Plot: What’s it about?
Ryu Saeba (Jackie Chan) isn’t your typical private investigator, but he manages to complete his tasks most of the time. Saeba is usually dedicated to his work, but whenever a beautiful woman comes into the picture, you can count on him to become distracted and lose track of his missions. Ryu likes his women and he also loves fast & expensive cars, brightly colored clothes, and in general he likes to live in the fast lane. He and his assistant Kaori (Joey Wong) are following the trail of a young woman who happens to be the daughter of a wealthy man, when everything seems to go wrong for them. They follow the runaway girl aboard a cruise ship and soon after, the liner is hijacked by some thugs. The thugs are Americans and they decide to hold the passengers hostage, which means someone needs to save the day. So Ryu along with his assistant, the runaway girl, and some helpful folks on the ship, has to forge a plan and rescue the innocent people whose lives are in danger. Can Ryu keep his mind off the ladies and on his goal to free the liner, all while battling extreme hunger?
When you think of Jackie Chan you might think of fast paced action, but in truth he can do that and much more, as this film more than proves. This movie has a nice amount of the typical Chan action, but it also has some terrific comedy sequences and a great storyline & cast. If you’re not sold on Jackie’s comedic ability as of yet, this film will make a believer out of you. Chan uses all his skills to bring home the laughs, both physical stunts and dialogue & reactionary type humor. I’ve seen a lot of Chan’s movies and this one showcases his real acting talent better than most of them. But don’t think the action will be lacking, because this film is loaded with stunts and action & chase sequences. There aren’t as many martial arts pieces as fans might expect, but you’ll never bored with this one nonetheless. I liken this movie to Jackie Chan’s James Bond, as it mixes the conventions of spy/thrillers with Chan’s own brand of cinematic thrills. If you’re a fan of Jackie or just want an exciting flick, then give this one a shot as it won’t disappoint.
This film was directed by Wong Jing, who also adapted the screenplay from the very popular comic book series. I’ve never read the comics this film was based on, but the visuals employed do seem to make the movie feel like a live action comic book. I think the visuals suit the material very well and Jing goes one step further by having his cast turn in highly animated performances. The elements forge together to fashion a unique & memorable basis for this movie, which never becomes dull or overly slow. Jing works with crew to create a bright and exciting movie, which is a perfect fit for this type of material to be sure. If you want to see more of Jing’s movies I recommend High Risk, God Of Gamblers, Future Cops, The Tricky Master, and Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Star. This movie’s cast is led by Jackie Chan, who is without a doubt my favorite cinematic performer. As I mentioned above Chan blends his action skills with some tremendous comedic work, which means fans simply cannot miss this performance. The supporting cast is also solid and includes Joey Wang (Fantasy Romance, Butterfly And Sword), Kumiko Goto (The Toro-San series), Chingmy Yau (Hold You Tight, 100% Feel Right), and Richard Norton (License To Kill, Black Thunder).
Video: How does it look?
City Hunter is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. This is a very good transfer and the best I’ve seen the film look, but it still has some problems. Some minor debris appears on the print from time to time and I saw some serious edge enhancement on a few select scenes. These aren’t dealbreakers by any means, but I do feel potential buyers should know. The colors seem bold and vivid, with no signs of smears at all and flesh tones emerge in natural shades also. The contrast is a little bright on occasion, but usually comes through with a nice balance in all respects. This transfer is better than average and I don’t think fans will be disappointed.
Audio: How does it sound?
This disc includes Cantonese & Mandarin tracks in Dolby Digital 5.1 and whichever one you choose, you’ll be treated to a nice and active mix. The music is snappy & fits the material to perfection and this mix really makes it sound immersive and rich. The surrounds come to life when the action heats up and with quite a bit of gunplay, this one is an active track from start to finish. The surround use is loud & clear and I was pleased that it never seemed forced in the least. Both tracks feature crisp & clear vocals with no distortion or volume issues present at all. You’ll also find subtitles in English, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Bahasa, Thai, Vietnamese, and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
You’ll find theatrical trailers for this other Tai Seng releases as well as some talent files, which are in English and Chinese.