[[quoteright:318:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/romeo-must-die-poster_8252.jpg]]

''Romeo Must Die'' is a 2000 martial arts action film directed by Creator/AndrzejBartkowiak, and starring JetLi and Music/{{Aaliyah}}.

An African American gang in Oakland, headed by Isaak O'Day (Delroy Lindo), and a [[TheTriadsAndTheTongs Chinese gang]] out of Chinatown, headed by Chu Sing (Henry O) are [[MobWar at war]] on the streets of UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco over Bay-Area waterfront property rights. This rivalry culminates in the death of Po Sing, Chu's son, by an unknown assailant. In Hong Kong, Po's brother/Chu's other son Han Sing (Li), learns of Po's death, and promptly busts out of prison and heads to San Francisco to avenge him. Trish O'Day (Aaliyah) is the daughter of Isaak who does not want anything to do with her family's mob activities. Han meets with her and she ends up assisting him in trying to find his brother's killer. A romance also burgeons between them. Isaak has since decided to go legitimate for the sake of his children and become the part-owner of a stadium that will be built on the waterfront. The owners of waterfront properties who refuse to sell are being murdered, but by who? And are they the same persons that murdered Po?

The film is regarded as Jet Li's breakout role in Hollywood (though he had formerly played the villain in ''Film/LethalWeapon4''.) It was also Aaliyah's first film and, due to her untimely death the following year, considered the best of her limited filmography.

Though the title, and the fact that it involves a guy and girl from rival crime gangs hooking up might give you the impression that this is a send-up of ''RomeoAndJuliet''; in reality Han and Trish's romance is not really a major plot point.
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!!This film provides examples of:
* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: The scenes between Trish and Han, as well as their scenes with their respective fathers, are sombre and quiet breaks from all the fighting.
* ActionSurvivor: Trish isn't exactly a fighting expert, but she gets her hands dirty plenty of times. [[spoiler: She also shoots Mac in the climax]].
* AssKickingPose: One of the black guys uses the Crane Stance to mock Han, complete with screeching "waaaa" sound. Cue immediate [[GroinAttack kick in the fork]].
* BattleAmongstTheFlames / DuelToTheDeath: A final battle occurs between Han and Po's murderer [[spoiler:Kai]] in a RingOfFire. This scene would be repeated in ''Film/Cradle2TheGrave'', by the same director and also starring Jet Li.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Han is generally a {{nice guy}} but he will kick your ass if you ask for a fight.
* BigBadDuumvirate: [[spoiler:Chu and Mac.]]
* BigBrotherInstinct: The death of Han's little brother Po, for whom he willing went to ''prison'' for in order to let him escape China, is what starts the plot.
* BigBrotherWorship: Implied. In Po's apartment, there are several pictures of him and Han, and even an old memento of theirs from their childhood (a flat basketball). Unlike their father, who was content to let Han rot in prison, it seems Po never forgot what his brother did for them and cherished his love until the day he died.
* BloodlessCarnage: There isn't a whole lot of blood in the movie despite the violence.
* BriefcaseBlaster: Roth's bodyguard carries one.
* BulletHolesAndRevelations
* CaneFu: Po knocks down a racist bouncer with his cane.
* CerebusRetcon: Trish relates a story from her childhood where she and Colin pranked their mother by pretending he had been hit by a car. The joke instantly became unfunny as soon as Trish saw her mother's reaction. [[spoiler: It's an incredibly painful memory for her once Colin is killed]].
* ChekhovsGun: Po's cane [[spoiler:has a hidden compartment which holds a list of waterfront properties. It's critical to unraveling the mystery surrounding his death]].
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Vincent Roth.
* CryIntoChest: A variant occurs between Trish and Han after [[spoiler: Han has avenged his brother's death and witnessed his father commit suicide.]] He doesn't cry but his eyes are notably glassy as she hugs him.
* DesignatedGirlFight: A variant, as when Han discovers that an assassin out to get him is a woman, he immediately stops attacking her because he WouldntHitAGirl, so Trish has to fight for him. Being that Trish doesn't know how to fight off an assassin on her own, Han manipulates her arms and legs so that technically ''she's'' the one doing the hitting For what it's worth, Trish does tell him that it's perfectly okay to defend yourself against a woman trying to kill you; it simply made him feel better to have her land the blows.
* DestinationDefenestration: [[spoiler:Poor Colin]].
* DitchTheBodyguards: Trish ditches Maurice as soon as possible, and they continue to let her slip through their fingers at numerous other times.
* TheDragon: [[spoiler: Kai to Chu.]]
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Han. He ''is'' from HongKong.
* DissonantSerenity. Han. He is always calm, no matter what.
* EvilParentsWantGoodKids: It's obvious that Isaak loves his kids, and despite all his illegal goings, went through great lengths to give them a decent education, keep them out of the crime business, and go legit for them.
* FamousLastWords: [[spoiler: "Damn, that some cold shit."]]
* FatBastard: Maurice is a mixture of this and BigFun depending on which characters he's interacting with.
* FatalFlaw: Chu's is greed. [[spoiler:He killed his youngest son and several others over it, leading to his eldest son escaping prison and unraveling his plans anyway. By the end, he has his money, but has lost his top lieutenant and most of his allies, with the police hot on his heels and the other Chinese families calling for his blood once they figure out what he's done]].
* GagEcho: Maurice is constantly correcting people who get his name wrong. [[spoiler: They're his final words after Han defeats him towards the end]].
* GreatEscape: When Han hears about his brother's death in prison, he promptly escapes.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: [[WouldntHitAgirl Han won't hit girls]]. So when a woman attacks him, he comes up with an interesting compromise. He picks up Trish and swings her about in order to fight.
* IKnowKarate: Parodied and subverted. Big black gangster Maurice corners small Chinese man Han. Maurice does the crane stance because "Now, you know you ain't the only one that knows some shit," and Han [[TalkToTheFist immediately kicks out Maurice's supporting knee]].
* ImpliedLoveInterest: Han and Trish, children of the respective leaders of the mob war, form an emotional connection throughout it. They don't get particularly intimate, only sharing a hug at the end. But it's implied that they will form a relationship eventually.[[note]]A kiss was filmed but cut due to not fitting the tone of the scene.[[/note]]
* InnocentBystander: [[spoiler: Colin's girlfriend, who is killed with him.]]
* InspirationNod: Besides the title, there are a few nods to ''RomeoAndJuliet''. The movie starts with a fight between two gangs that is broken up by an authority figure. There's also a scene involving a balcony.
* JustAGangster: Mac has this attitude, and when Isaak reveals his plans for going legit, Mac wants nothing to do with it and turns on Isaak for good.
-->'''Mac:''' I've had enough of this legit shit. ... You lost your mind when you thought this white boy was going to let you have a piece of that game. You want a damned owner's box? I just want to own the streets.
-->'''Isaak:''' That's always been your problem.
* LaserGuidedKarma: All over the place. [[spoiler:In fact, Han outright tells his father that he's counting on this. Instead of killing Ch'u in retaliation for Po's death, Han will let either the police or one of the other Chinese families finish him off instead. Ch'u, realizing that he's screwed no matter what, defies the trope and commits suicide]].
* LeaveBehindAPistol: At the end, Han meets his father in his office. His father takes a gun out of his drawer and sets it on the desk as Han explains how he figured out the betrayal. As Han walks away down the hallway, a shot is heard, causing him to pause a moment before continuing.
* LoopholeAbuse: Han gets repeated pounded in football, as it's him against a whole team, and he doesn't even know the rules. Then he gets told that it's legal to hit the man who has the ball. So he repeatedly passes the ball to members of the other team, beats them up, and then reclaims the ball.
* ManlyTears: [[spoiler: After his father dies]] Han is noticeably misty-eyed.
* MartialArtsAndCrafts: Han adapts his kung fu to suit a pick-up football game.
* MissingMom: Trish's mother is said to be dead. Han's doesn't appear to be around either.
* MobWar: The whole plot. [[spoiler:It's fake. Nearly every major death shown onscreen was "in-house" -- Po was killed by Kai on Chu's orders, and Colin was killed by Mac behind Isaak's back]].
* PapaWolf:
** Upon finding out who [[spoiler: murdered his son]] Isaak went to strangle said person in a mindless rage. He also shot and killed the mook who had dared to manhandle Trish, despite being grievously wounded himself.
** Averted with Chu, who is quite happy to let one son rot in prison and [[spoiler:have his younger child killed]] in order to further his own goals.
* ParentalFavoritism: [[spoiler:While it isn't explicit, there are implications throughout the movie that despite rejecting his father to become a police officer, Han has always been Chu's favored son and chosen heir apparent. His lack of regret in ordering Po's death further supports this.]]
* PlatonicLifePartners: Han and Trish's chemistry seemed more like this.
* PlotTriggeringDeath: Po's death is what causes Han to escape prison and go to America.
* ThePromise: Han promised his mother that he would always protect his little brother. His inability to do so, due to being in prison to protect their father while Po was murdered, causes him immense pain, and is what strains his relationship with Chu.
* RailingKill: [[spoiler: Mac, who is shot over a railing by Trish.]]
* RealEstateScam: The various gangs are trying to drive people out of a community so they can buy up the land and sell it to the NFL to build a new stadium on. Isaak wanted to take it one step further and get partial ownership of the team instead of money, which would get him a long-term source of entirely legal income rather than a large one-time payoff. Unfortunately, his lieutenant decided he would rather have the money now.
* SacrificialLamb: [[spoiler: Colin]] looks like he's going to be a big part of the plot, but his death shows that things are serious business now.
* SamusIsAGirl: When an assassin chases them on a motorbike, Han pulls the helmet off to discover it's a woman.
--> "You're...[[BaitAndSwitch Chinese]]?"
* SecurityCling: Trish does this to Han when they see some dead bodies.
* ShakingHerHairLoose: How the female assassin reveals her gender when her helmet is pulled off.
* SoftWater: Subverted. [[spoiler: Colin and his girlfriend are killed from the impact or from drowning shortly thereafter.]]
* SpotTheThread: Trish explains away Han's presence in her home to Maurice by claiming he's a delivery guy. Then as Maurice is leaving, he notices that Trish was cooking. If Han is a delivery guy, why is there no delivery food?
* TheStarscream: [[spoiler:Mac.]]
* StuffBlowingUp: Including a barbershop and house boat.
* TokenWhite: In a movie full of mostly black and Asian characters, Roth is the only prominent white person (save for a couple of extras).
* TheTriadsAndTheTongs
* TheUnfavorite:
** [[spoiler:Kind of hard to pinpoint. While Po is the one who ended up going to America with his father, said father had him ''killed'' by his top lieutenant because he could possibly compromise a major business deal. Han on the other hand is the one who went to prison in order to help them escape China, though it's made clear it's not for his father's sake but for his brother, and rejected his father by becoming a police officer prior to that. However, Chu seemed to favor him more than he did Po, and it's heavily implied that he always has despite Han's rebelliousness]].
** Isaak's son, Colin, wrongly thinks he is this or the WellDoneSonGuy as his father won't let him help run his criminal empire but it's really due to Issak wanting a clean life for him. Sadly, Colin never gets the chance to fully understand or accept this before he is [[spoiler:violently murdered]].
* VillainousCrush: Mac appears to have one on Trish, who is no fool and realizes his true colors. His attempt to woo her falls flat and she makes it clear that he is just an errand boy for her father and she wants nothing to do with him.
* [[YouKilledMyFather You Killed My Brother]]
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