This review originally appeared in Asian Cult Cinema #12

City Hunter one-sheet CITYHUNTER
Directed by Wong Jing [1992]

In theory, this sounds like a project made in HK filmmaking heaven.The Biggest Star paired with the Hottest Producer-Director to make a filmbased on a very popular comic book. In reality the movie is a freneticjumble of crazy stunts, gunplay, beautiful women, and some wonderful kungfu fighting by the irrepressible Jackie Chan.

"City Hunter" is a wild roller coaster of a movie. It begins with kindof 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 daughterof a Japanese millionaire. Chan had a partner who, when dying, had himpromise 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.Hubba-Hubba! Of course, Jackie can't act on his desire for his sexy assistantand 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 uniqueskills involves a complicated chase scene, on skateboards, in moving traffic.Chan and his stunt men leap and fly over moving autos. Much has been writtenabout 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 theaction director, Ching Siu-Tung , a great directorin his own right. The collaboration of Chan and Ching has turned "CityHunter" into a remarkable film.

Through various plot devices all the characters wind up on board a cruiseship that is being attacked by a gang of international terrorists for somereason[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 holidaywith her cousin. While trying to board the ship, Jackie runs into secretagent Chingmy Yau Suk-Ching. Hubba-Hubba! Her character Saeko thinks RyuSaeba is a pest but she secretly loves him.

Jackie stows away to get on board and the fun begins as he searchesthe 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 terroristsare 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. Inanother scene, Jackie and two of his little buddies turn into the Streetfightervideo game characters. Dressed in drag, Jackie defeats the enemy, an Anglo-creepwho tried to rape Joey.

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

Copyright 1996 J. Crawford

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