The Replacement Killers: Go Mira Go!

I’m doing NaBloPoMo elsewhere, posting a list each day. In keeping with that pattern, I hereby present a series of lists that make up my review of the movie The Replacement Killers.

Reasons I really, really like Mira Sorvino’s character:

  • She never panics. Ever. Instead, she gets pissed off. Much more satisfying.
  • She yells when she fights.
  • Her boots are made for walking. And running. And climbing fire escape ladders.
  • She follows directions when appropriate, instead of endangering herself and everyone else by not listening.
  • No chick fight.
  • No hesitation about shooting the bad guys.

Quotes that make her awesome:

  • In response to a cop’s assessment of her criminal record: “I’ve always considered myself a feminist pioneer.”
  • “You are the second guy today to assume that I need, want, or will accept help. I won’t.”
  • “When the gun is in my hand, we’re going to have this conversation again.”

Objects she uses as weapons during the course of the film:

  • Gun
  • Scissors
  • Glass ashtray
  • Van

Ways she’s objectified by the filmmakers:

  • She can’t seem to wear any clothing that covers her bra.
  • Close-up shots of her stomach and crotch as she’s changing clothes.
  • It’s basically a missionary sex position when Chow Yun-Fat takes the gun away from her. (Granted, she grabbed the gun right after he put her dislocated knee back in, which is wicked tough. And then she grabs the aforementioned ashtray…)
  • Her girly-girl look on the movie poster. What’s up with that?

Roles available for Asian actors in this film:

  • Assassin
  • Mobster
  • Buddhist Monk
  • Gee, that’s it…

Things I wonder about:

  • Why Mira Sorvino and Chow Yun-Fat don’t get together. They obviously develop a deep emotional connection, and his last gesture to her can be read as romantic. See my review of Drop Zone for discussion of why the two of them not getting it on can be a bad thing.
  • Why Mira Sorvino didn’t get another action role after this film. Did it not gross well enough? Did the execs not find her convincing?

Concluding thoughts:

  • Worth seeing just for the gunfight in the car wash.
  • Not on par with Tank Girl or Aliens, since Sorvino’s character is the follower.
  • I might have given it four stars anyway due to Chow Yun-Fat’s presence if they’d even included one non-white actor as anything other than the three stereotypical roles listed above. Instead, it gets three.
  • Yay Mira Sorvino!

This post was originally published on Heroine Content, a feminist and anti-racist movie blog that ran from July 2006 to May 2012.

4 thoughts on “The Replacement Killers: Go Mira Go!

  1. SunlessNick

    I also like her line: “Will you? Put a bullet in your head now our positions are reversed?”

    And she intimidates a streetganger, IN FRONT OF HIS GANG.

    On the race front, I’d rather the cop had been Chinese.

  2. ccoldmilk

    I really liked the movie because of Mira Sorvino’s character and the ending is perfect. I think it was a good choice to not have Sorvino’s and Chow Yun-Fat’s characters have a romantic relationship because his character is supposed to have a family in China. It felt true to the honourable characters they both play. It’s uncommon in action movies to have opposite sex leads end the movie as equals that respect each other.

    Yes, the poster dissappoints, but marketing probably thought it was the only way to get the boys to see the movie. That, and the biiig gun.

  3. Skye

    His family back in China was his mother and sister, as I recall, so I don’t think that would necessarily be a barrier to a romantic relationship developing. And I did feel like that choice was true to the characters, but I still think we need to question why when filmmakers make a choice that goes against genre expectations – was it to be true to the characters, or was it racism?

    I like the gun too.

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