Romeo Must Die (2000) Poster

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A good action movie!
tonymurphylee21 May 2008
jet Li rocks, and this film was great. Sure, it's silly, but it's never boring, there are some slick fight scenes, and the soundtrack is pretty neat. It manages to be a romantic film without being sappy and stupid, it manages to be an action film where the action rocks but isn't too over-the-top, and it manages to make good use of the Shakesphere story, ROMEO AND JULIET while still respecting the themes and the humor. Generally, the film is pretty silly. The acting isn't particularly good, the characters are two dimensional, the plot holes are numerous, and events are sometimes quite predictable. However, I don't regret watching it. I was entertained and was satisfied by the film as a whole. It worked really well. If you're looking for a good film that doesn't require a lot of thought and investment from the viewer but is at least entertaining and energetic, ROMERO MUST DIE is a good film to check out.
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10/10
Action with Depth.
Translucid2k411 July 2005
Not usually a fan of this type of all-out Action movie, "Romeo Must Die" knocked me off balance when I found it to be one of the best films I have ever enjoyed. Producer Joel Silver (Who also produced "The Matrix") describes the film as an "Urban rendition of Romeo and Juliet" and although this is a very simple way of looking at the film, it's not far off the mark. Like the great Shakespeare work, there are two opposing families in this film, each looking to make big commercial gains in the world of real estate development. Caught up in their lies, greed and violence are Trish O'Day (Played by Aaliyah) and Han Sing (Played by Jet Li). The story revolves around their quickly blooming relationship and the opposing families around them.

The film boasts some serious eye candy with some of the best special effects you'll see. Luckily, this is not the only good thing going for the movie as the eye candy is wonderfully supported by some fantastic performances from the cast. In her first feature movie, Aaliyah is absolutely breath taking as Trish O'Day. Showing the kind of charm and 'x' factor that few will ever have, she alone makes this film a must see. Jet Li's performance is, as always, about his skills as a martial artist but his scripted acting continues to improve. Another stand out performance for me was that of D.B. Woodside who plays Trish O'Days brother - Colin. Although not such a major role, D.B. excels in this role. High end production values mean the film has a real style and "gloss" to it and everything fits in place and the story moves along at just the right pace. In fact, "Romeo Must Die" is a shining example of how good story telling does not need to be lost in a sea of special effects and glossy American values. Jonathon Ross describes the film as "Fast, Furious, Fun", which is definitely true, but there is more to this film that the audience can take away with them. The reason the film works is that it works on two levels - storyline and action. You can enjoy both aspects and take from them what you like. This is a brilliant film and I highly recommend it.
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7/10
Superior Gangster Film; Mediocre Kung Fu Film
Bob-4521 May 2000
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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The most violent "interpretation" of Shakespeare I`ve ever seen
action-61 December 2000
"Romeo Must Die" is definetely the most violent "interpretation" of Shakespeare I`ve ever seen. Okay, interpretation is not the right word to use, but that is nevertheless what this movie at some point wants to be. I really liked Jet Li in this movie, and I`ve liked him since I first saw him in "Lethal Weapon 4" a couple of years ago. Fighting and betrayal is what "Romeo Must Die" is all about, and the fighting is very entertaining, although sometimes a bit cheesy, because some of the "Matrix-scenes", which is out of place outside the world of science-fiction. Still, "Romeo Must Die" is an actionflick you wouldn`t want to miss. It manages to be interesting enough, but the fighting is what makes it really good. 8/10
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8/10
Good...but over-the-top Chineseness
sarmoti_tiger1 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I read some not-so-great reviews about "Romeo must Die" so I really didn't have my hopes up high. I only decided to watch it because I love Jet Li. Good thing I did watch it!! It was SO cool!! Jet Li didn't disappoint - not only was his fighting as 'wow' as ever (and I know, a lot of people think too much CGI was used, compromising his true abilities. I agree with that, but you have to admit, it still looked pretty dayam good), his dramatic acting is amazing too!! However, living in Hong Kong, I DO have a few problems with the film. Firstly, it REALLY exaggerates the whole Asian thing, making it seem like we Chinese all practice Kung Fu in our backyards while drinking Oolong tea every day...which in fact, is NOT what Hong Kong people do (yes, I'm sorry if I'm shattering some dreams here - Hong Kong people do too watch television and shop and do things other than learn Kung Fu. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find one person in Hong Kong who knows martial arts Jet Li style). The Chinese people in the film all have names like "Po" and "Han" and say things like "let's show them our true strength"...I'm surprised they didn't put some phrases like "Let's summon our family's ancestral dragons" in. ALSO, I was really confused when they showed Hong Kong. It was nothing like the Hong Kong and all but one person spoke in Mandarin (most people in Hong Kong speak cantonese). I'm not sure if that bit WAS actually Hong Kong but...if you're going to say that he's in prison in Hong Kong, why choose a place which does NOT give a proper image of Hong Kong? There must've also been some confusion with Chinese and Japanese because I swear, at times, Han's (Jet Li's character) dad seems more Jap than anything...

Still, I liked the film. There wasn't enough development between Jet and Aaliyah but Jet Li still looked really cute. Jet Li really kicks something serious in the movie and so I let all the other things slide - even the idea that the Chinese guys turn out to be the bad guys and the black guys turn out to be actually...awww...really nice people. Lindo was good and Aaliyah was REALLY REALLY good. It's sad - she would have made a terrific actress and I'm happy that she did leave behind at least this movie.

Watch this movie. I just realised that my review doesn't actually sound too positive but trust me - I really did like the film. In fact, I'm going to watch it again now!
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10/10
Intrigue, suspense, action - WOW!
Gilly-Bob9 January 2001
What a movie!

This is one of those films that you simply cannot ever be bored in. At the beginning you are as much in the dark as the hero, Jet Li, and as such your understanding develops as his does. By not explaining the film the director keeps the intrigue up while at the same time thrilling us with the camera.

Jet Li is incredible in his largest role to date. He proves that not only can he kick but has some acting ability in there as well. Aaliyah is not great but fills the role nicely as Li's romantic interest. The other characters are left beautifully in the background until the necessary time when they spring to the limelight to steal the show, however briefly, from Li.

Ok so it isn't his best martial arts movie (that was probably the Legend of Fong Sai-Yuk) but his fighting is coupled with an excellent story, one that is far more elaborate than a simple Romeo and Juliet, with less of the soppy love stuff too.

For any martial arts, mystery, action, thriller, even dare I say sports (a wonderful American Football scene) film fan will love this film.

Definitely one for any video collection!
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8/10
In memory of Aaliyah
lastliberal25 September 2005
It was four years ago on August 25 that Aaliyah was tragically taken from us and the life of another great musical talent cut short. I decided to watch Romeo Must Die with Jet Li in her memory as it has a lot of her music(Come Back in One Piece", "I Don't Wanna", "Try Again" and "Are You Feelin' Me?"), and it is one great movie that I watch over and over again. DMX was also in the movie and he joined Jet Li again in Cradle 2the Grave , another movie with great action and great music. Thanks, Aaliyah, for the music you gave us.I never get tired of watching Jet Li in action and look forward to many more movies with him.
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8/10
One Of The Better Martial-Arts Movies
ccthemovieman-113 November 2006
I was surprised I enjoyed much of this since martial arts movies are okay but nothing I really get into often. Jet Li plays the only likable character in this Asians vs. Blacks gang story.

Some of the stunts were tremendous. Some were so over-the-top, so unbelievable that they were funny. The movie certainly isn't one to be taken seriously.

The wild action scenes, fairly involving story and nice colors and interesting sound track all make this movie a cut above the normal martial arts fare. The excellent surround sound and sharp picture make it a good one for DVD.
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6/10
OK movie, OK plot, OK acting...just OK.
Dangb811 March 2016
Let me start by saying I adore the late Aaliyah. For her first role, she did a pretty good job. She played the part well and this part was made for her. However, I enjoyed the soundtrack more than the movie itself. Not saying it was a horrible movie, it was just OK. I wish the fight scenes were more authentic. You could tell they were choreographed. When I watch a movie like this, I want it to look like people are really fighting each other. I also felt that Jet Li and Aaliyah lacked in the chemistry department. Sure, they look good together as friends and/or partners in crime, but nothing more and I mean nothing. Anything beyond that seemed forced. I actually felt the entire cast lacked in chemistry. There were a couple of twists that were unexpected and the plot was OK, but nothing to really knock your socks off. It is entertaining if nothing else is on TV, or if you just want to watch the beautiful Aaliyah in action. For me, it is a bit nostalgic for that reason. Also, I was still a teenager when this came out and this was the movie to watch at that time. Again, not the worst movie, but not the best. I will admit that I have probably watched this at least 5 times. Sometimes, I just can't say no because although it is not perfect, it is still entertaining.
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7/10
Enjoyable enough
henry-girling20 June 2003
There seems to be several films in this one. A story about corruption and property deals, a story about fathers and their children, a tentative Romeo and Juliet romance and of course martial arts and guns. The actors acquit themselves well. One hoped for more of Michael Wong and less of Anthony Anderson (his constant 'Dim Sum' refrain being quite irritating) but the actors act, the plot moves and the film is enjoyable enough.

Jet Li is as usual very watchable and apart from his skill at martial arts (quick and effective but always graceful) he acts OK. His cab scene with Aaliyah is charming and funny and one wanted more of that but their relationship is underdeveloped in the script. It is a pity as Aaliyah is luminous and sassy. Her untimely death in real life was a tragedy.

Not as good as 'Kiss of the Dragon' but better than 'The One' and 'Cradle 2 the Grave' but inferior to Jet Li's Hong Kong movies.
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9/10
Lethal Weapon 4 was just a starter, this movie delivers!
GOWBTW27 January 2005
For those who like cross-culture, "Romeo Must Die", show be the one for you! Jet Li who was fresh from "Leathal Weapon 4" really delivers in this action-packed movie. Playing Han was a big one for him. Aaliyah(1979-2001), the R&B sensation really got her acting chops in gear playing the alluring Trish O'Day, who is being shadowed by the bumbling Maurice, played by the hilarious, Anthony Anderson. Everybody would call him MORON! Which I think is funny.

I liked the X-ray effects of the movie whenever a fight was going to happen. I liked the part when Han refused to a fight a woman, he used Trish to fight her with. It looked more of a swing dance to me. Since Trish's words backed him up, the enemy was impaled through the heart. And after the final fight, Trish's father (Delroy Lindo), wanted to meet Han for himself, and I 'm glad he got that chance, I think it was silly for him to demand a handshake from him, but hey, he wanted to who the "cat" was, and make sure he did. Han never declined any offer only to know who was the troublemaker behind the "war". Before anyone remember seeing Aaliyah in "Queen of the Damned", check out this movie first. Rating 4 out of 5.
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4/10
My thoughts
xeslaro27 March 2000
I must say right off the bat that I was very disappointed with this movie. Jet Li is one of the most amazing fighters to ever hit the silver screen, with credentials (in martial arts, not acting) that rival the late great Bruce Lee and easily surpass Jackie Chan. He can do things with his body that I can't even do in my dreams.

Having said that, I sat through this movie wondering to myself, "Why did they feel the need to CGI enhance these fight scenes?" He can do amazing things by himself! By inexplicably making him jump 30 feet in the air while kicking in 9 directions at once, they serve only to discredit his true athletic ability. And not only did they meddle with his fighting talent, but they did it so poorly. The tampered scenes are very obvious, with more visible seams than a tailor shop. Granted, the x-ray effects were a welcome change, but that was about all this movie had to offer in terms of fresh ideas.

The plot is drawn out at great lengths, with fight scenes a little too few and far between for my tastes. Also, I felt the black gangsters were over-developed, while the asian gangsters were under-developed (Russell Wong's character is barely on the screen for 10 minutes of the movie, while Isiah Washington's incessant melodrama drowns out a good portion of the flick).

I think most of the problem comes from the over-ambitious screenplay. The premise is a good one: asian mafia versus black gangsters. However, there are two roads this premise could have taken. Either A) they could have turned it into a hardcore action pic about gang violence, with lots of guns, fighting, double crossing, etc., or B) they could have made a romantic tragedy focusing on the struggles between the two lovers because of their opposite backgrounds. This movie strives desperately to do both, but the end result is that neither aspect is fully explored, leaving a mediocre-at-best storyline for the cast to work with.

So, on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd have to give this movie about a 4. It had a lot of promise, and I was hoping to see Jet Li showcased to his full potential, but it appears that his ship has yet to come.
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9/10
Good fight scenes mixed with a "very silly" story
EasternZZ22 March 2018
+) The fight scenes are great and Jet Li is pretty much the star of this movie. The guy has always been a great "martial artist" and his fights scenes are nice. People may be put off by the many uses of wires but Jet Li has always been about putting on entertaining fight scenes as opposed to more realistic fight scenes.

+)Russel Wong is also very good and is a cool villain. He looks like an Asian James Bond in a way.

+)Aaliyah is ok too, but the best actor in this movie is Isaiah Washing, Russel Wong,Delroy Lindo, Anthony Anderson, and Henry O

+) Some of the comedy is very funny

~ The story is very silly but at the same time they take it so serious. It is about two companies who are trying to buy all the land so that they can then sell it to this guy in Canada who will then turned it into a football field for the NFL.

~The modern day "Romeo and Juliet" story is also very silly

Good movie to watch for the fight scenes. Don't expect any "Oscar" winning filming here. This is an action movie and it works.
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4/10
Not one of Jet Li's better Hollywood pictures
Leofwine_draca3 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Jet Li. I confess, I love the guy. I love seeing him in the movies, kicking backside and doing all of his magical kung fu stuff. Now that previous box office winners like Van Damme and Seagal are sitting helplessly on the STV racks, Jet Li is the only persistent martial artist out there giving his fans the kind of films they want to see. But his Hollywood career (and let us remember he is only in his third year of it) has been somewhat choppy. Li seems to alternate between making good and bad films on rota. His debut was as the baddie in LETHAL WEAPON 4, which despite entirely negative reviews was a film I really enjoyed due to the well-staged action and stunt sequences. Next was ROMEO MUST DIE, his first "heroic" role but one I missed out on. Then Li made KISS OF THE DRAGON, which is by far my favourite film of his, an authentic and hard-hitting kung-fu flick, an action film like they used to make in the old days. Then recently he came up with THE ONE which was another letdown.

Sadly ROMEO MUST DIE falls into the pattern as one of the misses rather than the hits and my recent viewing substantiates this. Basically, the plot is a spin on the age-old Shakespeare romantic tragedy, except this time the gangs are Chinese and black, to give it a modern multi-cultural appeal. Ignore the Chinese aspect of the story, which is played down majorly, as instead this is more of a modern urban black story of street violence and, like Seagal's EXIT WOUNDS, consists of large black men making unfunny jokes and unappealing R&B music playing over lots of expository sequences. The would-be coolness of the production is a long way from those classic days of '70s blaxploitation and instead this feels like a watered down version that has lost its bite.

Unfortunately the film never seems to know what kind of a movie it wants to be. Despite the title and Shakespeare connections, it never works out as a romance as Li and Aaliyah never even get to kiss. The martial arts stuff is kept to a basic minimum and tends to be ruined by some godawful CGI effects which make Li do impossible manoeuvres in the air like kicking nine people and then jumping up again, spinning around and kicking another five. Plus, many of the fights are supposed to be "funny" (examine the appalling football-fight), leaving us with a string of half-hearted action sequences which fail to engage the blood rush an adrenaline junkie hopes for. At least Li got back to basics with KISS OF THE DRAGON, which offered straightforward fighting and hardcore violence to the max.

The acting isn't bad, but it's just that the various roles are rather uninteresting. Some – like Isaiah Washington's villain – are over-simplified no end, whilst others like Delroy Lindo's shady gangster are just too complicated so you never really know which side they're on. Li isn't bad as the hero, but he feels a bit awkward in places, something which he has happily cleared up in more recent ventures. Aaliyah is also surprisingly good in her film debut, although not quite Oscar worthy. Lindo, as always, puts in an excellent supporting role. One aspect the film does have in its favour are the violent X-ray images, where Li hits an opponent and we get to see the various bones breaking on the skeleton, although thirty seconds of the harder stuff has once more been excised by the worthless censors that our country employs. So overall I would skip this eventual disappointment and instead seek out the next movie of Li's Hollywood career.
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8/10
Good action film with awesome martial arts sequences!
OllieSuave-00720 September 2015
This is a pretty intriguing and action-packed movie starring Jet Li in one of his first Hollywood appearances. His plays former Chinese cop Han Sing who breaks out of prison after hearing of his brother's murder in Oakland. When he gets there, he gets entangled in a money scheme plot involving two rival families, where the daughter of a crime lord, Trish O'Day (Aaliyah), is also caught in the middle.

It's almost like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet, but with Han and Trish caught in the chaos and them helping each other to stop the war and bring the criminals to justice. What resulted were some awesome martial arts sequences courtesy of Jet Li; seeing him grapple with the gang members left and right were both great and funny, especially him throwing around Anthony Anderson. The humor in the movie was also pretty top-notch and gave me some chuckles, but the acting was a bit average to me and the hip-hop soundtrack was pretty awful. However, Jet Li and Aaliyah had some great chemistry together; in her first motion picture, Aaliyah delivered a pretty witty and dramatic performance.

Overall, it's a good action film with a well-paced plot.

Grade B
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10/10
humor drama action suspense
gg_sithole10 October 2006
This was by far, one of the best movies I've seen.Even if action movies are not your scene,this one is guaranteed for your enjoyment.It had everything you could want in a movie,humor,action,drama,suspense,and good actors.The actors,they were just brilliant.I just like Han's cool.Aaliyah was very good,considering the fact that ,that was her first movie.The tag-line was not your common one,where good guys run after the bad guys and at the end the bad guys are arrested,and everybody lives happy ever after.This movie was more realistic,something you can believe.The directors did a fantastic job,so did the actors.Sheer enjoyment.
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9/10
Best Jet Li movie
Li_8512 June 2006
Romeo must die is the Best Jet Li movie till date. It is packed with amazing fight scenes, plenty of jokes and a great atmosphere sorrounding the movie. This is Jet Li's second Hollyood movie after the Hit Lethal weapon 4. Some of the fight scenes are computerised, but Impresses big time. This is my favourite Jet Li movie, others include Kiss of the Dragon, Unleashed, Born to defend and Black mask. The late Aliyah looks great as ever, especially when she takes Li to the night club. DMX appears in this movie in a small role, he later makes a Decent movie alongside Li in Cradle 2 the grave. It wasn't exactly a Blockbuster Hit of a movie, but it was Great Fun. There is a large number of actors, another actor that provides laughs are Maureen, who also appears in cradle 2 the grave. One of my favourite scenes is when Jet Li plays football, and is sarcasticlly fouled on purpose. He decides to take advantage of the rules and hit back in a Great Way. Recommended, if you enjoyed Jet Li Movies.
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5/10
Thoroughly average, with a few elements above and below that
BenGW121 September 2001
Have you ever felt cheated because you never got to see a movie before that includes X-ray POV footage of a person's spine being severed, a football game that turns into a Three Stooges episode, a part where a Chinese crime lord has his colleagues chained up in a refrigerated boxcar before they're murdered and dismembered with meat-cutting instruments (thankfully off-camera), and mentions that the Oakland Raiders moved again? Fear not, once you see ROMEO MUST DIE.

There isn't much else to say about how this movie's tone jumps all over the place. It's a predictable but decently engaging movie. What makes it worth renting is the presence of Aaliyah, Jet Li, and especially Delroy Lindo. There's little doubt this movie did well off the marquee value of those first two--and they're both good here, separately and together--but Lindo is a great actor and invests Isaak O'Day with a dramatic presence that insists we take him seriously.

It's a huge tragedy that Aaliyah died so young, and a great loss for the movies she would have been superb in; she saves her thin, poorly developed character from being useless and makes Trish interesting. Jet Li shows he can be tough or funny, whatever's needed at the moment, and it's nice to see an action star who seems to LIKE doing action film roles. Note: I have to agree with Roger Ebert that seeing Li doing FX-aided fight scenes was pathetic; Li's a fighting FX just by being himself, and we saw that in LETHAL WEAPON 4 and hopefully will again in the future.

For all that, this and GONE IN 60 SECONDS were the quintissential average films of 2000. As far from great as awful, both got 5 out of 10 from me.
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6/10
Aaliyah at her best
ebiros219 October 2005
The good of this movie was when Aaliyah was on the scene. The rest was rather senseless violence about gangs trying to out do each other. Jet Li was okay, but I don't think he's a good actor although he 's a very prolific one starring in over 60 movies. Although this was her acting debut, I think Aaliyah brought the goods to the table. She was just great as Trish. The play between Trish and Han (Jet Li) as an accidental cab driver was priceless, and the way they contrasted each other on screen with younger Trish actually in somewhat of a protective role to Han really added interesting plot twist to the story. Executive producer Joel Silver had lots of original ideas about movie making, and this one I would say is one of them. I don't go too much for the violence, but the movie was entertaining and original.
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8/10
Aaliyah is in it, what more could you want?
Smells_Like_Cheese23 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Of course I say that because she is my favorite artist. RIP Babygirl. So, getting back to the film. I was a little shocked. It was pretty good. I don't like computer effects. Especially the obvious fake ones. But I think the film in a way needed it to give it tension and suspense. Great performance by Aaliyah and Jet Li.

******************SPOILERS******************

If you are expecting the Romeo and Juliet plot line. Don't get your hopes high. They do like each other, and their families are at war with each other. But they never kiss and the way I see it, Aaliyah: "Wait! Aren't we supposed to kill ourselves?" Jet Li: "Well, we made up for it by killing everybody else" OK, I'm messed up. But you could always use a little humor.

8/10
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6/10
Jet Li's English language debut as leading man
dworldeater20 August 2019
Romeo Must Die is the 1st and in my opinion, the better of the two hip hop/martial arts action films directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak. The movie is pretty nicely shot and slick looking and actually is really well performed by the cast. The plot is loosely based off Romeo And Juliet, but don't expect anything artsy fartsy, this is an action movie with two warring crime families(one Chinese and the other African American). Aalyah is beautiful and gives a fine performance as love interest for Jet Li. Delroy Lindo and Issiah Washington give pretty solid performances as well. Russell Wong is a cool villain and comic relief Anthony Anderson is actually funny. My problem with the movie is the crazy wire fu sequences don't really work as well here as it would in Jet Li's movies from Hong Kong. I don't think Corey Yuen's fight choreography is bad, it just is out of place and not really suited for this movie. Thankfully DMX only has a cameo here, he was top billed in the other Andrzej Bartkowiak/Jet Li collaboration Cradle 2 The Grave and he was terrible in that movie. Overall, this is a pretty decent action movie that introduced Jet Li to new audiences, but I prefer his work in China/Hong Kong to his action movies made in the United States and Europe.
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10/10
Jet Li's first solid American awesome decent action film he ever did!
ivo-cobra817 September 2016
Romeo Must Die (2000) is Jet Li's first American action film that he made in America in a lead hero role and it is solid action flick! His whole entire film career Jet Li was always playing a good guy, until he come to America for the first time his film role was a bad guy in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) right after success of the last installment in Lethal Weapon series he agreed to make this film and it worked. It was his first hero role, before he went to make The Expendables films. I grew up watching Romeo Must Die as a teen, that's how Jet Li become my favorite action star of all time. In this flick you have Anthony Anderson and Russell Wong from Vanishing Son. Aaliyah will be missed she did a good job on this movie. R.I.P Aaliyah (1979 - 2001). I seriously love this film and most people wouldn't agree with me, with taking this film as Jet Li's number 1 action film. It is my number 1 Jet Li film, I borrowed the VHS tape in summer 2001 just for seeing this film, till today I still love it and I own it on Blu-ray.

"Had to? My brother? , That... was a mistake!"

Plot: International action-star Jet Li (Lethal Weapon 4) stars in this hi-octane thriller from the producer of blockbusters "The Matrix" and the "Lethal Weapon" franchise. While hunting down his brother's murderer, he falls in love with the daughter of a rival crime boss who is his prime suspect. A modern take on the classic "Romeo and Juliet" co-starring hip hop star Aaliyah Haughton (one of 1999 Teen People Magazine's "21 Hottest Stars Under 21"), Delroy Lindo ("Ransom," "The Cider House Rules"), Isaiah Washington ("Out of Sight") and rapper DMX.

The basic plot about this film is about a murder and a blood feud between rival gangs, when Han Sing's (Jet Li) brother is murdered in Oakland, California, Han escapes from Hong Kong prison and he flees the country by coming to US, to investigate on his own, his brother's murder while facing off the same time with his estranged father. All leads lead to Trish O'Day (Aaliyah). Han shares an attraction with Trish O'Day (screen-debuting songstress Aaliyah) even tough their families are rivals in a fierce Oakland turf battle. The two also share plenty of danger as they try to find the real cause of the blood feud.

This film has pretty much all action, gravity- warping martial arts, cool visual effects and all star music track combine in this revved-up action movie from producer Joel Silver (The Matrix) and starring Jet Li (Lethal Weapon 4) in his first English-language lead role.

The action in this movie is really good and the acting is really decent from all actors. I love the theme song of the movie. Moving on, the story was okay not bad, but as the same time not fantastic. The pacing of the movie was smooth and stylish. The director really made a good job directing the movie, I still would stay Romeo Must Die is a lot better than Steven Seagal's Exit Wounds. There is a lot of martial arts in this film and betrayal. This was the first Jet Li film he made in America and it was none Chinese film. The fights between Jet Li and Russell Wong was incredible but I think the special effect was made just like was in The Matrix . I also love the script and Jet Li's lines the one that were really funny one's.

In my honest opinion with Cradle 2 the Grave, Romeo Must Die is the most underrated Jet Li's American action film. I would say it is way better than Don Wilson's Bloodfist and even tough it is not a martial arts tournament film, it is still better and more enjoyable. You have Delroy Lindo in here from Broken Arrow and Gone in Sixty Seconds and Anthony Edwards who always makes me lough in the movies he is in it. The film is also filed with humor and it is visually stunning and exceptionally detailed and loud sound. The movie has several amazing action scenes and a few funny ones too. Jet Li & Delroy Lindo are both at their best.

Overall: Romeo must die was sweet and entertaining I love this flick to death, I enjoy the song DMX - First I'm Gonna Crawl, gosh they aren't movies made like this one today. Jet Li's film get's a perfect 10 by me 10/10 still I think it is underrated action film.

Romeo Must Die is a 2000 American action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak in his directorial debut, and also fight choreography by Corey Yuen, and starring Jet Li and Aaliyah. The film was released in the United States on March 22, 2000.

10/10 Grade: Bad Ass Seal Of Approval Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Starring: Jet Li, Aaliyah, Isaiah Washington, Russell Wong, DB Woodside, Anthony Anderson, DMX, Delroy Lindo, Henry O Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak Producers: Joel Silver, Jim Van Wyck Screenplay: Eric Bernt, John Jarrell Story by Mitchell Kapner Rated: R Running Time: 1 Hr. 55 Mins. Budget: $25,000,000 Box Office: $91,036,760
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9/10
East Meets West Meets Hip-Hop in "Romeo Must Die"
hypestyle4 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Romeo Must Die" is an action drama starring Jet Li, Aaliyah, and Delroy Lindo.

Hong Kong cinema standout Jet Li spent the 80s and 90s mostly known to Asian and select international audiences. His American introduction was as a heavy in "Lethal Weapon 4"-- for Li, a rare turn as a villain.

Apparently, "Lethal" producer Joel Silver promised a lead heroic role as a follow-up, and "Romeo Must Die" was the vehicle.

The film is a very loosely-updated take on Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet-- but don't look for any allegories except in the broadest of strokes.

Li plays Han, a 30-ish Hong Kong police officer who took the fall for a crime he didn't commit, allowing his father (and younger brother) to escape the Chinese mainland to the United States.

Po's father Chu turns out to be a career racketeer, and as the story opens up in Oakland, California, he is in the midst of a violent "turf" conflict with a prominent black gang boss, Isaak O'Day (Delroy Lindo). Aggravating the conflict is the recent mysterious murder of Han's brother Po-- Chu blames O'Day's gang, but Isaak is firm in denying any involvement.

Meanwhile, Isaak is working on a mysterious real estate project, and his top lieutenant Mac (Isaiah Washington) may have his own secret plans.

Trish (Aaliyah) runs a small boutique in Oakland, possibly a vanity gift from her dad, and she catches the eye of Han, who comes to her store while following clues left behind by his brother.

The bodyguards who work for Isaak openly don't like the Chinese fellow getting too close to Trish, so problems ensue and the fists and feet start flying.

The mystery gradually unfolds about who killed Po and just what the big plans are of Isaak. This is explored alongside a very chaste romance between Han and Trish.

Character actors like Lindo, Washington, and Russell Wong help anchor the film which could have gone in a campy direction.

Aaliyah is very pleasing in her debut role, and comes across as very natural in portraying the college-aged Trish.

Jet Li is very capable in all the martial arts sequences, which, likely is the main reason for watching this film. Since English is not his native language, it's difficult to judge him for coming across as a little stiff. Still, at a fantasy level, it would have been interesting to see an Asian-American in the Han role and dispense with the conceit of being foreign born-and-raised.

Viewers should also recognize a younger Anthony Anderson ("Black-ish") in an early role here as a hapless henchman.

Rapper DMX has an important bit role here as well.

The director, Andres Bartowiak, is Eastern European in origin, making this movie very multicultural in its filmmaking pedigree.

This movie is very worth checking out, as it is basically taking a B-movie premise and giving it an extremely glossy look. In fact, it is not unlike a 90 minute music video, full of hip-hop music in the background for various scenes.
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9/10
I can watch it over and over again
jhu_rulz9 February 2007
I don't know, maybe I'm biased (even though I can't imagine why I would be), but I can watch this movie over and over again. I know it's not perfect by any means (hence, I gave it a 9 out of 10), but if you have a somewhat decent imagination, I'm positive you can really get into the movie and enjoy it. Aliyah (I'm sorry if I spelled her name incorrectly) played an amazing role; it's such a shame to remember what happened to her. Between the acting, fight scenes, and DEFINITELY some good music, it was overall a great movie to watch. It came out when I was in college and the soundtrack was blasting in my car all over Baltimore! Enjoy it and let us know what you think!!!
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Wastes opportunities in almost every scene
bob the moo4 February 2002
Han Sing is being held in a Hong Kong prison when he learns of the death of his little brother and travels out to the San Francisco to find the killer. However what he finds is a supposed gang war between Chinese and Black businessmen looking to build a water front stadium. Han teams up with Trish to find the killers.

This was Jet Li's first big lead role in the US and unfortunately it's a disappointment. The story is OK but almost everything else is a letdown. First the fight scenes - where are they?! Jet Li is hugely talented but here he isn't allowed to shine - a lot of his scenes uses (very obvious) CGI, why? The CGI takes away from his own ability, put him on wires and make it look natural! Secondly, to keep the black audience, Li isn't allowed to fight any black character seriously (or kill any of them!) so most of his fights with Lindo's goons are handled for comedy effect. The only decent fights in the film are the one where Li uses Aaliyah as a weapon and of course the final showdown between Li and the Chinese lieutenant.

The second problem is that the film makers clearly didn't want to upset the black audience by having too many unsympathetic black characters in the film. For example all the Chinese mobsters are bad guys who get their fate, whereas Lindo leads the black gang but isn't a bad guy and only one of the black gang turns out to be bad, and any black person who gets killed only gets killed by another black person. This is part of the reason why Li's fights feel so muted - check out the `comedy' touch football or the fact that the fat black guy always seems to have a good line to deliver while being kicked.

This is a few steps away from the black-ploitation films of the 70's, where producers deliberately made films to get the black-dollar. I don't mind that if it creates good films. The black cast are good, Washington is good even when he's playing a cartoon character like here, Lindo is always good and even DMX is alright. The R n'B soundtrack is also great but the problem is that no one wants to upset the audience and the whole film feels like it's trying to be some sort of PC black movie. Hence the black gangsters are either comedy figures or are good people at heart, while the Chinese gangs are money grabbing murders. It also explains why Aaliyah and Li, despite having a romantic involvement, never get to kiss or anything else. I don't want to appear that this is a big deal, but to me this PC-ness ruined everything from the fights, the characters right down to the romance between Li and Aaliyah.

Li and Aaliyah are both good. Aaliyah is a surprise as I thought she'd just be another hiphop/Rn'B star making an ill-advised jump to films, but she was good. Lindo and Washington are as good as ever, but both are better than comic-book bad guy roles. The Chinese roles are never developed and only remain bad guys till the end. However the cast shouldn't matter - we should have been blown away by the action - just like in all Li's Hong Kong movies. Why did the producers get such a great martial arts actor only to waste his talents by having poor fights that rely on CGI?

Overall the film is just about enjoyable, but it's hard to watch it without seeing the wasted opportunities at every step.
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