The Replacement Killers

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Details At A Glance

Category ACTION! Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1
Rating Other Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital City
Year Released 1998 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 84 minutes Other Extras Filmographies
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director Antoine Fuqua

Columbia Tristar
Starring Chow Yun-Fat
Mira Sorvino
Michael Rooker
Jurgen Prochnow
RRP $34.95 Music Harry Gregson-Williams

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1    
Macrovision Yes    
Subtitles English

Plot Synopsis

    The Replacement Killers is an excellent action movie with copious helpings of attitude. Be warned, though, it is extremely violent. Even I nearly died of acute lead poisoning.

    The story revolves around a professional killer, John Lee (Chow Yun-Fat) who is forced to take a job working for Mr Wei (Kenneth Tsang). He is ordered to kill the son of Stan Zedkov (Michael Rooker), who is a policeman who killed Mr Wei's son. John cannot go through with this killing, and must face the wrath of Mr Wei and his assassins.

    Other than sagging a little in the middle, this is a tightly edited high-impact action experience. It is very visceral in its impact, both aurally and visually. There is some very unusual and innovative cinematography, which also adds to the overall impact of this movie.

Transfer Quality


    As we have come to expect from Columbia Tristar, this is a very good video transfer with minimal flaws.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. At times, the framing seemed a little tight.

    The transfer was very sharp and very clear, though it was very dark overall - most of the movie takes place in the dark. Shadow detail was generally very good, with the exception of a few scenes where detail was lacking. No low level noise was apparent. I would recommend watching this movie in the dark.

    The colours were perfectly rendered with spot-on colour saturation.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some minimal aliasing here and there which was barely noticeable. Film artefacts were non-existent - this is a truly pristine transfer.


    There are three audio tracks on this DVD - English Dolby Digital 2.0, surround-encoded, English Dolby Digital 5.1, and French Dolby Digital 5.1. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Like most other Columbia Tristar DVDs, inexplicably the English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack is the default soundtrack.

    Dialogue was always very clear and at an appropriate volume when it was present, though some of Chow Yun-Fat's dialogue was difficult to understand because of his accent.

    There were no audio sync problems.

    The very stylish score by Harry Gregson-Williams was frequently present, and oozed panache and attitude. It was frequently present, underscoring the action.

     The surround channels were aggressively used for action sequences. There was little ambience since the great majority of this movie is comprised of action sequences. It was a reasonably enveloping soundtrack.

    The .1 channel was heavily used for the gunshots, and also for the music. It worked hard during this soundtrack, and added significantly to the overall visceral experience of this soundtrack.


    As is the case with most Columbia Tristar DVDs, there are only very limited extras on this disc. However, this disc marks the debut of a new regular extra on Columbia Tristar DVDs with the inclusion of Cast Filmographies. The now usual Dolby Digital City trailer and DVCC splash are also on this disc.


    The menu design is a standard Columbia Tristar menu. Functional, but virtually devoid of features. It is not 16x9 enhanced. Of note is the fact that the Theatrical Trailer and the Filmographies are now tucked away on another menu accessible from the Special Features main menu option, which is a very similar menu arrangement to Warner Brothers DVDs.

Theatrical Trailer

    This is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, non-16x9 enhanced and with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.


    This is a list of the most recent films the stars of the movie have been involved in. There are no biographical notes, just the list of films. Whilst it is not great, it is good to see that Columbia Tristar are slowly adding more and more extras to their releases.


    The Replacement Killers is an ultra-violent gut-wrenching thrill ride that is definitely not for the weak at heart. Highly recommended.

    The video quality is very good, except for a few very minor niggles.

    The audio quality is excellent, with a very aggressive surround presence.

    The extras present are very limited.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
9th February 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer