Romeo Must Die (2000)

Romeo Must Die
Type Feature Film
MPAA Rating R
Runtime 1hr 55mins.
Genres Romance, Adventure, Action, Urban
Keywords gangs, martial arts
Status Released
US Release Date
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  • Romeo Must Die Review

    "Romeo Must Die" may take its inspiration from Shakespeare, but in a Jet Li martial-arts action thriller it's more likely that Li, as the hero, will be the last man standing. So don't take that title too seriously, though certainly there are plenty of characters who are most eager to see Li removed from the scene, permanently. The scene happens to be the Oakland waterfront, four choice acres controlled by Delroy Lindo's Isaak O'Day and Henry O's Ch'u Sing. The African American and the Hong Kong emigre are intense rivals but have much in common, as both are rich businessmen whose fortunes have been built ruthlessly on criminal activities. O'Day, hungering to go legit, wants to grab all that land, a site for a proposed stadium demanded by an NFL team, but needs Ch'u to help him deliver it. The truce between the underworld titans, both living in elegant suburban mansions, is so tense that when Ch'u's younger, spoiled-playboy son defies orders to leave a black club, it sets off a chain reaction that threatens to bring down Ch'u's dynasty as well as O'Day's. When Ch'u's older son Han (Li), in a Hong Kong prison, hears his brother has been killed, he goes berserk and breaks out of maximum security in a flurry of martial artistry. It seems that he is actually a cop who had promised his late mother he would always look after his brother and has taken a fall for his gangster father, who had fled the former British crown colony. Landing in the Bay Area to avenge his brother's death, he swiftly--and amusingly--crosses paths with Trish (Aaliyah), Isaak's lovely young daughter who has turned her back on her father and lives on her own in a modest apartment while running a gift shop. The attraction between Han and Trish is instant and develops into a relationship their respective fathers are less than thrilled about. Body counts run high in this genre, but "Romeo Must Die," which marks Li's first English-language starring role, tries for some depth and sophistication. The fathers, especially Lindo's Isaak, possess intelligence and dimension, and O and Lindo both capably evoke pathos. The film is a new step for both Li, who hopes to break out with it, and for recording star Aaliyah, in an accomplished film debut. Han and Trish are appealing and attractive. However, the couple's fathers are both lamentably unperceptive about their second-in-commands. From the get-go it's obvious that Kai (Russell Wong), Ch'u's handsome, cocky enforcer, and Mac (Isaiah Washington), Isaak's nakedly ambitious protege, are not guys long on loyalty and are swift to resort to violence to get their way. Although you can almost immediately tell that the film was shot in Vancouver rather than Oakland, "Romeo Must Die" has a great look and an edgy feel, along with some broad swaths of humor, most of it supplied by Isaak's thickheaded strong-arm, Maurice (Anthony Anderson), who is on hand purely for comic relief. This Warners release marks a confident directorial debut for noted cinematographer Andrzej Bartkowiak, working from a shrewd Eric Bernt-John Jarrell script, adapted from a Mitchell Kapner story. Glen MacPherson's cinematography is sleek and jazzy, and J. Michael Riva, no less, has served as visual consultant. The film's kinetic energy is well-matched by Stanley Clarke and Timbaland's terrific score, which incorporates lots of hip-hop numbers. * MPAA rating: R, for violence, some language and brief nudity. Times guidelines: The violence is strong, typical of the genre. 'Romeo Must Die' Jet Li: Han Aaliyah: Trish O'Day Isaiah Washington: Mac Russell Wong: Kai Delroy Lindo: Isaak O'Day Henry O: Ch'u Sing A Warner Bros. presentation of a Silver Pictures production. Director Andrzej Bartkowiak. Producers Joel Silver and Jim Van Wyck. Executive producer Dan Cracchiolo. Screenplay by Eric Bernt and John Jarrell, from a story by Mitchell Kapner. Cinematographer Glen MacPherson. Editor Derek G. Brechin. Music Stanley Clarke and Timbaland. Costume design Sandra J. Blackie. Production designer Michael Bolton. Art director Jim Steuart. Set designer Jay Mitchell. Set decorator Rose Marie McSherry. Running time: 1 hour, 55 minutes. es: Brockovich is a torrent of profanity.

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Name Credit Credited as Role Id Sort Order
Earl "DMX" Simmons Song Performer ("First I'm Gonna Crawl") 120788 8000007
John Trapman Camera Operator Westcam operator 239 6000004
Chante Moore Song Performer ("This Is a Test") 120788 8000008
Confidential Song Performer (" It Really Don't Matter") 120788 8000009
Fatboy Slim Song Performer ("You're Not from Brighton") 120788 8000010
The Comrades Music song performer performer("Thugz" (featuring Mack 10)) 120781 8000003
Jomo Hankerson Music Supervisor n/a 120872 8000006
Barry Hankerson Music Supervisor n/a 120872 8000005
Groove Armada Song Performer ("I See You Baby (Full Frontal mix)" "Inside My Mind/Blue Skies") 120788 8000011
Jennifer Nash Music Editor n/a 214 8000004
Gramma Funk Song Performer ("I See You Baby (Full Frontal mix)") 120788 8000012
Timbaland Song Performer ("We At It Again") 120788 8000018
Magoo Song Performer ("We At It Again") 120788 8000019
DJ Frane Song Performer ("Going Home (contains 'Good Luck Charm')") 120788 8000020
Joe Song Performer ("Rose in a Concrete World") 120788 8000017
The Crystal Method Song Performer ("High Roller" "Keep Hope Alive") 120788 8000016
Aaliyah Song Performer ("Come Back in One Piece" (featuring DMX) "I Don't Wanna" "Are You Feelin' Me?" "Try Again") 120788 8000013
Destiny's Child Song Performer ("Perfect Man") 120788 8000015
Verna Mandel Music assistant music editor 120781 8000002
Stanley Clarke Music n/a 120781 8000001
Steven Winslow Camera Operator Westcam operator 239 6000007
Stephen S Campanelli Steadicam Operator n/a 232 6000008
Peter Rosenfeld Steadicam Operator n/a 232 6000009
William Warin Camera Operator n/a 239 6000006
Danny Nowack Camera Operator n/a 239 6000003
Glen MacPherson Director of Photography n/a 120780 6000001
Vern Nobles Camera Operator n/a 239 6000002
Danny Nowak Camera second unit camera 120798 6000010
Steven Winslow Camera camera technician 120798 6000011
Steven Winslow Assistant Camera Operator assistant camera 120849 6000016
Derek G Brechin Editor n/a 172 7000001
Tony Solomons Assistant Editor n/a 203 7000002
Stewart Whelan Assistant Camera Operator assistant camera 120849 6000015
Patrick Stepien Assistant Camera Operator assistant camera 120849 6000014
Bob Findlay Assistant Camera Operator assistant camera 120849 6000012
Ian Seabrook Assistant Camera Operator assistant camera 120849 6000013
Ohio Players Song Performer ("Good Luck Charm") 120788 8000021
BG Song Performer ("Rolling Raw" (featuring Cash Money)) 120788 8000022
Conrad Palmisano Stunt Coordinator n/a 120804 19000001
Larry Lam Stunts n/a 240 19000002
Mitch A Lee Yuen Stunts n/a 240 19000003
Rob Young Sound Mixer production sound mixer 230 14000009
Darren Brisker Sound Mixer n/a 230 14000008
Dane A. Davis Sound Designer n/a 120915 14000005
Dane A. Davis Sound Editor n/a 229 14000006
Joe Milner Sound Editor n/a 229 14000007
Stephen J Wright Construction Coordinator n/a 276 21000001
Barnaby Robson Visual Effects Supervisor n/a 249 23000001
Justine Burdine Other system administrator 120795 26000002
Sean Will Other paint foreman 120795 26000003
Dixie Cutler Publicity publicist 120789 29000001
Michael Hibberson Other cable person 120795 26000001
Conrad Palmisano Second Unit Director n/a 412 25000002
Daniel Posen Visual Effects lead compositor(Manex Visual Effects) 419 23000002
Bruce Arnold Production Assistant n/a 275 25000001
Rob Young Sound n/a 120816 14000004
Thom Brennan Foley Editor n/a 221 14000003
Rose Marie McSherry Set Decorator n/a 165 9000002
James Steuart Art Director n/a 183 9000003
Jay Mitchell Set Designer n/a 202 9000004
Michael S Bolton Production Designer n/a 164 9000001
Lil Mo Song Performer ("Somebody's Gonna Die" (featuring Dave Bing)) 120788 8000026
Cash Money Song Performer ("Rolling Raw" (featuring BG)) 120788 8000023
Mack 10 Song Performer ("Thugz" (featuring The Comrades)) 120788 8000024
Dave Bing Song Performer ("Somebody's Gonna Die" (featuring Lil Mo)) 120788 8000025
Adrien Van Viersen Storyboard Artist n/a 199 9000005
Lora Kennedy Casting n/a 179 10000001
Sandra J Blackie Costume Designer n/a 169 13000001
Charles O'Shea Boom Operator n/a 215 14000001
Tony Poulsen Boom Operator n/a 215 14000002
Corey Yuen Advisor martial arts coordinator 120821 12000002
J. Michael Riva Consultant visual consultant 120784 12000001
Lynne Carrow Casting (Canada) 179 10000002
Corey Yuen Supervisor martial arts supervisor 120845 11000002
Darcy Wild Assistant Location Manager n/a 194 5000010
Jason Nolan Assistant Location Manager assistant location manager trainee 194 5000009
Grace Park Actor Asian Dancer 1 1000026
Jennifer Wong Actor Asian Dancer 1 1000027
Manoj Sood Actor Cab Driver 1 1000028
Lance Gibson Actor Doorman 1 1000025
Colin Foo Actor Overlord 1 1000024
Chang Tseng Actor Victor Ho 1 1000021
Tong Lung Actor Overlord 1 1000022
Richard Yee Actor Overlord 1 1000023
Fatima Robinson Actor Lori 1 1000029
Gaston Howard Actor One of Maurice's Crew 1 1000030
Samuel Scanlebury Actor Paperboy 1 1000035
Francois Yip Actor Motorcycle fighter 1 1000036
Alvin Sanders Actor Calvin 1 1000037
Alonso Oyarzun Actor Alonso 1 1000034
Jonross Fong Actor Young Han 1 1000033
Clay Fontenot Actor One Of Maurice's Crew 1 1000031
Ryan Jefferson Lowe Actor Young Po 1 1000032
Taayla Markell Actor Po's Girlfriend 1 1000020
Keith Dallas Actor Bouncer 1 1000019
Edoardo Ballerini Actor Vincent Roth 1 1000007
Jon Kit Lee Actor Po Sing 1 1000008
Anthony Anderson Actor Maurice 1 1000009
DB Woodside Actor Colin O'Day 1 1000006
Henry O Actor Ch'u Sing 1 1000005
Aaliyah Actor Trish O'Day 1 1000002
Isaiah Washington Actor Mac 1 1000003
Russell Wong Actor Kai Sing 1 1000004
Earl "DMX" Simmons Actor Silk 1 1000010
Delroy Lindo Actor Isaak O'Day 1 1000011
Byron Lawson Actor Head Guard 1 1000016
Kendall Saunders Actor Colin's Girlfriend 1 1000017
Benz Antoine Actor Crabman 1 1000018
Ronin Wong Actor New Prisoner 1 1000015
Derek Lowe Actor Chinese Messenger 1 1000014
Matthew Harrison Actor Dave 1 1000012
Terry Chen Actor Kung 1 1000013
William S Taylor Actor Harold 1 1000038
Morgan Reynolds Actor Morgan 1 1000039
Eric Bernt Screenplay n/a 120778 4000002
John Jarrell Screenplay n/a 120778 4000003
Mitchell Kapner Screenplay n/a 120778 4000004
Jerrold Brown Screenplay n/a 120778 4000001
Ilyse Reutlinger Associate Producer n/a 171 3000006
Dan Cracchiolo Executive Producer n/a 174 3000003
Warren Carr Co-Producer n/a 170 3000004
Mitchell Kapner Associate Producer n/a 171 3000005
Mitchell Kapner From Story n/a 120870 4000005
Jim van Wyck Unit Production Manager n/a 182 5000001
Jim van Wyck Assistant Director n/a 163 5000006
Eddy Santos Assistant Director n/a 163 5000007
Bev White Location Manager n/a 193 5000008
Patrick Stark Assistant Director n/a 163 5000005
David Footman Assistant Director n/a 163 5000004
David K Arnold Assistant Director key 2nd assistant director 163 5000002
Don French Assistant Director n/a 163 5000003
Jim van Wyck Producer n/a 3 3000002
Joel Silver Producer n/a 3 3000001
Candice McClure Actor Store Clerk 1 1000044
W J Waters Actor Hardware Store Clerk 1 1000045
Cesar Abraham Actor Park Bench Kid 1 1000046
Oliver Svensson-Tan Actor Gate Guard 1 1000043
William MacDonald Actor Officer 1 1000042
David Kopp Actor Delivery Man 1 1000040
Aaron Joseph Actor Kid in Boutique 1 1000041
Jerry Grant Actor Bartender 1 1000047
Tonjha Richardson Actor Store Clerk 1 1000048
Andrzej Bartkowiak Director n/a 2 2000001
Conrad Palmisano Director 2nd unit director 2 2000002
Lance Peverley Director Trainee Assistant Director 2 2000003
Ann Gwathmey Actor Shopper 1 1000052
Perry Solkowski Actor Anchor 1 1000051
Chic Gibson Actor Taxi Driver 1 1000049
Jody Vance Actor Sportscaster 1 1000050
Jet Li Actor Han Sing 1 1000001
Tough ex-cop Han Sing travels from Hong Kong to America to find justice for his brother, who was murdered in an ongoing battle between Chinese and African-American gangs. Han soon takes his brother's place in the war and becomes entangled in the violence, until he falls in love with Trish, the daughter of the rival gang's leader.