"The Corruptor" - A Review by 'Bud White' (Mixed - No Spoilers)
I'm still trying to figure out how Chow Yun Fat (who is arguably one of the most influential action stars of all time) could go from doing inspired work like THE KILLER and HARD BOILED to aimless trite like last years REPLACEMENT KILLERS and now the upcoming THE CORRUPTOR, which isn't nearly as disposable as the latter film, but still doesn't achieve the sense of notoriety the filmmakers were aiming for. The film holds together amicably based solely on the presence of Chow and his overqualified costar Mark Wahlburg (who should seriously be doing more edgier fare like BOOGIE NIGHTS). The rappaport and chemistry between the two is the only thing that saves the film from being on par with every other pre packaged, imitation action film. Truth be told, the actions scenes are amusing in a sick, twisted kind of way. I wouldn't be surprised in the least bit if the jagoff studio executives butcher the gore content down to a paltry minimum.
If you've seen every other routine buddy cop film you should be to get an idea of what the plot consists of, which mainly concerns a vile barrage of chinese warlords who are on a murderous rampage in a vast metropolis of a city. The film was helmed by James Foley, whose work ranges from outstanding (GLENNGARRY GLENN ROSS) to incomprehensible (THE CHAMBER, FEAR). Foley is a decent filmmaker, and its apparant that he was trying to raise this effort above the usual fare. In retrospect, I guess the film does have a few good things going for it: Chow and Mark, high octane action scenes, and ample direction. The films fatal flaw is its overt sense of predictability and blandness. The buddy cop formula has literally been beaten to a bloody pulp, so I guess these guys deserve partial credit for attempting to breathe some new life into the structure. I'm still waiting for the U.S. Chow project that propells him into astronomical super stardom. Only one man can do it with true style and prestige: John Woo.