City Hunter (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Wong Jing|
|Produced by||Raymond Chow
|Written by||Tsukasa Hôjô (manga)
Wong Jing (screenplay)
|Music by||Romeo Díaz
|Cinematography||Tom Lau (Lau Moon-Tong)
Ma Gam Cheung
|Editing by||Cheung Ka-fai
|Distributed by||Golden Harvest|
|Release dates||16 January 1993|
|Running time||105 minutes|
|Box office||HK $30,762,782|
City Hunter (城市獵人; Sing si lip yan) is a 1993 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film based on the Japanese manga of the same name. It was directed by Wong Jing, produced by Paragon Films and filmed by Golden Way Films Co. Ltd. The film starred an international cast that included Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan as Ryo Saeba a.k.a. City Hunter.
Ryo Saeba and Kaori Makimura are assigned to locate Shizuko Imumura, the runaway daughter of the CEO of a prominent Japanese newspaper. Kaori leaves in the middle of the search, unhappy with the way Ryo ignores her romantic feelings for him and flirts with other woman. Ryo finds Shizuko at a skateboarding park and a chase ensues, but she escapes in disguise.
Shizuko boards a luxury cruise liner, the Fuji Maru, with the ticket she found in the suit she stole. Kaori also boards the ship with her lustful cousin while Ryo sneaks inside to follow her. A terrorist gang led by Donald Mac have plans to hijack it and take the rich passengers hostage with Police Officer Saeko Nogami and her buxom sidekick in pursuit.
Staying next door from each other, Shizuko overhears Donald's plan. Donald discovers her and sends one of his men to kill her, but she knocks him out and escapes. She then bumps into the ship's first officer, who takes her to the boiler room and reveals himself as a terrorist. When he attempts to silence Shizuko, Ryo, who had been staying there since his encounter with Kaori and her cousin at the swimming pool, saves her. When Donald's gang arrive, the officer is killed in the shootout while Ryo and Shizuko escape into the movie theater, where Game of Death is being shown. To beat two towering opponents, Ryo interprets Bruce Lee's techniques from the film.
At the ship's casino, a party hosted by the captain is interrupted when Donald kills the captain and terrorizes the partygoers, including Saeko and her sidekick. After robbing them of their valuables, he entices the rich patrons into a sadistic card game. A few opponents are quickly disposed of until Kao Ta, a skilled card gamer who uses his cards as shurikens, joins in. When Donald is distracted by seeing Ryo and Shizuko not far away, Ta and Saeko put an end to his game.
Donald's henchman Kim kidnaps Kaori and takes her to his room. When Ryo bursts in, both men fight before Donald and his men interrupt, capturing Ryo in the process. Kaori escapes, bumping into Shizuko, Saeko, and the rest of the main characters. They take down a gay terrorist trying to seduce Kaori's cousin and prepare to save Ryo.
The next day, Ryo is stood before a firing squad. Shizuko, Saeko, and her sidekick interrupt the planned execution, but are forced to separate by Donald's gang. Shizuko uses her gymnastic skills to defeat one henchman, Saeko saves Ta after he runs out of cards in a fight with several terrorists, and her sidekick falls of a ledge and is left unconscious. Ryo goes into the gaming parlor with his hands still tied, but is thrown into a Street Fighter II arcade game by Kim and suffers an electric shock. This causes him to hallucinate and think Kim is Ken from the game. After two failed attempts, Ryo defeats him as Chun-Li.
As a Taiwanese counter-terrorism unit, the "Thunderbolts Squad", arrives and take his men out, Donald blows up bombs he had set up all over the ship and takes Kaori hostage at the casino. When Ryo and Saeko arrive, he injures both women and starts a long fight with Ryo. Donald is thrown into the stage and dies when he accidentally steps on his remote, setting off the bombs behind the T.V. panels.
Ryo and Kaori find Shizuko and return her to her father. He speaks to Ryo privately, seeing him as a future husband to Shizuko. Listening to their conversation, Kaori leaves in anger, unaware that Ryo has declined the man's offer. Ryo finds her and tries to apologize with a rose, but then Saeko drives up and flirts with him. He gives her the rose instead and furious, Kaori smashes him through the air with a hammer. Ryo wakes up in his recurring dream with beautiful women at the pool.
- The name of the Street Fighter character was changed from "E. Honda" to "E. Honde". This was because Chan has a contract with the Mitsubishi car company, and Honda is the name of a rival company.
- The Street Fighter sequence was recorded in real time, with wirework and special effects enhancing the action, to match it with the arcade fighting game, as can be seen in the special features of some DVD releases of the film. They also used the SNES Music instead of the CPS-1 Music.
- There were time constraints on the preparation of the film, in order to release it in time for Chinese New Year release. This meant that during some of the shots of Richard Norton, during his final fight scene with Chan, he was doubled by stunt performer Mars.
- After the initial shooting of the sequence by the ship's swimming pool, people working on it felt that the women in the background of the scene were not pretty enough. Director Wong Jing agreed and moved filming of the sequence to Ya Ma Tai Sports Recreation Centre.
- The skatepark at the beginning of the film was filmed in Hong Kong Park & Victoria Park, Hong Kong. During the skateboarding sequence in the downhill chase scene, Chan twisting his ankle as he jumped onto a skateboard. Following the injury, pro skateboarder Rick Ibaseta donned a Chan lookalike costume and performed the remainder of the scene. In other skateboard stunt scenes, Miguel Rosales, Hudson Chang & Rocky Ng were the stunt doubles for Jackie Chan.
- According to his book I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action, Chan dislocated his shoulder during production.
- The gambling area filled with televisions and a dancefloor was shot in the Shaw Brothers Studio.
The movie received positive reviews.
DVD release date
Two years later, Hong Kong Legends DVD were released on December 29, 2003 at 3 disc set Manga in Motion including two martial arts films they were: Story of Ricky and Dragon from Russia. The title was also released through both Tai Seng and later Fox Home Entertainment in the US.
All currently available versions restore a scene that was removed from both the theatrical release as well as the LaserDisc versions of the film. The scene involves one of Kaori's suitors going on a rant about foreign tourists (to wit, Richard Norton's band of terrorists) and saying that he hopes they die of AIDS in Chinese, only to discover that they understood him – very well. The scene was removed because the film's distributors were concerned that foreign audiences might be offended by the homophobic nature of the scene.
- Jackie Chan – Ryo Saeba /Michael Pham (City Hunter) (Ryu Saeba on UK dub and HKL release)
- Joey Wong – Kaori Makimura/Carrie Linh
- Chingmy Yau – Saeko Nogami/Anna Nguyen
- Richard Norton – Col. Donald "Don Mac" MacDonald
- Michael Wong – Hideyuki Makimura
- Gary Daniels – Kim/MacDonald's main henchman
- Kumiko Goto – Shizuko Imumura (Kiyoko on UK dub and HKL release)
- Leon Lai – Kao Ta/Gundam
- Eric Kot – DJ Hard
- Tan Lap-Man – Rocky Dung
- Jan Lam Hoi-Fung – DJ Soft
- Vincent Laporte – Vincent Vu
- Mike Abbott – Mike Vu
- Kenzo Hagiwara – Koji Imamura
- Ken Lo – Chen Ta-Wen (as Wai-kwong Lo)
- Mang Hoi – Room Service Henchman
- Louis Roth
- City Hunter (film), Audio commentary by Bey Logan, Special Features (DVD featurette) (DVD). Hong Kong Legends, UK. 1992 (film), 2001 (DVD).
- Jackie Chan. ""Jackie's Aches and Pains: It Only Hurts When I'm Not Laughing"". Random House. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- "MOVIE REVIEW : 'City Hunter' Loaded With Comic-Book Adventures". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
- City Hunter at the Internet Movie Database
- City Hunter at allmovie
- City Hunter at Rotten Tomatoes
- City Hunter review at Trash City