Posts Tagged gangs

Random Movie of the Week (Part 1): The Corruptor

I have been meaning to write about this movie for a while just never seem to get it done.  With my DVD collection steadily increasing in size, whenever I am reorganizing the shelves to accommodate the new purchases I always kind of chuckle when I come across some of my earliest purchases.  I remember buying my first DVD player and getting to pick two DVD’s out of the five-dollar bin for free.  Being so early in the DVD generation, the selection was very poor and mostly consisted of films I have never heard of so I had to take a gamble.  One of the films I picked up is this week’s random movie, The Corruptor.

Here is a brief introduction to The Corruptor:  Corruption is the name of the game and seemingly how “justice” is brought down in Chinatown.  New to the precinct is Danny Wallace (Mark Wahlberg), a beat cop who needless to say stands out from the crowd.  Learning to survive in the new and dangerous location, Wallace works alongside veteran, Nick Chen (Chow Yun-Fat), who is trying to educate him on the rules of the precinct while trying to protect him from getting caught between rivals Chinese gangs with members that seem to flip flop sides.  Here is the trailer:

Let me just say that this movie is far from being great but it is definitely underrated.  The idea of corruption and battling gangs is far from original but that does not make it less entertaining.  I has its share of twists that keep the story moving along but I will say that at times it gets hard to follow.  Between whom the corrupt cops work with and who they do not and what gang members are loyal to which gang.  At least I at times struggled with this the first time I saw it.  I get it now of course but initially I found myself rewinding the DVD to see if I got it the second time.

Also if you consider yourself a Mark Wahlberg fan this should be right up your alley.  He makes his usual snide remarks in that Boston accent in spite of being a New York City cop and has at least one shirt-less scene.  Chow Youn-Fat is good as usual in this one as he plays the at times psychotic Nick Chen whose loyalty is also tough to judge while watching the story unfold.

Overall, The Corruptor is worth at least a watch especially if you consider yourself a Mark Wahlberg fan.  I must say the thing I probably like most about this movie is the music, which is not necessarily a good thing when you’re talking about an action movie.  I give it a 6/10.

 

By the way, since I missed last week’s random movie I will post another one tomorrow to make up for it.

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Safe: The Enemy of My Enemy Better Be Jason Statham

(I do not own this photo)

Jason Statham goes all out in his latest action packed movie, Safe.  If you like Statham’s other adrenaline pumping movie you will love this one.  As for those who criticize him for his lack of “acting” may be surprised by this one.

Last time I saw Statham on the big screen was for Killer Elite and I remember walking out incredibly disappointed.  At this point I had come to terms not to expect anything but action fun from Statham’s movies and I love them for that reason.  But Killer Elite even bothered me as being nothing special.  So I walked into Safe with moderate expectations and it blew me away.  If you have read my previous reviews you know I like comparing films that are similar, so I would have to say this combine elements of James Foley’s The Corruptor (rivaling gangs and corruption) and Harold Becker’s Mercury Rising (lone cop protecting adolescent with secret information).

Safe follows a former gun for hire, Luke Wright (Statham), living as a lone, homeless man following a run-in with the Russian mafia and is on the verge of suicide until he rescues a 12 year old Chinese girl, Mei (Catherine Chan), on the run from two feuding gangs because she holds the code they desperately need.  However, the code goes much deeper than just the rivaling Russian and Chinese gangs and into the corruption of New York City’s finest.  If what I have here does not make sense here is the trailer:

After the last couple Statham flicks I knew he was due for a good one.  Not only does he kick some serious bad-guy butt in Safe but he actually acts a little bit!  There is one scene of a flashback explaining Wright’s past with the Russian mafia that showcased some very impressive acting on the behalf of Statham, really cool to finally see it.  Catherine Chan was excellent as Mei, she played the perfect damsel in distress without being annoying or plain.  I don’t know where to begin with the villains.  There were so many!  James Hong as the Chinese gang leader was effective creepy and intimidating, Reggie Lee added unpredictability to his desperate character as Mei’s “father,” and Robert John Burke was just awesome as the corrupt Captain Wolf.

Safe definitely revived my faith that Jason Statham could still pick great action movies.  The complex story line and series of events made this a very fun ride for action audiences.  I give it a 8/10.

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