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THE REPLACEMENT SUSPECT (2001)

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THE REPLACEMENT SUSPECT (2001)

Saturday, 14 September 2013 19:48

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Written by 

The Buzz:

 

     Hong Kong police are staking out an arms dealer who escapes them. Meanwhile in the same area a trio of thieves make their getaway in a vehicle that matches the same description as that of the arms dealer. As Deus Ex Machina would have it both criminals end up in the same bar with the police surrounding them. The rest of the film focuses on how to escape and how the stress effects everyone inside.

 

 Life of the Party:

 

     One of the reasons I like foreign films is how the culture impacts what we might consider pretty standard movie tropes or concepts. We've seen tons of criminals vs cops hostage stand offs in America, but other countries value different things than us and that can reflect in how they tell that story. The Replacement Suspect is a prime example of that. If this were a Hollywood picture we could expect lots of unsuccessful attempts to breach the building by the police followed by criminals and negotiator yelling over the phone about "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!" But we don't have any of that here. Here we have two self contained worlds. The world inside the bar where the hostages are being kept and run by the criminals, and the world outside the bar that is run by the police. You never see any people cross between the two until the climax and only two times does dialog ever cross between the two. 

 

     What this means is that the two worlds are all about what not knowing what's happening in the other one drives each side to do. This allows the story to unfold by seeing how the characters themselves react to the stresses that exist in their contained space. Will the hostages be killed? Can the criminals get away alive? Stay out of jail? Is killing their only option? How do you keep the press quiet so as not to tip off the criminals inside as to what's happening with the police? There are relationships and history with some of these characters, as well. All of this means we tackle humanity from many angles and I think it's that story of humanity and honor that underlines a lot of this story that is what makes it uniquely Asian.

 

     From a filmographic stance there is some decent writing, though nothing amazing. And at least a couple of stand out performances. Michael Wong plays the Detective in charge of apprehending the criminal group and he is definitely the shining star here. His delivery is superb, but mostly it's how well he shows an honest cop in a tough situation. He's frustrated, he's angry, and he's trying to do his job surrounded by situations that just make it more frustrating. 

 

 

Story of my God damned life...

 

Potential Hangovers:

 

     Unfortunately I think you really have to look deep at the intent of this film to get the above. There's really more "meh" or even downright bad to this film than good. There are numerous cases of flubbed lines and, what I believe to be, unintended stutters. Why weren't these reshot? Who the hell knows; I guess film is too expensive to waste on such a thing. At least that's what I'd think if this were filmed on anything of quality. For a film shot in 2001, I spent most of this picture wondering if it was shot in the late 80s or early 90s. Thanks communism! Most of the rest of the acting is either phoned in or delivered to goofy over the top status. Kenny Bee, who plays the arms dealer, barely delivers a single line the whole time and anytime he's on camera looks like he's waiting to leave the set. This was obviously a low budget movie and for that I try to forgive a lot, but as we've seen here on Tanked Matinee low budget can still make a great film! Unfortunately The Replacement Suspect never makes it to great, and just barely approaches ok. 

 

 

Hold on... there's a fly on your cheek...

 

The Vibe: Casual Gathering, Solo Experience

 

     If you really like heist films or crime dramas I recommend checking this out solo just for something that tries, even if not always successfully, to be a bit different than others. Otherwise get a few friends over with the intent of heckling this thing over a few beverages if watching it at all. It definitely wouldn't be good for a big party settings as there's just not enough here to engage a lot of people or even make for cool background noise. In the end I see a lot of places this film tried, but fell short simply because there either wasn't money or talent enough to realize a vision. That is always an unfortunate thing to see. 

 

Plus/Minus:

 

+ Asian take on crime drama

- Phoned in or over the top acting

- Poor film quality

- Flubbed lines

 

Drinking Games:

 

- Drink anytime someone stutters or appears to mess up a line.

- Drink anytime Brother coughs up blood.

- Drink when Detective Kong says "fuck".

-HARDCORE MODE: Drink anytime someone says someone else will die or says they don't want to die.

Read 831 times Last modified on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 13:59

About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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