The Replacement Killers (1998) starring Yun-Fat Chow, Mira Sorvino, Michael Rooker, Kenneth Tsang directed by Antoine Fuqua Movie Review

The Replacement Killers (1998)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Yun-Fat Chow and Mira Sorvino in The Replacement Killers (1998)

Killer on the Run

John Lee (Yun-Fat Chow) is a smooth criminal, an elite killer for hire who never fails. But John does draw the line and when he receives orders to kill the child of police officer Stan Zedkov (Michael Rooker) he refuses to complete the job. It makes Chinese mob boss Wei (Kenneth Tsang) furious who in turn hires an assassin to kill John. It is not just other killers who John has to worry about as he also has the police to contend with whilst being accompanied by Meg Colburn (Mira Sorvino) who helped him escape from one tight spot.

That took some effort. I don't mean watching "The Replacement Killers" but writing a synopsis for the movie which is more than just a single sentence. That sort of highlights the one issue that there is with "The Replacement Killers" as it is incredibly slim when it comes to the plot and what plot there is is little more than a vehicle for the action, filling in the gaps between one action scene and another or a moment of directorial style. Now in truth I don't mind this as I grew up watching the action movies of the 80s which were just as slim on plot but I must admit the older I have got the more I need more from a storyline which this doesn't offer me.

But as I said the storyline in "The Replacement Killers" is little more than a vehicle for the action and at the same time style and right from the word go director Antoine Fuqua delivers style and excitement. From the angled camera and blue light as John walks through a corridor to the way he moves through a crowded room of dancers it is beautiful. It is also violent with plenty of exciting action scenes which feature the skill of actor Yun-Fat Chow rather than the skills of a cgi expert. It is the combination of style and action which makes "The Replacement Killers" more than just one of those dumb action movies which usually get a direct to video release.

What this all boils down to is that "The Replacement Killers" is entertaining and those who just yearn for style and real action rather than CGI and heavy editing it will be push towards being exceptional. The only thing for me which lets "The Replacement Killers" down is the slimness of the plot which admittedly would not have been an issue for me 10 years ago.