Romeo Must Die

Year: 2000
Production Co: Silver Pictures
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Producer: Joel Silver
Writer: Mitchell Kapner/Eric Bernt/John Jarrell
Cast: Jet Li, Aaliyah, Isiah Washington, DMX, Delroy Lindo, Anthony Anderson
The first of Joel Silver's self-styled 'hip urban action trilogy' directed by former DoP Bartkowiak.

The Internet Movie Database plot rundown reads thus; 'An avenging cop seeks out his brother's killer and falls for the daughter of a businessman who is involved in a money-deal with his father.'

It could be a bad daytime soap opera episode, but with trash-talking Silver, star Li's blank stare and martial artist prowess and Yuen Wo Ping-style stunt work (he wouldn't join the unofficial franchise until later) it's made hip, urban and cool as promised.

Like a dish you get at a funky restaurant fusing Asian and Cajun the tone, music and attitude lifts all the most photogenic bits from both urban gangsta and Asian culture and it's a massive victory of style over substance. If you see it for the story rather than the effects-heavy fights, you deserve to be disappointed.

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