In The Corruptor, rookie New York cop Danny Wallace gets assigned to the Chinatown section. It soon looks like he is in way over his head. He's the only Caucasian in a formerly all Chinese unit, and his fellow cops don't want him around. This includes his partner, Nick Chen. There is enough crime and violence in a single day in Chinatown to fill an entire season of the TV series Law and Order. Wallace doesn't have long to prove his worth in this sea of criminals and gang lords movie, but reality is utterly disregarded. Midway though The Corruptor, something dawned on me. The action isn't supposed to reflect reality. What has happened over the last two decades is that one of the greatest and purely American genres, the Western, went out of fashion. You couldn't pay the public to see one. Yet the power of the Western as an idea remained, and it reappeared in the form of these modern cops and robbers movies. So, when the bad guys are chased in their vehicles by the good guys, it's no different from when the outlaw gang rode into town. Shots would be fired, and it was up to the citizens to take cover. There were no rights to be read, no one to keep the law officers in line. People dropped like flies in those old Westerns. The differences were that fake blood didn't fly from their bodies, and the sound of the gunfire didn't explode in Dolby digital sound. From now on, I will tell myself that I am watching a 21st Century Western.
Mark Wahlberg and Yun-Fat Chow really do try their best to be professional throughout the movie, although they throw each other some knowing glances that probably have nothing to do with the script.