Romeo Must Die

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Romeo Must Die ★★½ 2000 (R)

Romance is decidedly secondary to action in this kung fu/hip hop hybrid. After an overextended (but flashy) credits sequence, the story kicks in. Black crime lord Isaak O'Day (a magnetic Lindo) and Asian crime boss Ch'u Sing (O) are maintaining an uneasy truce in order to do a megabusiness deal. Then Sing's useless younger son is killed and soon O'Day's son bites the dust as well. Into the mix springs good guy/excop Han Sing (Li), who's out to avenge his brother's death, and lovely Trish O'Day (Aaliyah), who wants the same for her brother. (This is the chastest romantic pairing in modern movies.) The action sequences are frequent and frequently amazing and Li has minimal English dialogue to worry about. The supporting players, including Wong and Washington, are also solidly watchable. There's also humor, including Li's introduction to touch football. 115m/C VHS, DVD, UMD . Jet Li, Aaliyah, Delroy Lindo, Henry O, Isaiah Washington IV, Russell Wong, DMX, DB Woodside, Edoardo Ballerini, Anthony Anderson, Jon Kit Lee, Francoise Yip; D: Andrzej Bartkowiak; W: Eric Bernt, John Jarrell; C: Glen MacPherson; M: Stanley Clarke, Timbaland.