SONY has released the "EXTENDED CUT" of Antoine Fuqua's "THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS" on blu-ray. While one could argue this film imitates or borrows heavily from many films that preceded it, there have been many more that tried to copy what was achieved in "THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS" and never came close. Fuqua's film is certainly more about style than substance, but the plot is actually pretty good.
Chow Yun-Fat makes his American debut as a professional hit-man. After choosing not to kill a cop, as revenge sought by a crime boss, for the cop's part in the killing of the boss's son, Fat becomes a target. Worse, Fat also knows his entire family is in danger and he seeks the aid of a master forger to return to China and save his family. Unfortunately, the boss has hired a large team of "replacement killers" to kill Fat, his family and everyone around him.
There are numerous ballet-style shootouts, and while some prefer John Woo, this reviewer finds Antoine Fuqua to be a better overall director. The pacing is fast, and this extended cut includes about 8 extra minutes of violence over the theatrical version.
SONY has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio with this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer. Colors are solid and the deep blacks and grays provide great depth in the frequently darker scenes. As impressive as the detail is for a catalogue title, "THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS" is not up there with the best of SONY's Blu-Ray releases. There aren't many flat looking scenes, but sporadic artifacts and minor noise detract from a generally impressive transfer, at times.
SONY has provided a PCM 5.1 mix. It's a "DEMONSTRATION QUALITY" mix! While the dvd Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes were good, this PCM mix is notably better. In every scene, surrounds, bass effects and music are balanced for maximum impact and they add greatly to the film's impact. Dialogue is always well balanced. Dynamic range is impressive throughout and superior to the standard dvd.
There are some mediocre featurettes included.