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Replacement Killers, The

Reviewed By Brian McKay
Posted 09/10/02 05:37:38

"The oddest pairing since Thornton and Jolie"
3 stars (Average)

The casting of Mira Sorvino alongside of Chow Yun Fat, while certainly odd, isn't quite as unwatchable as, say, Carla Gugino blandly playing bland Jet Li's wife in "The One". But while the two almost reach a buddy-cop (though both are criminals) hero-sidekick psuedo-romantic chemistry, it gets washed away by the diluted action.

The plot, while no great shakes, is no less paper-thin or convoluted than that the average Hong Kong parabellum orgy. Chow Yun Fat is a hit man who has a fit of consciousness and refuses to kill a cop and his kid, after a contract has been placed on them by the Chinese mob. Suddenly, he's got some scab hitmen on his ass, and must get back to China before they can whack his mom and sister, who we never get to see, so we don't really give a rats ass if they get popped or not. He goes to see the most unconvincing passport forger in the history of film, played by Mira Sorvino, who runs around in tight T-shirts or with her bra hanging out, but never gives us any goddamn nudity even though she's already been nude in some other movie I saw. I figure once an actress has been nude in a film, she should be legally and contractually required to follow suit in every R-rated film she does thereafter.

When the bad guys trash Mira's passport forging lab, she goes on the run with Chow Yun. They protect the cop and his kid, shoot many bad guys along the way (Well, Chow Yun does. Mira mostly just looks cute posing with a gun, buy only shoots like one dude). Chow Yun does his usual trademark stonefaced killa routine. He doesn't talk much. He doesn't need to. Besides, did you see that movie he did with Jodie Foster? between his halting English and her abominable Brit accent, I couldn't understand a goddamn word anyone said. No, Chow Yun lets the 9-millimeters do the talking - although the action in this film, compared to his Hong Kong epics, makes him look about as talkative as a stroke victim. Still, there are a few good kills, like the patented mechanic's creeper car-wash roll-by shooting.

Drive-In Triple Feature Picks for The Replacement Killers:

A Better Tomorrow - Part one or two will suffice. Vintage Chow Yun Fat with appropriately ludicrous bloodbaths. Chow Yun's unintentionally hilarious speech about "Never disrespect the Rice!" in part 2 is worth the rental.

Summer of Sam - Mira is a smoking-hot disco ho in this movie, is in an orgy scene (I don't remember if we actually saw her nude, but still a hot scene) and then she puts the smackdown on asshole husband played by John Leguizamo.

Not as good as his Hong Kong days, but better than "The Corruptor" or that "Anna and the King" debacle. Will serve as a suitable replacement when his better films are already rented out for the weekend.

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