7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Jet Li breaks the laws of gravity again!,
This review is from: Romeo Must Die [DVD]  (DVD)
Romeo Must Die was Jet Li's 2nd American film as he was previously seen in Lethal Weapon 4, playing a villain. But in RMD he is playing the lead role as 'Han Sing' a former police officer in jail in Hong Kong after helping his Brother & Father escape from the law. While in jail, Han hears his Brother has been murdered in America and decides he must escape to investigate his death....
RMD isn't a bad film, but it didn't live up to my expectations that I have come to expect from a Jet Li movie. The problem is the story is predictable and shallow at times, its does however move along at a nice pace and will interest you until the end. The film's name is kind of misleading as it only shares really one similarity with Shakespeare's play (two people form a relationship that both families oppose)
Directed by former Cinematographer Andrzej Bartkowiak, the film has a hip & stylish feel to it. The fight scenes, choreographed by Hong Kong action master Corey Yeun, are all nicely done quite glossy in some cases with its neat camera angles and visual effects (x-ray sight). While the action is ultimately satisfying, they are somewhat spoiled by the OTT use of wirework. It may be fine for such films like 'Matrix' or 'Once upon a time in China', but for a modern urban setting with no explanation on how Li can do his impossible kicks?
On the acting side, Li plays his character (Han Sing) well enough, but being that RMD was then his first full english speaking film as the lead, he doesn't say much, short sentences and a couple of words at any one time. But he does oozes charm whenever he is on screen. R'n'B star Aaliyah (who sadly die in a plane crash 2 years after RMD was filmed) made her then movie debut in it as Li's love interest and does a decent job playing 'Trish O'Day'. While the two leads don't actually kiss in the film, they do have genuine chemistry whenever there both on screen. There's good support from Isaiah Washington, Anthony Anderson and Delroy Lindo. Rap star DMX also makes an apperance in a small role.
To my surprise the lovely Francoise Yip, most famous for starring in Jackie Chan film 'Rumble in the Bronx' and Jet Li's 'Black Mask' makes a brief apperance as the 'biker babe' who fights against Li & Aaliyah.
Overall RMD has more highs then lows and so its worth a look for anybody who enjoys a glossy action film. If you loved RMD and want more of the same, watch 'Cradle 2 the Grave' which was release in the cinema earlier this year (2003). You could also try Jet Li's older Hong Kong stuff like the stunning 'Fist of Legend', most of them are much superior to his current US films in my opinon.