City Hunter (1993)
Reviewed by: j.crawford on 2005-07-28
In theory, this sounds like a project made in HK filmmaking heaven.The Biggest Star paired with the Hottest Producer-Director to make a film based on a very popular comic book. In reality the movie is a frenetic jumble of crazy stunts, gunplay, beautiful women, and some wonderful kungfu fighting by the irrepressible Jackie Chan.

"City Hunter" is a wild rollercoaster of a movie. It begins with kind of a prologue done in 60's Batman TV show style. Chan plays Ryu Saeba, a playboy/private eye who is hired to find the teenage runaway daughter of a Japanese millionaire. Chan had a partner who, when dying, had him promise to care for dying man's little sister, never to romance her. Well, the little sister becomes Ryu's assistant and grows up into Joey Wong Cho-Yin. Of course, Jackie can't act on his desire for his sexy assistant and she, in turn, wishes he would love her, not knowing of her brother'slast wish.

One of the first sequences in which Jackie gets to show off his unique skills involves a complicated chase scene, on skateboards, in moving traffic.Chan and his stunt men leap and fly over moving autos. Much has been written about how Chan controls his films and it is evident as all the so-called "Jackie" touches are present. What is also evident is the stamp of the action director, Ching Siu-Tung , a great director in his own right. The collaboration of Chan and Ching has turned "City Hunter" into a remarkable film.

Through various plot devices all the characters wind up on board a cruise ship that is being attacked by a gang of international terrorists for some reason[loot would be a good guess!]. The runaway Kiyoko, played by KumikoGoto, finds a ticket in the pocket of a costume she uses to elude Jackie.His assistant Kaori, disgusted with her boss's flirtations goes on holiday with her cousin. While trying to board the ship, Jackie runs into secret agent Chingmy Yau Suk-Ching. Her character Saeko thinks Ryu Saeba is a pest but she secretly loves him.

Jackie stows away to get on board and the fun begins as he searches the ship for his buddies and some food. It is his birthday and he hasn'thad a thing to eat all day! He catches up with Kiyoko as the terrorists are taking over the ship. Jackie fights off the bad guys with some beautifulscenes that show his hand-to-hand and pole fighting skills. In one scenehe gets help from Bruce Lee [!] in an empty shipboard screening room. In another scene, Jackie and two of his little buddies turn into the Streetfighter video game characters. Dressed in drag, Jackie defeats the enemy, an Anglo-creep who tried to rape Joey.

"City Hunter" is a light hearted comedy adventure that Jackie Chan fans will thoroughly enjoy. Wong Jing's reputation as the most prolific filmmaker working in Hong Kong is strengthened by his collaborative work with all the artists involved.

[This review originally appeared in Asian Cult Cinema #12]

Copyright © 1996 J. Crawford
Reviewer Score: 8