[box cover]

City Hunter

A very bad movie with great production values, Jackie Chan's 1992 comedy City Hunter sought to emulate the big-budget American comic-book films of the '90s — most notably Dick Tracy and Batman — by adapting the popular "City Hunter" manga and anime series. Directed by Wong Jing (God of Gamblers), the movie references now-dated cultural icons like the "Street Fighter II" video game as Chan runs around Hong Kong and takes to the high seas in a convoluted comic plot involving the daughter of a Japanese businessman, Chan's dead partner's possessive sister, a mysterious female detective, and a plot to steal a luxury ocean liner. Like most Chan flicks, the reason to watch is to see the master in action, spinning, kicking, flying headlong through the air, and flinging himself thoughtlessly into the most dangerous of stunts. But despite genuinely amusing set pieces like a martial arts dance number and an homage to the Bruce Lee/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar battle in Game of Death, this film is mostly just annoying, with a lot of really silly slapstick, wacky sound effects, and exaggerated facial expressions, all set to irritating '30s-style music. For hardcore Chan completists only — or for those willing to fast-forward just to watch the action sequences, which are admittedly top-notch. Fox's DVD release is surprisingly packed, starting with a beautiful anamorphic (1.85:1) transfer of the film — amazingly sharp and saturated — and the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is excellent (offered in the original Cantonese as well as a dubbed English track, with English and Chinese subtitles available). Extras include theatrical trailers for City Hunter, a blooper reel edited like a cheesy music video, a still gallery, and interviews with Chan, Wong Jing, and stuntman Rocky Lai. The interviews are short (each about eight minutes long) and offer moderately interesting background on the film and the Hong Kong movie industry. There's also a Jackie Chan still gallery, plus promo materials and production notes, and trailers for Magnificent Butcher, Hong Kong 1941, Kiss of the Dragon, and The Transporter.
—Dawn Taylor

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