The Replacement Killers (1998)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  6 February 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 22,731 users   Metascore: 42/100
Reviews: 162 user | 102 critic | 22 from

Failing to kill anymore because of his conscience, a troubled hit-man seeks aid from a forger to help him get papers to China. However, the drug-lord has hired replacements to finish the job and kill the hit-man.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Lee (as Chow Yun-Fat)
Michael Kogan (as Jurgen Prochnow)
Loco (as Clifton Gonzalez Gonzalez)
Hunt (as Carlos Gomez)
Alan Chan
Andrew J. Marton ...
Sydney Coberly ...


John Lee is the best hitman money can buy. But when John refuses to kill because of the seven year-old son of his target, John's bosses send someone after John to kill him and then take his place in the ring of hitmen. John then teams up with Meg Coburn to help him escape these "Replacement Killers." Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Conscience has no place in the heart of an assassin. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

6 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesinos sustitutos  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,200,000 (Non-US) (23 January 1998)


£359,183 (UK) (19 June 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During production, Columbia Pictures felt that Antoine Fuqua was struggling to deliver suitable material and ordered a studio exec to be present during most of the filming to ensure that their money was being well spent. This angered Fuqua and made things tense between him and Columbia. 'Debra Hill' (II), a veteran producer, was called in by Columbia to cool things down. Lead actor Yun-Fat Chow stood by Fuqua the whole time and told the producers to trust him and his vision. The troubles didn't end after the production wrapped. When Fuqua delivered his initial cut, Columbia began testing the film. Test audiences struggled with the notion of a less than pure hero and the bi-racial relationship between Yun-Fat Chow and Mira Sorvino. They also had issues with most of the other characters back stories, so Columbia called in action editor 'Richard Francis Bruce' to tighten up the film. All romantic elements between Yun-Fat and Sorvino were removed, along with most of the characters' motivations. See more »


The MP5k and the Beretta PM-12S that the 'Replacements' use fire continuously for long periods (or in bursts many, many times). An MP5 will empty its 30-round magazine in 2.3 seconds on full-automatic fire. See more »


Meg Coburn: [Holding gun to John's head] Now what the fuck did you get me into with Terence Wei?
John Lee: He's my patron.
Meg Coburn: Patron?
John Lee: He made it possible for me to come here.
Meg Coburn: What does he, sponsor you to play the violin?
John Lee: exchange for... services.
Meg Coburn: What a nice way of saying you kill people.
See more »


Referenced in Numb3rs: The Fifth Man (2009) See more »


Escape From The City Of Angels
Written by Darrin Pappas and Pedro Passos
Performed by Ithaka
Courtesy of BCB Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This is superb Hong Kong action stuff !!!
21 December 1999 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

Wow, this movie just blew me away !!! I am a fan of the John Woo type of action movies and I must say that even he was just one of the executive producers, his mark is all over this movie!!!

The result is very good : Nicely paced action sequences, more story and emotions than in your average Hong Kong action movie (But not as much story development as in an American production, but in this genre this just isn't needed that much, it would just slow down the pace), well acted , you kinda start feeling sympathetic for the leads and you'll certainly hate these villains. This is a thrill ride from beginning till the end. And this is where I have my only point of criticism : The movie is way to short !!! 80 minutes and the credits start to roll!!! You'll almost start to beg for more... I'll best describe this movie as a cross between "Face-Off" and "The professional" from director Luc Besson. A must-see for every action movie lover.

26 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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