James Foley's The Corruptor, on the other hand, is the kind of film that gives exploitation a bad name. An imitation John Woo policier, it stars Chow Yun-Fat, the Jean Gabin of Hong Kong cinema, as a pragmatic New York cop and Mark Wahlberg as his new partner. The Chinatown they patrol is a teeming cesspool where dumpsters are the last resting place of murdered prostitutes and nightly gang warfare leaves streets littered with corpses. If Giuliani's figures are to be believed, then more people are murdered in Chinatown in the course of this movie than in all of New York during 1998.
Directed by James Foley
Written by Robert Pucci
A New Line release
The time may be right for a movie that's about a cop who's not a pillar of virtue, but when that cop is Asian, and his white buddy is the one who's pure as the driven snow, I'd say we have a bit of a problem. The Corruptor is as racist a movie as I've seen in years. But as unforgivable as Foley's depiction of Chinatown society is, it's nothing compared to what he does to Chow Yun-Fat, turning his best moves to shtick by depriving them of any context. That in such a miserable film I could still care whether his character lived or died is, perhaps, the greatest proof that he's a movie star.
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