Romeo must die

Exciting blend of martial arts and Shakespeare in this tale of star-crossed lovers played by Jet Li and AAliyah. Li plays the son on an Asian crime lord trying to seize control of Oakland’s waterfront district. AAlyiah plays the daughter of a African American crime lord looking to get out of the business but not until he settles a score with the Asian crime lord. Jet Li excels as the ex-Hong Kong who went to prison so his father and brother could escape to the United States.

When his brother is killed, Han (Li) leaves for Oakland to help his father learn the identity of the killer. It’s there were Han meets Trish (AAliyah), the independent daughter of Issak (Delroy Lindo), the crime lord accused of killing Han’s brother. Stylish direction and dazzling action scenes combine to create an invigorating experience. (Warner)


Despite an appealing cast, “Whatever It Takes” remains a pedestrian teen flick that brings nothing new to the party. Shane West and James Franco are okay as two high school seniors who conspire with each other to snag the prom date of their dreams. For Ryan (West), it’s Ashley Grant (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe), the most popular girl in school who doesn’t even know he exists. Ashley’s cousin Chris (Franco) has his eyes set on Ryan’s best friend Maggie (Marla Sokoloff), who can’t stand Chris despite his popularity. Chris agrees to help Ryan bag Ashley, while Ryan coaches Chris on Maggie’s favorite things. Their plan begins to work, but we all know where the evening is headed when Ryan learns that Chris has more on his mind than close dancing at the prom. This type of film is okay for teenagers with time on their hands. (Columbia-TriStar)

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