Romeo Must Die

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Romeo Must Die
Romeo-Must-Die-Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by Mitchell Kapner
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Glen MacPherson
Edited by Derek G. Brechin
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • March 22, 2000 (2000-03-22)
Running time
115 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million[1]
Box office $91 million[1]

Romeo Must Die is a 2000 American action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak in his directorial debut, and also fight choreography by Corey Yuen, and starring Jet Li and Aaliyah. The film was released in the United States on March 22, 2000. In the film, a Chinese former police officer travels to the United States in order to avenge his brother's death. He also falls in love with a rival mobster's beautiful daughter and they are struggling together against both the Chinese and the American mobs. It is considered Jet Li's breakout role in the English speaking American film industry.[2]

The film's plot is loosely related to William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but the feuding families are respectively black and Chinese. The film's setting is Oakland, California, but other than a few establishing shots, film production was entirely in Vancouver, British Columbia. This film was the acting debut of R&B singer Aaliyah. Romeo Must Die was released on March 22, 2000. The film grossed $91 million against a production budget of $25 million.

Plot

Po Sing (Jon Kit Lee) is waiting for someone in a nightclub in a predominantly Black neighborhood when a group of angry patrons try to start a fight with him. His father's right-hand man Kai (Russell Wong) and his henchmen pull Po out and, after a brief fight with the bouncers, are ejected by Silk (DMX), the club's owner, before the meeting can take place. The next day, Po is found murdered. Word of Po's death reaches his elder brother, Han (Jet Li), a former police officer who is imprisoned in Hong Kong. Han promptly escapes from the prison to investigate.

Isaak O’Day (Delroy Lindo), a Black real estate developer and gang leader, is engaged in a joint business venture with Po's father, Ch’u Sing (Henry O), a Chinese crime boss who heads a collective of Chinese crime lords. The two have been acquiring properties along the Oakland waterfront to sell them to Vincent Roth, a businessman who plans to buy a new NFL franchise and build a stadium on the waterfront. Despite Ch'u's assurances that the deal is still in place, Isaak fears retribution and has his chief lieutenant Mac (Isaiah Washington) place security details on both of his children.

Making his way to Oakland, Han learns that his brother called Isaak's daughter Trish’s (Aaliyah) record store the day before he was killed. After a chance encounter, Han befriends Trish by helping her ditch her assigned security, Maurice (Anthony Anderson) and Trish deduces that Po was actually calling her brother, Colin (DB Woodside).

At his brother's funeral, Han confronts his estranged father, blaming him for failing to keep his promise to protect Po after Han had helped them both flee to America to escape the Chinese authorities. Kai informs Han that the waterfront properties are divided between Black and Chinese businesses, and Po was a casualty of racial tensions that have recently escalated into a gang war. Meanwhile, Colin tells his father that Po's aborted meeting was to discuss information Po had that could end the gang war. Isaak explains that the deal with Roth will get their family out of the crime business for good, but warns Colin to be cautious. That night, someone kills Colin and his girlfriend by throwing them out of his high rise apartment.

As Han comforts Trish, he learns that Po wanted to show Colin a list of businesses that were either destroyed or being threatened for failing to sell their properties. The two visit one of the remaining businesses on Po's list but the Chinese owner and his employees have been killed. After killing the Chinese hitmen, Han questions his father, who clumsily deflects suspicion by suggesting Isaak may have used outside contractors. Trish and Han visit the last holdout on Po's list: Silk's nightclub. Mac interrupts their meeting to kill Silk and take his property deed, then abducts Trish and Han. At a remote location, Han escapes by overpowering Mac's henchmen and forces Maurice to divulge where Trish was taken. Meanwhile, Ch’u has his fellow crime lords killed to sell their properties and keep the money to himself.

Isaak and Ch’u meet with Roth at the Oakland Men’s Club to sell Roth the deeds for the properties they now control. After Ch’u takes a multimillion-dollar payment and departs, Isaak refuses his payment, stating that his compensation will be in the form of an ownership share of the new franchise. An enraged Mac has Trish brought out as a hostage to force him to take the payout. He reveals to Isaak that the "gang war" was a ruse he and Ch'u concocted to cover their murder and intimidation of businessmen who refused to sign away their properties, and he also killed Colin. Isaak attacks him in a rage and Mac shoots him. Roth flees to the rooftop and escapes via helicopter but Mac shoots Roth's briefcase out of his hand, sending the deeds flying to the winds. Isaak shoots the henchman holding Trish, while Han arrives and confronts Mac about his brother. Mac reveals that it was Kai who killed Po, and is about to shoot Han when Trish shoots and kills Mac first. Han and Isaak have a friendly introduction, then Trish waits with her father for an ambulance while Han leaves to confront Kai.

At the Sing compound, Kai and Han have an all-out fight. Kai burns Han's hands with hot coals but Han rips his shirt to improvise hand wraps, then finishes Kai by landing a kick on Kai's skull, completely breaking his spine. He confronts Ch'u over callously having his own son killed for no other reason than getting in the way of his business deal. With Kai dead, there is no one to protect Ch'u from answering for his crimes to either the American authorities or the other crime families. As Han walks away, his father picks up his gun and commits suicide.

Han finds Trish waiting for him outside and the two walk away from the house together.

Cast

Production

According to the documentary The Slanted Screen, Han and Trish were supposed to have a kissing scene, which explains the title of Romeo, but this did not test well with an urban audience.[3] Jet Li stated on his personal website that they had filmed both versions of the scene (with kiss and without), and decided to use the latter because it would be "somewhat strange and awkward" for Han to have witnessed his father's suicide and then to come out and kiss someone.[4] The movie was filmed from May 23 until July 23, 1999.

Release

Romeo Must Die debuted at No.2 at the U.S. box office behind Erin Brockovich, which had come out a week earlier.[5][6][7] The film was produced with a budget of US$25 million. In North America, Romeo Must Die earned $18,014,503 (2,641 theaters, $6,821 per screen average) in its opening weekend. Romeo Must Die 's total North American gross is $55,973,336. The film's worldwide box office gross is $91,036,760.[1]

It was released in the United States on DVD on August 1, 2000,[8] and on Blu-ray on August 14, 2012.[9]

Reception

The critical reception was mixed.[10][11][12][13] The film has a 33% approval rating from 91 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator; the critical consensus reads: "In his second Hollywood movie, Jet Li impresses. Unfortunately, when he's not on screen, the movie slows to a crawl. Though there's some spark between Jet and Aaliyah, there isn't any threat of a fire. And as impressive as the action sequences are, some critics feel they are over-edited."[14] Aaliyah received praise for her role.[15]

Soundtrack

Romeo Must Die: The Album
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released March 28, 2000 (2000-03-28)
Genre Soundtrack
Length 74:40
Label
Singles from Romeo Must Die
  1. "I Don't Wanna"
    Released: January 11, 2000
  2. "Try Again"
    Released: February 22, 2000
  3. "Come Back in One Piece"
    Released: June 6, 2000
  4. "We At It Again"
    Released: 2000
  5. "Thugz"
    Released: 2000
  6. "Are You Feelin' Me?"
    Released: 2005
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[16]
Robert Christgau A–[17]
Entertainment Weekly A–[18]
Mixmag 4/5 stars[19]
Q 4/5 stars[20]

The film's soundtrack, Romeo Must Die: The Album, is a hip hop and R&B soundtrack released by Blackground Records and Virgin Records America in association with Warner Bros. Records (who helped co-financed the soundtrack) on March 28, 2000. It debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 selling 203,000 in its first week.[21] The soundtrack sold 1.3 million copies by the end of 2000[22] and 1.5 million copies in the US as of 2001.[23]

Produced by Aaliyah, Timbaland, Barry Hankerson, and Jomo Hankerson, it was recorded between May 1999 and January 2000. It includes four songs by Aaliyah, as well as works by Chante Moore, Destiny's Child, Ginuwine, Joe, Timbaland & Magoo and more. Three singles & videos were released from the album: Aaliyah's number one pop hit "Try Again" (directed by Wayne Isham), Aaliyah and DMX duet "Come Back in One Piece" (directed by Little X), and Timbaland & Magoo's "We At It Again" (directed by Chris Robinson), which introduced Timbaland's younger brother, rapper Sebastian, to audiences. Q magazine included the soundtrack album in their list of the "5 Best Compilations of 2000".[24]

Track listing

Romeo Must Die: The Album
No. Title Writer(s) Original artist Length
1. "Try Again" S. Garrett; Timothy Mosley Aaliyah 4:45
2. "Come Back in One Piece" B. Warrell; E. Simmons; George Clinton; Irv Gotti; R. Meys; S. Garrett; W.O. Collins Aaliyah featuring DMX 4:19
3. "Rose in a Concrete World (J Dub Remix)" J. Thomas; J.P. Thompson Joe 4:50
4. "Rollin' Raw" B. Thomas; G. Dorsey B.G. From Hot Boys 4:00
5. "We At It Again" G. Mosley; M. Barcliff; S. Garrett; Timothy Mosley Timbaland & Magoo featuring Static Major & Sebastian 4:45
6. "Are You Feelin' Me?" M. Elliott; Timothy Mosley Aaliyah 3:11
7. "Perfect Man" Beyoncé; Eric Seats; Rapture Stewart Destiny's Child 3:47
8. "Simply Irresistible" B. Kidd; S. Garrett; Timothy Mosley Ginuwine 4:01
9. "It Really Don't Matter" E. Ruiz; F. Ferraro; J. Walker; J.E. Figueroa; L.M. Vizzo; Scalere, R. Jr. Confidential 4:08
10. "Thugz" A. Banks; D'Mon Dedrick Rolison; K. Garman; T. Anderson Mack 10 featuring The Comrades 4:13
11. "I Don't Wanna" D. Scantz; J. Austin; Jazze Pha; Kevin Hicks Aaliyah 4:16
12. "Somebody's Gonna Die Tonight" C. Loving; D. Bing; Irv Gotti; Robin Mays Dave Bing featuring Lil' Mo 4:36
13. "Woozy" B. Bush; J. Peacock; M. Brown; S. Garrett Playa 4:10
14. "Pump the Brakes" B. Bush; E. Seats; R. Stewart Dave Hollister 4:27
15. "This Is a Test" Chanté Moore; Eric Seats; Rapture Stewart; Stephen Garrett Chante Moore 3:20
16. "Revival" J. Walker; K. Dang; M. Calaguas Non-A-Miss 4:57
17. "Come On" A. Moody; S. Holder Blade 3:50
18. "Swung On" McKinley, Myron "Elfilin"; Stanley Clarke Stanley Clarke featuring Politix 3:16
Total length: 74:40

Weekly charts

Chart (2000) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[25] 15
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[26] 18
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[27] 15
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[28] 14
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[29] 4
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[30] 59
French Albums (SNEP)[31] 60
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[32] 6
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[33] 17
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[34] 18
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[35] 14
US Billboard 200[36] 3
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[37] 1

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[38] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[39] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[40] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Romeo Must Die". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2015-05-14. 
  2. ^ Noxon, Christopher (2001-07-04). "Taking a Fast-Track Career in Stride". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  3. ^ Jose Antonio Vargas (2007-05-25). "'Slanted Screen' Rues The Absence Of Asians". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ Li, Jet. "Jet's Message 7". Archived from the original on 2004-08-08. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Martial arts moves get a hip-hop flair". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  6. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (2000-03-28). "Weekend Box Office; 'Erin Brockovich' Holds Off 'Romeo'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  7. ^ Natale, Richard (2000-04-03). "A 'Beauty' of a Weekend for Oscar Winner; Box office * Best picture award pays off; 'Brockovich' hangs on to the No. 1 spot. 'Skulls,' 'Fidelity' debut well". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  8. ^ Beierle, Aaron (2000-07-21). "Romeo Must Die". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2015-05-14. 
  9. ^ "Romeo Must Die - Blu-ray - IGN". IGN. Retrieved 2015-05-14. 
  10. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (2000-03-22). "FILM REVIEW; Hip-Hop Joins Martial Arts but Lets Plot Muscle In". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  11. ^ Graham, Bob (2010-09-11). "Romeo Must Die' Flies On the Strength of Jet Li". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  12. ^ Rene Rodriguez (2000-03-23). "Convoluted Subplots Kill Off `Romeo Must Die'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  13. ^ "Romeo Must Die". Chicago Sun Times. 2000-03-22. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  14. ^ "Romeo Must Die (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  15. ^ "Aaliyah: A 'beautiful person's' life cut short". CNN. 2001-08-27. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  16. ^ Mathis, Dennis. "Romeo Must Die - Original Soundtrack : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 25, 2012. 
  17. ^ Christgau, Robert (May 30, 2000). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved December 25, 2012. 
  18. ^ Seymour, Craig (March 31, 2000). "Romeo Must Die Review". Entertainment Weekly. New York. Retrieved December 25, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Review: Romeo Must Die". Mixmag. London: 177. October 2000. Archived from the original on December 25, 2012. Retrieved December 25, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Review: Romeo Must Die". Q. London: 119. November 2000. Archived from the original on December 25, 2012. Retrieved December 25, 2012. 
  21. ^ "MTV.com - News - 'NSYNC On Top Again As Aaliyah, Drag-On Hit Chart". Web.archive.org. 2002-06-05. Archived from the original on June 5, 2002. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  22. ^ Basham, David (December 29, 2000). "Best Selling Records of 2000". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  23. ^ Basham, David (December 29, 2000). "Blackground Readying Aaliyah's Return". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  24. ^ "5 Best Compilations of 2000". Q. London: 95. January 2001. Archived from the original on December 25, 2012. Retrieved December 25, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Australiancharts.com – SOUNDTRACK – ROMEO MUST DIE". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  26. ^ "Austriancharts.at – SOUNDTRACK – ROMEO MUST DIE" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – SOUNDTRACK – ROMEO MUST DIE" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – SOUNDTRACK – ROMEO MUST DIE" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  29. ^ Top Albums/CDs peak
  30. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – SOUNDTRACK – ROMEO MUST DIE" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  31. ^ "Lescharts.com – SOUNDTRACK – ROMEO MUST DIE". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  32. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  33. ^ "Charts.org.nz – SOUNDTRACK – ROMEO MUST DIE". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  34. ^ "Swisscharts.com – SOUNDTRACK – ROMEO MUST DIE". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  35. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  36. ^ "SOUNDTRACK Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  37. ^ "SOUNDTRACK Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  38. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Various Artists – Romeo Must Die - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Music Canada. 
  39. ^ "British album certifications – Original Soundtrack – Romeo Must Die - The Album". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Enter Romeo Must Die - The Album in the search field and then press Enter.
  40. ^ "American album certifications – SOUNDTRACK – ROMEO MUST DIE". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links

Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Romeo_Must_Die&oldid=846853638"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_Must_Die
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Romeo Must Die"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA