China Girl Plot
Director Abel Ferrara updates ROMEO AND JULIET in this neon-drenched tale of Italian and Chinese gang relations in lower Manhattan. With Canal Street as their border, Little Italy's and Chinatown's respective mobs have co-existed peacefully for years, but when a Chinese restaurant opens on the wrong side of the street, conflict ignites between Mercury (David Caruso) and Tsu Shin (Russell Wong), the young hotheads of each gang. The situation gets even more explosive when Shin's over-protected sister, Tye (Sari Chang), falls in love with Italian pizzeria employee Tony (Richard Panebianco), leading to the death of his mobster brother, Alby (James Russo). Eventually, lower Manhattan erupts into a tide of violence that neither the elder's wisdom nor Tony and Tye's barrier-crossing love can stem. Lit up in reds, golds, and yellows by acclaimed cinematographer Bojan Bazelli, CHINA GIRL looks beautiful, and is filled with strong performances - Caruso is especially memorable as the mayhem-loving Mercury. The script is by longtime Ferrara collaborator Nicholas St. John and is filmed with Ferrara's patented blend of gritty street style, flashy violence, sex, and religious symbolism. Fans of his later KING OF NEW YORK will want to hunt this down.