133 user 91 critic

The Corruptor (1999)

With the aid from a New York City policeman, a top immigrant cop tries to stop drug-trafficking and corruption by immigrant Chinese Triads, but things get complicated when the Triads try to bribe the policeman.



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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Chen (as Chow Yun-Fat)
Henry Lee
Willy Ung
Elizabeth Lindsey ...
Louise Deng
Bill MacDonald ...
Vince Kirkpatrick
Susie Trinh ...
Amy San
Black Eyes
Lynda Chiu ...


Nick Chen is one of New York City's most martial police officers and the first Chinese-born immigrant on the force. Chen's job is to keep the peace in Chinatown from a turf war that has broken out between the Triads and the ruthless, and dangerous Fukienese Dragons. Chen teams up with Danny Wallace, who is terribly unaware of this situation. When the Tongs boldly attempt to bribe Wallace, Chen is forced to keep his faithfulness. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No law. No rules. No justice. [translation Dutch tagline] See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 March 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le corrupteur  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,765,300 (USA) (12 March 1999)


$15,156,200 (USA) (14 May 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


(DeLuxe) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The close-ups of Chow Yun-Fat shooting a criminal at point blank range with a small revolver (as in the opening, and massage parlor raids), were directly inspired by the famous photograph of a Vietnamese soldier committing an execution. See more »


The NYPD does not issue Beretta 9 series pistols in any capacity to NYPD officers (detectives, plainclothes). The NYPD also does not issue shotguns to non-tactical units, such as detective squads or patrol. See more »


Nick Chen: Do it wrong... and I go out of my way to bury you!
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Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


The Best Is Yet to Come
Written by Cy Coleman & Carolyn Leigh
Performed by Frank Sinatra and Count Basie and His Orchestra (as (Count Basie & His Orchestra)
Courtesy of Reprise Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

Underrated With A Great Performance
20 September 2015 | by (Sword Of The Protector) – See all my reviews

Spoilers Ahead:

Yes, I know critics, it has Wahlberg but Foley has him on a leash here. If you notice, unlike The Departed, where he went wild and ran the movie over, here he has limited dialog which is a good thing. Everyone says Replacement Killers is better, I disagree, Fat gives a much more complex, multi-layered performance here. He portrays his mixed loyalties to Uncle Benny, the police department and his growing father like affection for Danny very well. The script itself is much more complex than Fuqua's action fest. I own that movie also but this one follows Danny into the ambivalencies of going undercover to check out Fat which is complicated by his growing friendship with him and his father's gambling debts which suck him into the grasp of the Tongs and Henry Lee, well played by Ric Young. This is a very intense well written piece of work that bombed frankly because Wahlberg has a bit of a negative reputation. Please, The Happening? where he tried to play a scientist? Whose idea was that? Here, he is very much subdued and under control; Foley wisely limits his dialog there are no long spiels where he displays the limitations of his acting range. The loyalties get all mixed up as Danny gets deeper and deeper plus Lee starts manipulating him by using his wish to help people as a oar to steer him into trouble with.

Fat will shock you with how well he does here. I am one of the few people who loved his performance in Anna And The King. My favorite scene is after this cop flips him crap, he pops his mouth with his finger and displays it in a circle with a sneering smile. The man is such a gifted actor. Imagine the Curse Of The Golden Flower without him? The characters are drawn well full of dichotomous feelings, light and dark, like all human beings. As corrupt as Fat is, he still is helping a prostitute that Henry Lee has slaving for him. These are not all good or all bad cartoon characters like many action movies. I really cannot understand the low IMDb rating except for people who detest Wahlberg. It certainly cannot be Fat's performance which I consider to be his best in an American film. The film's intensity begins from the first frame with Bobby Vu, the leader of the Fuchinese Dragons, blowing up a store and shooting the poor burning guy coming out.

As we discover as the movie progresses, Lee is doing a behind the scenes mission to usurp control over the Tong from aged Uncle Benny. Fat feeds him information hoping to keep him away from Danny but good luck, Lee wants a white cop inside the precinct. The movie builds to the showdown where Fat has to decide whether to kill Danny when Lee discovers he is internal affairs. I admired the lack of a clichéd story with the stupid, happy ending. Foley makes a very different film even Danny's father is corrupt. There are no pure good or evil characters only the complex people you find in real life. Do not believe the above rating, this is an excellent movie. I own some of Fat's Chinese performances but this was his best role in English. A Hidden Treasure.

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