City Hunter staring Jackie Chan is a laugh a minute in this, believe it or not, action packed comedy with a cast of characters that you are sure to either love or hate. There really is no middle ground on this one. Wiki even said that Jackie hated this film directed by Jing Wong. Either way this film is going to make you laugh even if you don’t want to. Who doesn’t like to laugh watching films with Jackie Chan in them. He is one of Hong Kongs greatest assets and one that needs to be used more often.
The original title of the film was Sing si lip yan and is about City Hunter Ryu Saeba (Jackie Chan) who is a womanizing and constantly hungry and humorous detective. His sidekick Kaori Makimura (Joey Wang), the daughter of his old partner, is really in love with Ryu and is constantly wanting to hit him over the head with something large and heavy. While the film doesn’t capture all of the fun that the anime or the manga do it still follows the theme of mindless humor and mismatched love between Ryu and Kaori. Even with all the silliness City Hunter always seems to get the job done no matter what, that is when food and pretty women don’t distract him from doing his job. We get to see that distraction shown in this film but not as much or as funny as it is in the books or anime which is a real shame, it would have added so much to the film. So much for Jing Wong trying to keep the film like the fan loved fiction.
While the film is fun it has some serious flaws and some things that just make no sense at all. Col. MacDonald (Richard Norton) lines are all in English yet we don’t get to hear the Aussie in his own voice. Instead we have very bad dubbing of some other actor instead of just lifting the actors own voice from the audio tracks. I wonder if Richard felt the same way about this film as Jackie did and wanted to just distance himself from the film entirely. The majority of the non Asian actors in this film did the film in English so one can only wonder why it was so mangled on the dubbing process and why they didn’t even use the original voices. Its so odd to hear the voices of other actors when you already know what the actors voice should actually sound like.
Some critics have tore this film apart because it seemed to have no plot at all but really that is how all the City Hunter plots are. They are loose and free and sometimes makes no sense at all but that is what makes them so funny and endearing. In this film Hunter is contracted to retrieve the runaway daughter of a rich magazine CEO from Japan. While trying to find her he winds up on a cruise where he has to avoid the crew, find some food and take care of the bad guys. All of the Hunter stories are something like this. The character could fall in the sewer and come out smelling like roses, that is just the way he is. He never has a clue about what is going on and it is always Kaori that is bailing him out and getting him work. So to all those other critical critics, take a chill pill and read the manga and watch some anime before you totally dis this film. I can understand why Jackie hated it, Wong took to many liberties but the film still follows the insane plots as does the original stories.
If you want to see a live action version of your favorite character City Hunter then you can’t go wrong with this rendition. Sure it is silly, insane and choppy but so are all of the City Hunter stories. The only thing really missing is more 10,000 pound bonks on the head by the lovable Kaori Makimura.