The former Marky Mark plays cop as part of the NYPD's Asian-gang unit how Yun-Fat, the elegant prince of Hong Kong action, deserved a better American debut than the empty flash of The Replacement Killers. Mark Wahlberg, formerly rapper Marky Mark, deserved a better follow-up to the triumphant Boogie Nights than the empty flash of The Big Hit. You watch The Corruptor with high hopes for these two live wires — something akin to John Woo's Face/Off, a seamless blend of action and character that's not afraid of a few poetic leaps into the wild blue. What you get in this cop drama is NYPD Blue lite. That's not bad. In fact, it's compulsively watchable. But there are no leaps, just fits and starts.ahlberg plays Danny Wallace, a rookie assigned to Chinatown's Asian-gang unit, headed by supercop Nick Chen (Chow), the first Chinese-born immigrant in the New York Police Department. Nick becomes like a father to Danny as they tangle in a turf war between rival gangs — the Triads and the Fukienese Dragons. Then Danny learns that Nick's ties to the Triads cross the moral line. Energetic direction from James Foley (At Close Range) can't overcome the familiarity of Robert Pucci's script. Wahlberg and Chow — who is still struggling with his English dialogue — kick ass with style, but both are clearly capable of so much more.
- The Corruptor
- Yun-Fat Chow, Mark Wahlberg
- Directed by James Foley
From The Archives Issue 808: March 18, 1999
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