Starring: Jackie Chan, Gary Daniels, Richard Norton, Joey Wong, Kumiko Goto, Chingmy Yau, Leon Lai, Michael Wong, Carol Wen
Director: Wong Jing
1993 | 99 Minutes | PG-13
“I hit hard, where as you hit like a girl.” – Ryu Saeba
I have put off reviewing City Hunter for quite a while. My first viewing of it was less than favorable. I’m finally going to give it another chance. Hopefully it’s not as bad as I had remembered.
Ryu Saeba (Jackie Chan) is City Hunter, a world famous private investigator. City Hunter is hired to find the daughter of a rich Japanese newspaper mogul. City Hunter almost turns down the job until he sees how beautiful she is. He tracks her location to a cruise ship and sneaks on board. The ship is hijacked by Col. MacDonald (Richard Norton) and his henchmen (including Gary Daniels) and it’s up to City Hunter to stop them and save the girl.
City Hunter is based on a popular Japanese comic strip so I will give my usual disclaimer. I have never read the original material so I will not be comparing one to the other, I will simply be reviewing the movie as it stands.
The humor is worth a few chuckles but it gets real old real quick. I know Jackie Chan wasn’t the writer or director but it feels like it is the type of humor you would get if you told Jackie to be intentionally over the top silly. Much of the humor is also PG-13 sexualized such as a woman who constantly loses her balance because of her large breasts or the constantly hungry City Hunter picturing the same woman’s breasts as hamburgers and trying to take a bite.
The music mimics the goofy tone of the rest of movie including random shout outs of “CITY HUNTEEERRRRR!!!”
Most of the action is silly slapstick stuff that is really below Jackie Chan. When the action does turn to the pure martial arts it does pick up a bit but those moments are few and far between.
While there are a couple of great fights between Jackie and Gary Daniels or Richard Norton, the scene that everyone will most likely remember most is the Street Fighter fight. City Hunter gets thrown into a Street Fighter II arcade machine and is electrocuted causing him to hallucinate – thinking Gary Daniels character is Ken Masters. City Hunter turns into E. Honda and gets beat. Two other guys join the fray as Guile and Dhalsim and are beat by Ken spamming his fireballs. City Hunter then returns as Chun-Li for the win, complete with Street Fighter accurate celebration dance. It is the most legitimately funny parts of the entire movie.
City Hunter wasn’t quite as bad as I had remembered but the action isn’t anywhere near the level I expect from a Jackie Chan movie and the humor is more annoying than it ever is funny. Jackie Chan has done so many great movies, I can’t think of a time that I would come back to City Hunter again (except maybe the Street Fighter scene).