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February 09, 1998 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-09

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 9, 1998

Forgettable 'Killers' could be replaced j



By Matthew Barrett
Daily Arts Writer
A killer with a conscience. It's not exactly the
most original idea to come out of Hollywood in the
last few years, but the makers of "The Replacement
Killers" had a twist for the common story, Chow
Yun-Fat, someone most
American moviegoers have
x never heard of before. He is
a legend in his homeland of
The Hong Kong and bearer of
Replacement one of the world's coolest
Killers names.
Yun-Fat bursts into the
movie amidst flashing strobe
At Bnarwood & Showcase lights and blaring techno
music, calmly making his
way through a packed dance
club. Once he reaches his
%i destination, a bullet is
slammed on the table and
then Yun-Fat proceeds to
annihilate every bad guy in the club. The fact that
he is vastly outnumbered by an enormous amount
is irrelevant.
An opening sequence that impressive could
make you forget about Bruce and Arnold pretty
fast. But it doesn't take long to realize that these
action scenes are all that "The Replacement
Killers" has to offer. Each time a similar sequence

is viewed, its effectiveness goes down and it
becomes harder and harder to take the movie seri-
ously. How many times can Chow Yun-Fat go into
a room and take out 20 bad guys with just Mira
Sorvino at his side?
Yun-Fat plays John Lee, an assassin who has a
change of heart in the middle of an assignment. As
he fights back tears, Lee realizes that no matter
what the consequences may be, he cannot kill a
police officer. The reason? The officer was playing
ball with his son and Lee can not break up a fami-
ly when he feels such strong love for his own. The
refusal to carry out the job puts Lee on his
employer's bad side and sets the plot in motion.
During Lee's attempt
to flee the country,
he meets up with
Meg Coburn (Mira
Sorvino), an expert
on forged documents.
Covered in a ridicu-
lous number of tat-
toos, Sorvino is never

feature directorial debut of Antoine Fuqua, though
he has directed music videos such as "Gangsta's
Paradise." He makes good use of lighting through-
out the film, especially at the beginning and in
Meg's apartment/office. By presenting whole
rooms in a green or red tint, the seediness of Meg's
existence is portrayed to the audience.
Fuqua also mixes some good shots and camera
angles in throughout the action. One such shot
involves Meg pointing a gun at a character below
her. The camera angle is taken from the point of
view of the target, which makes
the audience feel like they are
part of the action. Although
the action shots are han-
dled fairly well, they get
very repetitive by the
end of the movie.
One facet that really
hurts the movie is the

convincing in her role,
whether she's wielding a
pistol or being the sassy "street
smart" girl. Meg makes a few attempts
at humor throughout the film, but most of
them fall short of being funny.
"The Replacement Killers" marks the

screenplay and evo-
lution of the story.
Screenwriter Ken
Sanzel tries to mix
humor and action,
and the result is a
movie that never
seems to know
where it wants to go.
If the movie is sup-

courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Asian film star Chow Yun-Fat should have sought a
replacement for his latest mediocre venture.
posed to be about the redemption of a man, then it
would have been nice to have a better idea of what
is going through Lee's head.
The main attraction here is the movie's action, so
if you go expecting to see a lot of shoot-outs and
explosions you won't be disappointed. The picture
also serves as an introduction of Chow Yun-Fat to
the mainstream American movie going public. He
clearly has the screen presence to be a star here, but
he needs a better story and direction. Ultimately,
"The Replacement Killers" is a mediocre movie
with a great beginning and a few interesting
sequences along the way.

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Mira Sorvino packs heat in "Killers."



Insights and Opportunities:
Women in Science and




Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ann Marie Sastry
Saturday, February 21, 1998
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Registration forms are available at
Center for the Education of Women
330 E. Liberty
Women in Science and Engineering Office
1240 Lurie Engineering Center
and via email at: fcalhoun@umich.edu
Lunch provided for participants
For more information please call 998-7225
Sponsored by:
College of Engineering
Women in Science and Engineering Program
Women in Engineering Office
Alfred P Sloan Foundation
National Science Foundation
Women in Engineering Office
Committee on Institutional Cooperation

b elievable
By Deveron Q. Sanders
Duly Arts Writer
Fact or fiction: Dick Clark is the exec-
utive producer of an entertaining show,
hosted by Starship Enterprise
Commander Riker (Jonathon Frakes).
Oddly enough, that statement is actually
Years ago, "Ripley's Believe It Or Not"
came across the airwaves, unnerving us
with eerie historical facts and events.
Today, Clark's "Beyond Belief: Fact
Fiction" continues - with an added twis
- where Ripley's left off. Now in its se-
ond season, the show presents severat,
unusual or unex-
plainable stories.>
about events in
people's lives.
"Beyond Belief" Beyond
then takes the Belief
"Believe It Or**
Not" theme from Fo
Ripley and asks Fridays at 8 p.
the viewer to
whether or not
each story is fact
or fiction. At the
end of theshow,
Frakes reveals the
"truth" behind each story.
The hour-long season premiere on
Jan. 23 spotlighted five cases of th
impossible. In general, the skits we
captivating and the dramatizations were
well-written, but the presentations of
some of the skits were cheesy at best. To
heighten suspense, the less-than-talented
actors sometimes relied on stupid sight
gags that cheapened, rather than added
to, the suspense, it only cheapened it. But
this could actually work to their advan-
tage since it serves as the comic relief.
The director put in details any charact
had no way of knowing, like a picture o
a person's dead father on the control
panel of a plane that mysteriously takes
off by itself. These red herrings are inter-.
esting, but sometimes over the top.
In one of the better stories, a woman
finds herself home alone in a neighbor-
hood experiencing a series of break-ins.
Her only protection is an old revolver
that her husband leaves for her. In the
middle of the night, she awakens to
noise from downstairs. She attempts
call 911, but the phone never rings, so
she grabs the gum and goes burglar-hunt-
ing. As she reaches the steps, she sees a
shape and pulls the trigger repeatedly,
but the gun doesn't fire.
The shape turns on the lights and
reaches for the woman ... and it turns out
to be her son returning home from col-
lege. So shocked to see her son, the
woman drops the gun down the ste
and it fires once. Amazed? Well I can
say that I was really surprised. But wait.
- there's more! Upon reaching the bot
tom of the stairs, the gun goes off again,
just in time to strike the true robber, who
had just entered the house. At that point,
I threw down my remote control in com-
plete disgust. Not that I didn't believe
whatjust transpired, but I had a hard time
swallowing the way that the director
showed the shooting.
Can you figure out which stories w4
based on real events and which were fab-
Heated? Since the show concludes with
Frakes revealing the truth, there's no
need to trouble yourself with the ques-
tion. The gun story and one other tale
were based on actual events, but three
others were complete fabrications.

"Beyond Belief" could catch on and
become a strong series, mainly because
of the intriguing "keep the audienc
guessing" gimmick. While this conceI
may not win any awards for originality or
acting, the show will keep viewers enter-
tained week in and week out - and
that's something you can believe.
-d a -

Hurry in. It's Bonus Time at the Clinique counter.

...................... ..,~h<. ............

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