With personal crises and age weighing in on them, LAPD officers Riggs and Murtaugh must contend with deadly Chinese triads that are trying to free their former leaders out of prison and onto American soil.
In this modern day Romeo and Juliet, kung fu action star Jet Li plays Romeo to hip-hop singer, Aaliyah Haughton's Juliet. Li is an ex-cop investigating the murder of his brother, who had ties with the Chinese mafia in America. Aaliyah plays the daughter of the American mob boss. Neither side approves of their romance, so, obviously, kung fu action ensues, with a soundtrack by Aaliyah. Written by
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Somebody's Gonna Die
Written by Robert Mays, Irv Gotti, Dave Bing and Lil' Mo (as Cynthia Loving)
Produced by Little Rob and Irv Gotti
Performed by Dave Bing featuring Lil' Mo
Lil' Mo appears courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group Inc.
Dave Bing appears courtesy of Blackground Records See more »
ROMEO MUST DIE is one of those rare films which, while not particularly good for its genre, is surprisingly good for other reasons. Most of the black characters, even the villians, are sympathetically portrayed, even though the hero is Asian. Aaliyah is wholesomely sexy and quite beautiful. Russell Wong is phenomenal is a very short role. This guy has the looks, style, and presence of Russell Crowe. Jet Li, however, is very humane and appealing, though his character is underwritten. Most of the asian characters are shortchanged dramatically. However the white (primarily Jewish) characters are shortchanged the most. They receive the brunt of the ugly stereotyping. The kung-fu sequences are nothing special. They are too fast and too confusing to be completely effective. Though neat, the Xray effect detracted from the "realism," sort of like the old split screen and slo-mo effects of the 1960s films. Bone-crunching is far more effective; and, would someone please dispense with this "flying" nonsense? I don't want to see anything up there or the screen that is not physically possible. Special note must be made of Francoise Yip, the Female bike / fighter. If Ms. Yip did all her own stunts, she's not only stunningly beautiful, she is also awesome. One quibble, which I feel follows a disturbing pattern in motion pictures. Though Jet Li and Aaliyah are quite obviously in love at the close of the film, they never kiss. In a film which shows two beautiful asian dances french kiss, and one bares the other's breast and kisses her erect nipple,would it have been too much to ask to have to people of different races who are obviously in love share a romantic kiss?
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