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Romeo Must Die [Import]
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They've got the guns. They've got the posse. But they've got no chance when a street-fighting ex-cop (Jet Li) takes on both sides of a fierce Oakland turf war, involving "the wildest action scenes since The Matrix!" (Bill Bregoli, Westwood One).
Documentary: 8 Short Documentaries (26:56) Featurette: Making of Romeo Must Die (15:00) Behind the Scenes (14:03) Music Video: Aaliyah's "Try Again" video (3:40) Making of Aaliyah's "Try Again" music video (4:11) Aaliyah/DMX "Come Back In One Piece" video (3:42) Other: Inside the Visual Effects Process (3:52) "Diary of a (Legal) Mad Bomber" (5:07) "Anatomy of a Stunt" (7:12) "The Sound Stage" (1:00) Theatrical Trailer: Sampler --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I had seen Jet Li in Lethal Weapon 4 and was very impressed with his martial art techniques. I thought I'd rent "Romeo Must Die" to see how well of an actor he is, because in LW4 he doesn't really talk much. Turns out he's an excellent actor as well. The movie has a tinge of Shakespeare's famous play "Romeo & Juliet", two families fighting over property and higher status with Li and Aaliyah trying to bring peace to the out of control families. Thankfully, and unlike the tragedy itself, the heroes (Li and Aaliyah) DO NOT kill themselves at the end! There are some really intense fight sequences, especially the one at the end with Han (Li) versus Kai (Russell Wong). Some great effects going on in this movie, but like all my reviews, I'm not giving away all of the movie. This is a must see for anyone, but I don't recommend it for children under 13 because of lots of violence and language. Happy viewing everyone!
OK, let's start out by saying that Jet Li is a terrific athlete and martial artist. In this flick, some of his stunts are wired but that doesn't take away from him in the least. All the fight scenes are inventive and crisply executed. The serious scenes, like the Hong Kong jail and the final fight with Kai, are packed with action and creativity. The funny scenes, like getting away from the gang of bodyguards and the football game fight, are just the right combination of comedy, parody, and serious moves. So the fighting is great. See it for this alone.
But two other things stand out, which provide the unexpected pleasure.
First, the characters and relationships. Although the plot is a little muddy (OK other reviewers, maybe it's downright turgid!), it still makes sense and is much better than most martial arts flicks. But the plot allows for excellent character development. I was surprised at the dialog that exposed the depth of both father-son relationships... the brother-sister relationship... the betrayal by the #2 men... the black vs. Chinese gangs... the subtelties you don't pick up until the second viewing... and many good scenes. Somebody tried to put together a great script. They didn't quite suceed, but it's still pretty darn good.
Second, the love story just worked. It was not overdone, and developed slowly and believably during the film. There's no sex (unfortunately, given how great Aaliyah looks!) but there's still a tenuous initial connection growing into a subtle but effective matching of unlikely bedfellows. The Romeo and Juliet theme is not overplayed at all...Read more ›
On the flip side of that coin I have to give producer Joel Silver (Matrix, Lethal Weapon 4) credit for taking a script with a mediocre story and creating an at least entertaining film. He found one of the most experienced martial arts directors in the business, he landed the top martial arts stars in the world, and incorporated some interesting new special x-ray like effects.
With all that said, if you're a Jet Li fan and if you still can't get attached to the plot and the high wire acrobats are still too corny for you, do the film and Jet a favor and check out the DVD so you at least know what the filmmakers were attempting to do with this movie.
It was written by an american, produced by an american, and shot in america. It's not supposed to be a Chinese movie. It's merely the first stab of what I hope will become a super-action genre where true martial arts and special effects can coincide without other people trying to anchor it down by not realizing the potential for the bigger and the better.
In its opening "multiculti" dance floor sequence, idealized harmony dissipates as Asians and blacks mix it up in the club, and the crowd scatters, diverse gender, race, flamboyant wardrobes and all. A black DJ bellows, "If ya' ass ain't black, you better get outta here...!" and it's hard not to cringe in the face of this and a proliferation of other classic B-movie one-liners (In this case, the "B" in B-movie is for "Blaxploitation").
Han escapes false imprisonment in Hong Kong upon the news that his brother, who fell victim to turf wars between Asian and black gangs, is murdered. Their power play, a struggle for control of multi-million dollar properties on the Oakland waterfront, comes to Han's attention much sooner than it does to ours, the hapless audience. As the convoluted plot reveals itself, still, it's hard to feel for these characters. Nevertheless, Han flees to Oakland to avenge his brother's death and discover love by-the-numbers with Trish, the begrudging heiress to the O'Day gangster throne.
Our heroine Trish wants nothing to do with her father and brother's thug commerce. Trading blood money for clean living, owns a clothing boutique called Serpentine Fire, which doubles as a Shangri-La for neighborhood kids, and an excuse for Aaliyah's minimalist, form-fitting wardrobe.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The movie i ordered arrived a few days early and i love it !Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
My favourite Jet Li film! It's gritty, it's hip, it's sexy and most importantly, it's layered in depth. If there's anything to knock about the film it's the acting. Read morePublished 11 months ago by macfinn
I actually remember first watching Romeo Must Die back in 2000 when I was 19 years old and only a few months away from joining the United States Navy. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Stella Carrier
I didn't like it, but the person who received this as a gift liked it alotPublished 20 months ago by Kikki
This is a must see movie for anyone who likes Jet Li films! Glad to know that it was still available through Amazon!Published on May 28 2013 by Rachelle Doucet
Since coming to the US, Jet has been given a variety of akward roles. Romeo Must Die was probably his best film outside of China. Read morePublished on June 5 2004 by Taddese Zicke
Why is it that movies with Kung Fu elements never really satisfy, except of course for the Matrix and Crouching Tiger. Read morePublished on June 4 2004 by M. Buisman
I rented this movie at blockbuster and i liked it. Jet Li's martial arts was fantastic and i like the part at the store where Maurice calls Han dimsan. Read morePublished on May 23 2004 by Clarke
I like Jet Li but this movie is so faked it was impossible to get into the story. We are suppose to beleive this is the Bay Area of California but we see the Vancouver B.C. Read morePublished on April 23 2004 by Richard V. Utt
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