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Danny Wallace (Mark Wahlberg) has been assigned to the Asian Gang Squad of the NYPD. His boss, Nick Chan (Chow Yun-Fat) maintains shady links with several Triad gangs and initially distrusts Wallace, who is the first non-Asian to join the unit. After gradually establishing a professional relationship Chan and Wallace are put to the test when a street war erupts between rival gangs.

Chow Yun-Fat has a much happier time with Mark Wahlberg in The Corruptor than he did with cantankerous co-star Mira Sorvino in his American debut The Replacement Killers. This is also a much better vehicle for the Hong Kong superstar whose charisma, aided by a sturdy Mark Wahlberg, keeps the action afloat.

There's nothing new in the story of an honest cop who joins a squad that looks like it has plenty of lucrative deals on the side—what makes it more than passably interesting are the characterisations offered by Chow and Wahlberg. Chow's twinkly-eyed charm and dazzling skill with firearms oozes from the screen and he keeps you guessing if he's really in bed with the enemy. Wahlberg provides a good balancing act, bringing more to the character of a cop's son who fears ending up like his broken down old dad than was probably ever written on the page. Of the criminal element John Kit Lee offers some first-rate sleaze as smiling gang boss Jack, who could make it as a hospitality trade consultant if he weren't so busy ordering executions.

If shootouts and car chases set to hip-hop music are your bag, man, The Corruptor supplies plenty and the body count is what you'd expect from the MA 15+ tag. The good value extras include a fine commentary track featuring director James Foley, behind the scenes footage and original edits of some action sequences that were later trimmed to avoid the NC-17 rating. Chow groupies will want to buy it for when they’ve tired of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Others are advised to observe "rent first "precautions.
Richard Kuipers

Published September 13, 2001

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia


CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Chow Yun-Fat, John Kit Lee, Ric Young, Paul Ben-Victor, Brian Cox

DIRECTOR: James Foley

RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: December 4, 2000

SPECIAL FEATURES: Widescreen; Director’s Commentary; Trailer; Music Video “Take It Off” by UGK; Cast and Crew Biographies; The Making Of The Corruptor. Subtitles: English

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