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Romeo Must Die

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Romeo Must Die

Starring: Jet Li, Aaliyah
Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Rated: R
RunTime: 120 Minutes
Release Date: March 2000
Genres: Martial Arts, Action


*Also starring: Henry O, Delroy Lindo, Edoardo Ballerini, D.B. Woodside, DMX, Francoise Yip, Russell Wong, Isaiah Washington



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Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4

Despite its thin veneer of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet tragedy, this is a martial-arts adventure featuring Jet Li (Lethal Weapon 4) and recording star Aaliyah as reluctant members of the Chinese and African-American mobs who are drawn to one other despite their crime lord families' disapproval. Aimed specifically at fans of Hong Kong action pictures, the story introduces 36 year-old Jet Li as a disgraced ex-Hong Kong cop who escapes from jail to arrive in Oakland, California, in time for his younger brother's funeral and, of course, to avenge his murder. The plot that ensues is not logical yet utterly predictable. But who cares? Audiences flock to see Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-Fat, and now Asian superstar Jet Li for the fighting not the fiction. And the intricate fights are impressively staged by cinematographer-turned-director Andrzej Bartkowiak, who did the visuals for Lethal Weapon 4. One cool, computer-enhanced sequence that impressed me showed precisely what happens inside the human body when bones crack and break. But the audience seemed to respond best to a stunt in which Jet Li polishes off five opponents while hanging upside down, tied to a rope by one foot. Russell Wong, Henry O, Delroy Lindo, and Isiah Washington co-star and popular R&B singer Aaliyah makes a creditable feature-film acting debut - plus makin' music with hip hop star DMX. Credit writers Mitchell Kapner, Eric Bernt, and John Jarrell for trying to give their stock characters, bound by tradition, some background and depth. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Romeo Must Die is a violent, fast-paced 5 - but recommended for fight fans only.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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