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The Corruptor (1999)
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Review Date: March 14, 1999
Director: James Foley
Writer: Robert Pucci
Producers: Dan Halsted
Actors:
Chow Yun-Fat
Mark Wahlberg
Plot:
As two rival Chinese underground factions fight the turf war in NYC's Chinatown, good-time cop Wallace joins the Asian Gang Unit of the 15th Precinct, under the watchful eye of top cop, Nick Chen. They must fight the bad guys, work the underground, respect the feds, and avoid the plethora of corruption running rampant on their streets.
Critique:
Is this an original idea for a movie? No way. Is this a good movie? You bet. I thoroughly enjoyed this film from beginning to end. There were no dull moments, lots of action, a solid story, a cool car chase scene, and plenty of grit to rub into your scalp. Admittedly, I still have a problem understanding every other sentence that comes out of Chow Yun-Fat's mouth, but hey, at least most of Wahlberg's whisper-talk made its way across. It's sad because I really do think that there were plenty of one-liners that were missed by the audience because of Yun-Fat's muffled English pronunciation. Having said that, I don't think it is the acting that draws people to go see a movie like this in the first place, it's generally the action, the interesting story line, and the capacity to keep you interested for close to two hours. This movie was able to keep me entertained for that period, and even tossed in some over-stylized direction for real Hong Kong effect.

This movie doesn't necessarily need to be seen on the big screen. It's one of those movies that would go down great on a Saturday night at home with your friends, beer and nachos. The plot is a little complex at times, but all in all, it goes down like a bottle o' salsa alongside your nachos. Slowly, but surely. There is a lot of corruption going on in this movie, there are some nasty bad guys, bad good guys, and everyone in between. Half the fun is figuring out who stands for what in the end. Think RONIN (8/10) by way of YEAR OF THE DRAGON (7/10) through the dirty dealings of SERPICO (7/10). Is this film gonna revolutionize the action genre and change your view of all films action? Not a chance! It just doesn't carry enough originality in its Chinese take-out box. But will it show you a good time, quite a bit of violence and a decent plot for a few pockets of green? It sure will! And if that's your gig, and you dig this kind of fun-junk, check this gritt-meister out! Either way, the title of this film is still pretty lame.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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