars
3/13/99 The Dude Fucking great movie---It rocks 5 stars
1/25/99 Dark Horizons I have not seen this much violence in a movie ever. Overly violent to a laughable point. 3 stars
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  12-Mar-1999 (R)

  21-May-1999 (18)

  06-May-1999 (MA)

Directed by
  James Foley

Written by
  Robert Pucci

  Chow Yun-Fat
  Mark Wahlberg
  Ric Young
  Jon Kit Lee
  Andrew Pang
  Elizabeth Lindsey
  Brian Cox

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