The Replacement Killers teams an unlikely pair, Hong Kong action legend Chow Yun-Fat, and Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, in an action filled adventure, featuring multiple gunfights, heavy property damage, and minimal dialog. The two work surprisingly very well together. Sorvino, who continues to choose some interesting roles since winning her award, gives a credible performance as Meg Coburn. After "Mimic", we knew she was no powder puff, now we know she can be a gunslinger, and look darn good doing so.
In his American movie debut, Yun-Fat is John Lee, taciturn, and restrained, exploding into action when necessary. He is a hit man who fails to complete his assignment. His Chinese employer, Terence Wei, is understandably upset, and orders that he be terminated. Seeking to return to China to protect his family from Wei's wrath, Lee is in need of a passport, and Meg is an expert at creating the false documents he needs. Once they get together, it's not long before the bullets start to fly. And the action almost never stops, with Mira right in the middle, more than holding her own with the heavy hitters. She's street tough, and never panics.
Sure, the plot has a few glitches. But who cares? We're here for the well-crafted action sequences, and that's what is served up in Antione Fuqua's directorial debut. Fuqua highlights Yun-Fat's smooth and graceful moves, as he spins, twists, dives, and of course, shoots his way across the screen. The final battle is a bit cliché, but not as over done as it could have been.
The Replacement Killers could have had a more appropriate title, but no matter what the name, if you're seeking a short, tight, action-packed shoot em up, look no further.