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Reviewer: Fultoo

Romeo Must Die

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Cast: Jet Li, Russell Wong, Aaliyah, Isaiah Washington, and Delroy Lindo
Fultoo's Rating : 1/5


A totally insipid, clichéd and wastefully convoluted subplots within subplots sprinkled with technically overdone kicks and fists are what all for which Romeo Must Die. Cry. Its not even a gang war depicted convincingly, no disturbances if the upright boy and the upright girl of the warring gangs fall in love, and on top of it you are made to believe that a cop in Honkong who is imprisoned (now don't ask for what) coolly manages to escape to New York bothering not even a single responsible molecule during his expedition.

Honestly, for how long will we keep on bearing the one-man army syndrome of the Hollywood? If a solitary man no matter how much blessed he is, grounds six people to paralysis in one flying kick (hick), if tons of bullets showered on him fail hopelessly to even scratch pass his habiliment, well then I really feel sad for the cops. A better idea could be to pack off the police departments and invest in cloning technology to produce at least one Romeo for every continent.

And it's enough for the technically overdone stunts to cover up a spineless plot. The fascinating action can only act as an icing to a neatly baked storyline than using it as the only ingredient. The Matrix from the same producer had a substantial theme, though fuzzy but certainly credible. And when presented with that kind of action, it elevates to the category of classics.

For the story, the lesser said the better with not even a quarter baked love story (one might argue that its not the main story, but then you don't have anything else either), Chinese and Blacks gangs at loggerheads who are touted as not caring a whiff for the law, (You hardly see any cop in the movie leave aside the hapless Honkong ones who get a beating from Han (Jet Li) while he escapes the torture cell. Probably that's the indication from the director). Han's brother is killed in the fracas making Han to unleash his fist and kick on the perpetrators. Believe it or die, this is the story of Romeo Must Die.

Jet Li's American debut is nothing more than wooden. The computer and the strings are enough for anyone to perform all the feats he is depicted to be performing and all that in the name of martial arts. Also the cinematographer of Lethal Weapon makes his directorial debut with this film and so does singer Aaliyah as the upright daughter of the black gang lord Isaak (Delroy Lindo). Even decent performances from these actors cannot uplift the film from one more clichéd, indigestible action movies from Hollywood.

Rating: * (Poor)

Reviewed by Fultoo >>>
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