The Replacement Killers

Bomb Rating: 

The story is about as complex as the directions on a can of soup: Open can. Pour in gangsters. Heat.

I suppose Antoine Fuqua (who did Coolio's video "Gangsta's Paradise") directed this film by himself, but if John Woo stuck his arm up Fuqua's ass and move him around like a puppet for six months, Fuqua would produce exactly the same film.

Perhaps Fuqua would like us to be nice to him and assume that his Chinese gangster film starring Chow Yun-Fat is an homage to Woo, and not a blatant copy intended to milk every last ounce of name recognition possible. However, he sucks out our last bit of appreciation for originality like a fat guy with an exposed butt crack vacuuming the last sticky detritus from the floor of a dirty van. Yun-Fat stars. Woo executive produces. Sounds to me like a big, expensive bit of ass-kissing.

"The Replacement Killers" has two glaring problems: The first is that the story is about as complex as the directions on a can of soup: Open can. Pour in gangsters. Heat. John Lee (Yun-Fat) decides not to kill the son of a cop (Michael Rooker) and must deal with the consequences, which involve running away from bad guys with Mira Sorvino in tow. This wouldn't be all bad if Mira didn't run as if the lower half of her body were purchased at Hugh M. Woods. It's freaky. It's like that girl in fourth grade everyone avoided on field day because we all thought her lack of coordination might be contagious.

The second problem with the film is Fuqua's direction, which is over-the-top stylistic when it comes to scenes that don't matter -- like Lee turning to see who's at the door -- and incomprehensible when the action gets going and some of us aspire to actually see what's happening. Hey, here's an idea: How about not editing these films on cocaine so those of us with normal ocular function can make out who's shooting whom?

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