Running Time: 95 minutes
MPAA Rating: NR, probably PG
Format: Widescreen 1.83:1
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: Chinese, English, Japanese, Bahasa Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Spanish
Region: All
MSRP: $29.95

Own It!
City Hunter (1993) (Import)

Jackie Chan finally becomes a living comic book character in this movie based on a Japanese manga. He plays Ryu Saeba, a perpetually hungry private eye who fancies himself to be a bit of ladies man.

Ryu is hired by a Japanese magnate to find his errant daughter. The daughter is hiding out on a cruise ship, and Ryu follows. In an amazing coincidence, Ryu's partner Kaori (Joey Wang), who has an unrequited crush on Ryu, is also on the ship, along with two beautiful private eyes (Chinmy Yau and Amy Yip), the roguish King of Cards (Leon Lai), and a couple dozen terrorists, headed by Richard Norton and Gary Daniels. You can guess what happens next.

Actually, you'd probably be wrong, unless you happened to guess, "An amazingly obnoxious Chinese rap/pop group named the Soft/Hard Boys will perform an awful song and then provide odious comic relief through the rest of the film," or "Jackie will fight two tall black guys in a movie theater, and interact with an onscreen Bruce Lee." You probably also would not foresee the amazing scene in which Chan and Daniels take on the forms of various characters from the Street Fighter II video game.

City Hunter is probably the silliest film Jackie Chan has ever made. So if you're from the segment of kung-fu fans who don't like it when Jackie mugs the camera, you're probably not going to like this movie. City Hunter is also lower on stunts than most Jackie Chan film, and bigger on intricate fights. As a living Loony Tune, City Hunter succeeds admirably.

As Media Asia discs go, this is one of the better ones I've seen. The image is fairly sharp throughout. Sometimes when the camera moves quickly, artifacting can be seen. The colors look accurate, even when entire scenes are bathed in red and blue.

The sound is in Dolby Digital 5.1. There are some directional effects, but not many. Both the Cantonese and Mandarin soundtracks are included, and the latter has much more cartoonish voice performances.

English subtitles are included. They are a cut above the usual HK English subtitles, though they don't do a very good job of translating some of the verbal humor.

Versions of this film intended for the international market were cut for content. The cuts included some crass homophobic gags, and about a minute of the Soft/Hard Boys interminable "Gala Gala Happy" Song. The DVD has not been cut, though you may wish it were.

Media Asia's disc includes trailers to City Hunter, Police Story, Miracles, and Jackie Chan: My Stunts, plus some brief notes about the movie and the actors.

Scott Hamilton, 7/31/00