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THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS

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Production Notes
Three years after his last film,Peace Hotel Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun Fat returns to the big-screen with his Hollywood debut,The Replacement Killers.Director John Woo serves as executive producer to the film simply because he doesn't want American audiences think that Yun Fat has to rely on him to make a good movie despite the fact that he enjoys working with Yun Fat. Antoine Fuqua whose only other directorial credits includes Coolio's Gangsta Paradise video also made his directorial film debut with The Replacement Killers.

Storyline
Like The Killer, Chow Yun Fat once again portray a professional killer, John Lee. John Lee is a noble man who is forced into doing dirty deeds for underworld crime boss, Mr Weng because his family's fate lays on his hands. John accepts the first two assignments to assassinate some underworld thugs. Soon, John Lee receives his last job which is to assassinate a policeman's son. After failing to do his last hit, John Lee goes on a run and hopes to get to his family in China before Mr.Weng's men can reach them. In need of a legal passport, he soon met up with Meg Coburn, a document forger played by Mira Sorvino. Meg Coburn gets caught between John Lee and Mr.Weng's men and the two ends up as partners.

Review
"There's never action just for action's sake in a John Woo film". Newcomer director Antoine Fuqua broke John Woo's simple rule to film-making and the results is a rather disappointing action movie. I personally feel that this movie might have been far better under the hands of John Woo but at least he did lend his talents into action sequences (action scenes were send to Woo who was busy working on Face/Off at that time for feedbacks before edited). Good news for Woo/Chow fans is that the two will be collaborating later this year(or next year) for the action/comedy King's Ransom.The first time I saw The Replacement Killers, I didn't have much comments for the film as it was just nice to have Chow Yun Fatback on the big screen regardless of how bad the film was. Of course, after re-running the film a couple of times, I soon begin to notice the flaws in the film. The biggest flaw in The Replacement Killers lies in the fact that the film has nothing new to showcase to Chow's fans,mainly his Asian fans who are familiar with John Woo's masterpiece The Killer. Even Chow himself once said in an interview that Asian audiences will find that The Replacement Killers as "old wine in a new bottle" Meg Coburn (Mira Sorvino) is probably one of the movie's brightest spot(beside Chow) as she portrays a character that is seldom seen in John Woo movies. Most John Woo films lack of a female hero and usually focuses on male-bonding. In The Replacement Killer, the hero's partner this time turns out to be a female. Meg Coburn is one a tough-chick with serious attitude and gun-toting skills.Mira Sorvino did a great job in this film and clearly showed great chemistry with Chow Yun-Fat. However, the movie could have do with a deeper plot and a bit more originality. Director Fuqua didn't give Chow Yun Fat enough room to display his acting skills and prefer to display his cool, gun-toting side instead. The movie was often bugged with loud hip-hop music as well which didn't sound too appealing. The Replacement Killers isn't Chow's best material but it's a moderate start for the veteran actor.

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