I’ll say it right now. Chow Yun-Fat is one of the coolest people in the world. I first saw him in The Replacement Killers and became a fan. Then I saw the light when I watch Hard Boiled and The Killer. He can be charismatic, violent, emotional, and passionate without ever feeling forced or melodramatic. So you can understand why I wanted to like The Corruptor so much.
Yun-Fat gets a chance to strut his stuff as Nick Chen, a detective who is wrapped up in corruption and guilt. Enter Danny Wallace (Mark Wahlberg), a young detective who is not all he seems. The first part of the movie is spent setting up Chen and Wallace’s relationship, as Chen first tries to discourage Wallace from serving in Chinatown and then grows to respect him.
After that, the movie quickly loses focus. The movie never really explains itself, characters switch from good to evil without rhyme or reason, the shootouts seem lukewarm and average, and the main villain never feels as evil or corrupting as the title makes them out to be. Yun-Fat gives a great performance with what he’s given, and his character is the most fleshed-out. But the rest of the movie seems too unfocused, unexplained, and uninspired to be enjoyable.