After seeing Romeo Must Die, you’ll be kicking yourself for quitting karate classes after the first week. I almost forgot how cool martial arts were, especially after suffering through years of Jackie Chan and Van Damme. Romeo Must Die has some of the most amazingly choreographed fight scenes I’ve ever seen. Jet Li’s bandwagon is taking off now, so you’d better get on!
It doesn’t take until the second act for you to discover who’s stabbing who, where, and why. Romeo Must Die doesn’t have a deep plot and it doesn’t try to make you think. This movie is about raw entertainment. Period.
Jet Li plays Han Sung, an escaped prisoner who leaves Hong Kong for America to avenge his brother’s death. The basic premise is a business gang rivalry that gets personal. Trish (Aaliyah) is the daughter of the head of the O’Day family. Han’s father is the head of the Triad family. It’s two families looking to finish each other off for bigger returns down the road.
It’s not the conversations that will have you looking to see this film again and again; it’s the fight scenes. Han’s jailbreak scene is amazing. Jet Li is a one-man army. Occasionally you do see the internal damage Li lays down on his victims through an innovative animation. Bravo to Director Joel Silver for these scenes. Though unnecessary, they do add a whole new level to the fighting.
There are a few things you will also note about this movie. Aaliyah is a really good actress. If you’re going just to see DMX, you’re wasting your time since he shows up for about two minutes total.
Since the passing of Bruce Lee, we’ve been looking for another star to fill those lofty shoes. Jet Li just might be the man for the job.
+ charlie craine