Jack Grimaldi (Gary Oldman
) lives two lives. By day he is a respected detective with a loving wife. By night he works jobs for the Mafia and shacks up with his younger mistress. Everything changes when he's ordered by the mob to kill a brutal and seductive Russian hitwoman, Mona Demarkov (Lena Olin
), who is placed in his custody. This ultra-violent neo-noir film is named after a Tom Waits
song and has become something of a cult favorite.
Romeo is Bleeding contains examples of:
- Award Bait Song: Bon Jovi's song "Always."
- Bittersweet Ending: After shooting Mona during a heated final confrontation in which she threatens to kill his wife, Jack is given a commendation instead of being sent to prison for murder and starts a new life out West in a small remote town. However, he spends his days pining for the forgiveness and return of his estranged wife.
- Chained to a Bed: After killing his mistress, Mona then handcuffs Jack to the bed and has her way with him.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Mona does this to Jack repeatedly — attempting to strangle him after convincing him to murder his own mob boss and fake her own death and trying to turn him into the police after he shoots the Don.
- Dark Action Girl: Mona is a pretty realistic example, and is much more terrifying because of it.
- Determinator: Mona doesn't let getting her arm shot off stop her from trying to rule the underworld. She doesn't even seem particularly upset by its loss.
- Dirty Cop: Jack Grimaldi, who does favors for the Italian mafia.
- Fingore: More like toegore after the Don is done severing Jack's toe for his ineptitude in allowing Mona to escape.
- The Mafia: The Italian mafia, headed by Don Falcone.
- The Mafiya: Mona Demarkov is a Russian gangster.
- Murderous Thighs: Done by a handcuffed Mona by hooking her legs around his neck from the back seat, causing him to crash his car.
- The Sociopath: Mona Demarkov
- Underestimating Badassery: When Jack first meets Mona, he's expecting to be impressed due to her fearsome reputation, but he "doesn't see it." She deadpans, "Keep lookin'."
- The Vamp: Mona all the way. Repeatedly uses Jack's weakness for drop-dead gorgeous babes to make him an accomplice to the Don's murder (after having been ordered by the Don to murder Mona).