The Replacement Killers
The Replacement Killers ★★½ 1998 (R)
Hong Kong action star Chow Yun-Fat makes his American debut in this somewhat disappointing first feature from director Antoine Fuqua. Chow stars as John Lee, an assassin working for crime boss Mr. Wei (Tsang). When Lee decides not to carry out a hit on a cop's (Rooker) son, he becomes the target of the men sent to replace him. Needing a passport to get back to China, Lee goes to forger Meg Coburn (Sorvino). Before she can finish the papers, Wei's men begin the first of many high body count gun battles. Fuqua, who was heavily influenced by John Woo (one of the film's exec producers), does a passable job of conveying the style of Chow and Woo's Hong Kong work, but doesn't leave much room for the substance. Chow's sublety and charisma are crammed into a mechanical action plot, and only his talent saves the whole thing from imploding. 86m/C VHS, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, UMD . Chow Yun-Fat, Mira Sorvino, Michael Rooker, Kenneth Tsang, Jurgen Prochnow, Danny Trejo, Til Schweiger, Clifton (Gonzalez) Collins Jr., Carlos Gomez, Frank Medrano; D: Antoine Fuqua; W: Ken Sanzel; C: Peter Lyons Collister; M: Harry Gregson-Williams.