This non-sensical, alienating version of the popular
Japanese manga/anime City Hunter also happens to be
one of the most trying Hong Kong Cinema experiences
around. Some cool stunts and fight sequences abound,
but nothing in the way of character or even plot. And
furthermore, the inane, in-your-face comedy makes fingernails
scratching a blackboard seem like a pleasant way to
spend the evening.
Jackie Chan plays Ryu Saeba
(or Mang-Boh, in Cantonese), a private eye with a lust
for babes and burgers. He’s assigned to find a runaway
girl (Kumiko Goto), who just happens to hitch a ride
on a luxury liner that comes Under Siege by terrorists
(led by Richard Norton). Joey Wong is Kaori, Jackie’s
partner and love interest and Chingmy Yau is Saeko,
who’s quite sexy as an unidentified law enforcer of
some sort. Sky King Leon Lai plays a suave gambler with
a talent for throwing cards. To top it all off, there’s
a cameo by Michael Wong (as Jackie’s dead partner) and
the Soft/Hard duo of Eric Kot and Jan Lam make an appearance.
Needless to say, fast-forward
was invented for films like this. The comedy is sophomoric
in that Wong Jing way, with too many wasted gags and
annoying mugging from the cast. The action is dead-on,
though. Like most of Jackie Chan's films, City Hunter comes alive when Chan is called upon to risk life and
limb. The last fight sequence with Richard Norton manages
to mix the action and comedy extremely well. Too bad
the rest of the movie is criminally uneven and annoying.
Furthermore, the infamous Street Fighter sequence
pays tribute to Wong Jing's other favorite pastime:
video games. It's great that he likes them, but when
he references them in such god-awful ways (see this
or Future Cops) you wish he would just stay away.