Romeo Must Die
Entertainment: +1 1/2
Acceptability: -3

When his brother dies in an apparent gang war on the waterfront in Oakland, California, Han (Jet Li) uses his martial arts skills to escape a Hong Kong prison and flies to the U.S. As he investigates his brothers death, Han frequently meets Trish ODay (Aaliyah). Her father, Isaak (Delroy Lindo), heads the black syndicate that controls half the waterfront property. Hans father is head of the Asian crime families that control the other half. When Trish loses her brother, she and Han join forces to stop the war. But all is not what it seems and it takes all of Hans skill just to keep both of them alive. This film may be big with martial arts fans and black audiences as it showcases the amazing acrobatic stunts of Jet Li. But those looking for more than superficial relations to Shakespeare will be disappointed.

Equally disappointing is the emphasis of gratuitous violence used to display martial arts stunts. While the martial arts fights contain gravity defying moves, they are the obvious highlight of this loosely plotted story. Some scenes even used an x-ray view to show bones breaking or metal spikes going into the heart. And, of course, gun threats and gun fire also appear frequently. Along with a musical soundtrack featuring numerous uses of vulgar terms in rap and hip-hop pieces, the dialogue contains over 30 obscenities, 16 moderate crudities, along with several regular profanities. Although no sex scenes are used, two women dance together sensually and after kissing, one's bare breast is shown briefly. Gratuitous violence used to entertain, along with brief gratuitous nudity, drug use, and frequent obscenity kill ROMEO MUST DIE.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

Crude Language: Many (40) times - Mild 24, moderate16
Obscene Language: Many (33+) times - S-word 29, F-word 3, other 1, plus many f- and s-words in music
Profanity: Several (6) times - Regular 5 (GD, JC, J 3) exclamatory 1
Violence: Almost continuous - Moderate and severe (Frequent martial arts kicks/ hits, gun threats, shootings, burned hands shown, high fall from building)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Once - Brief breast nudity as women dance
Homosexual Conduct: Once - two women dance sensually, kiss and one briefly exposes a breast
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Several times - slang references to sex
Drug Abuse: Alcoholic drinks, cigarettes, marijuana used once
Running Time: 118 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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