Thursday, 23 July 2015

City Hunter

I believe I have previously mentioned that I am a fan of Jackie Chan.
I don't think I've yet mentioned my liking of Anime (Although I could be wrong).
So what happens when you combine two of my favourite things?
You get the Jackie Chan cartoon series, but a close second would be a movie called City Hunter.
Back when Jackie Chan was considered handsome.
This movie is essentially Under Siege if directed by Mel Brooks.
So the movie opens with City Hunter himself explaining his backstory.
This guy.
He explains that he and his partner were nigh-invincible, until one day his partner got shot. His dying wish was for City Hunter to look after his cousin Kairi, but only if he promised to never seduce her.
You can see how seriously this movie takes itself.
Hunter promises not to seduce her (Considering she was about twelve at the time he figured it would be easy). So he takes her in and she becomes his assistant. But Hunter forgot one salient fact.
Girls grow into women.
Although she never changed her taste in clothes.
Hunter keeps his promise not to seduce her, which is difficult since she has feelings for him.
With the backstory over (In less than two minutes) the plot gets started with Kairi phoning Hunter to remind him of an important meeting.
But he's busy dreaming about women.
To be fair, I wouldn't want to wake up from this dream either.
Kairi tries everything she can think of to wake him, but he's practically comatose. However, Kairi refuses to let him be late for his meeting so she drives him their anyway.
In as safe a manner as possible of course.
I have no idea why she decided that it was better for him to lay on the roof than to sit in the seat next to her.
Anyway, when they get to the office he still hasn't stirred, until his nose catches a whiff of the perfume the secretary is wearing.
Our protagonist.
While Hunter is busy hitting on the secretary, Kairi fondly imagines smacking him with a giant comedy mallet.
This movie must have been a lot of fun to make.
Kairi snaps out of her daydream when their client, Mr. Imamura, explains why he's hired them. His daughter Kyoko has run away from home because she doesn't like her new stepmother. So he wants Hunter to track her down and bring her back. Hunter eagerly agrees to the job.
No idea why.
So Hunter and Kairi go searching for Kyoko in Hong Kong (Where she's known to be staying). Whilst in the car Kairi tries to ask Hunter what he would like for his birthday and she suggests a cruise, but he's too focused on the job so she gets angry. She gets even angrier when he suggests splitting up, Kairi taking the beauty salons and him taking the parks.
Hunter prepares himself for a tough, difficult search, before finding her in the very first place he looks.
It goes well.
Kyoko's not willing to go along with him (It probably didn't help that he didn't introduce himself) and she skates away, telling her skater friends that he tried to molest her. So, being good, upstanding citizens, they try to stop him.
So he beats them up.
What follows is a high speed chase using skateboards, with Jackie Chan proving his awesomeness via ridiculous stunts.
So, par for the course with Jackie Chan movies.
What does this man have against windows?
Hunter loses the skaters and continues the search for Kyoko, unknowingly trapping her in a clothing store.
Whilst she's in there she gets leered at by a pervert. Noticing Hunter outside, she lures the pervert into the changing rooms, where she beats him up and steals his clothes.
How fortunate that he was the same size as her. Even down to the shoes.
Kyoko sneaks past Hunter and escapes, finding a ticket to a cruise in the pocket of her coat.
After giving up the search Hunter goes home and loudly complains about being hungry. Just then a group of women appear out of nowhere with a cake. They tell him that they'll feed it to him if he lets them tie him up and he agrees, displaying all the survival instinct of a horny lemming.
That's when the women reveal that they're all married to men he's put in jail and they're here to kill him.
Hell hath no fury?
Luckily for Hunter they didn't tie his legs, so he's able to fend them off long enough to get a gun.
And that's when Kairi shows up with his real birthday cake.
Hunter tries to explain the situation, but the women pretend that they're hookers and Kairi gets mad, throwing his cake at him before driving off.
Hunter gets angry at the women and shoots off his restraints.
Then he presumably rapes them.
Such a positive role model.
After a scene transition we get to the plot proper, with Kairi and her cousin getting on a cruise ship. Her (Male) cousin is insulting Hunter because he wants to marry Kairi.
Normally I would make a hillbilly joke, but considering how gorgeous Kairi is, I'll let it slide.
Although her fashion sense does leave much to be desired.
After her cousin's trousers fall down (For no apparent reason) they bump into three sinister looking men. The cousin tries to be manly and stand up to them but it doesn't exactly go well.
So he's going to be the useless, screaming woman for this movie?
Cut to City Hunter rushing to catch the ship when he comes across too beautiful women.
The two women ignore Hunter, although one of them does reveal to the other that she knows him but doesn't think much of him.
As he tries to get on board he's stymied by a steward who's checking everyone's invitations. Hunter tries a few tricks to get past, but the steward is on the ball.
And Hunter is off the boat.
You may be able to spot Kyoko in the background of that pic, since by sheer coincidence she's going to be on the same cruise.
The ship departs and inside the luggage compartment Hunter has found a stealthy way in.
Hong Kong customs officials must have been having an off day.
Hunter tries to find something to eat (Since he hasn't eaten all day) and asks a steward for directions. It is of course the very steward who refused to let him on board.
Can't beat my poker face huh?
Naturally they have a ridiculous chase scene involving some cool stunts.
And an odd balancing act involving a table.
The chase ends with Hunter hiding from the crew, but his choice of location leaves much to be desired. especially when the ship blows it's horn, leaving him completely deaf.
Elsewhere, the two beautiful women from earlier enter their room and one of them exposits about why they're there. 
She's actually an undercover cop who's investigating a terrorist group who're rumoured to be planning to rob everyone on the ship.
And she brought along her giant-breasted friend as backup.
Her boobs are so big that she constantly loses her balance. That's the joke.
Because why bring a second cop when you can bring a clumsy bimbo instead?
Cut to another room where a ridiculously buff white guy is exercising.
At least this movie has fanservice for everyone.
Is it just me, or does he look like Tommy from the Power Rangers?
(Actually his name's Gary Daniels. He was in the Expendables, but I'm just going to refer to him as Tommy.)
The three sinister men from earlier walk in. They are of course the bad guys, who plan to hold everyone hostage and steal their money.
Because in the Nineties terrorist plans were nice and simple.
Elsewhere Hunter has reached the pool where we're treated to fanservice of the ladies. Hunter is too distracted by his lack of hearing and his hunger to notice.
I think her baps are great.
I make no apologies.
Cop chick drags the bimbo away and Hunter finds a place to sit (And hide from the steward again).
And who should sit down next to him but Kairi and her cousin, who tries to persuade her to marry him.
Dude, she's not interested. Even I can tell. And I'm an idiot.
Hunter notices who's next to him and he tries to explain that he can't hear anything, but she's still angry at him so she shoves him into the pool and storms off.
Afterwards the scene shifts to the baccarat table where we're introduced to yet another character (Though thankfully the last) who appears to be a knock-off of Gambit from the X-men, until you realise the manga came out 5 years before Gambit was made.
Meaning Gambit was a knock-off of this guy.
He's consistently winning and gets accused of cheating, but he silences his accuser by throwing cards at him.
And then there's a musical number involving two men who're less manly than Jedward.
I didn't think it was possible.
After some very bad music (That goes on for far too long) we cut to Kyoko getting ready to party. However, her cabin is right next to the one the bad guys are discussing their evil plans in so she overhears everything. The shock of hearing the plan causes her to accidentally turn on the shower, causing her to cry out.
So the bad guys send precisely one guy to check it out.
The bad guys aren't very smart in this movie.
Especially since Kyoko's been watching MacGuyver.
The lone bad guy knocks on the door pretending to be room service and Kyoko tells him that the door's open, which leads him right into her trap.
Apparently Kyoko hasn't been watching enough MacGuyver.
Despite her trap failing epically Kyoko manages to knock the guy unconscious and escape. She bumps into the steward from earlier and warns him of the plan and he agrees to take her to the Captain.
But he actually takes her down below, where he plans to murder her because he's actually a terrorist himself.
But he looked so trustworthy.
Fortunately Hunter was hiding out down there and he beats up the steward, only to be confronted by more terrorists, who happily shoot the steward as they try to kill Hunter.
Hunter and Kyoko manage to escape into the theatre where a Bruce Lee movie is playing 
(Sadly it's not Enter the Dragon, which Jackie appeared in, but Game of Death, with the yellow jumpsuit).
Four bad guys swarm the theatre and Hunter takes them out with ease.
And style.
Kyoko comments on how the black guy on screen is getting his clock cleaned by Bruce and Hunter takes umbridge, saying he could take on two at once.
That's when two massive black guys appear, ready to fight Hunter.
It goes about as well as you'd expect.
Hunter gets his arse kicked, but he copies some tricks from on-screen Bruce and manages to prevail.
When I said they were massive, I meant it.
As they fight the terrorists take over the ship, killing many of the crew. The Captain meanwhile was about to make a speech to the guests, but the big bad guy (Named McDonald) interrupts him.
With bullets.
Perfectly timed bullets.
McDonald's men surround everyone, firing wildly into the air as they do so. On the upper balcony one goon threatens Kairi.
Girl power indeed.
She manages to disarm him and throws the gun to her cousin, who just drops it. Kairi calls him a coward, but he has a pretty good reason.
Fourteen good reasons actually.
Her actions do cause the bad guys to take them hostage personally and Tommy shows a special interest in Kairi.
Meanwhile Hunter and Kyoko return to her room, reasoning that the terrorists won't expect them to do so. Hunter retrieves a fingerprint reading device and scans places the goons were likely to have touched.
Starting with Kyoko's butt, because what man wouldn't?
They get a positive hit from her butt. It was last groped by a man named City Hunter.
Our protagonist, ladies and gentlemen.
For some reason, instead of scanning the unconscious goon's fingers (Y'know, because what're the chances that those would contain fingerprints?) they scan the handle to the bad guy's cabin.
Man, this ship has very odd door handles.
Meanwhile, in the party room McDonald is giving a speech to the guests, telling them that they're only there for their money. He starts reading out the names from the list, calling them up to be robbed.
Because even if they're terrorists, they're still orderly.
He's not as cool as Tommy Lee Jones though.
Hunter stumbles upon the two singers in the arcade and tells them to notify the cops.
McDonald decides that he wants to play some baccarat, so he tells everyone to line up and wait their turn. If they lose, they die.
Because he's unable to grow a goatee, so he needs to show everyone how evil he is some other way.
He doesn't even have an evil laugh. Guy's clearly compensating for something.
As one poor slob tries to run for it, Tommy laughs like a maniac while gunning him down. He then punches Kairi in the face and carries her to his room.
Still a better love story than Fifty Shades of Grey.
Just as it looks like undercover cop would be next, Gambit takes her place. He manages to win his game but McDonald just laughs and tells him to play again.
because in case you hadn't noticed, he's evil.
Just as McDonald notices City Hunter trying to sneak into the casino Gambit makes his move, throwing playing cards into the throats of several goons.
With undercover cops' help he manages to escape.
Via backflip.
As all of the civilians manage to escape Hunter swings into action, firing a machine gun into terrorists whilst riding a fake dolphin.
Words may be able to describe it, but they can never do it justice.
As McDonald flees the undercover cop tells Hunter about what happened to Kairi and he goes to rescue her.
Speaking of Kairi, we cut to Tommy's room as he prepares to have his way with her.
They're having a smashing night.
Despite her best attempts, Kairi just can't seem to hurt him. She punches him right in the face, but he just punches her back.
Just as it looks as though all hope is lost for Kairi, Hunter arrives to save her.
So kairi decides to try to make Hunter jealous by pretending to actually be interested in Tommy.
He looks just as confused as I am.
However, the moment Hunter introduces himself Tommy loses all interest in Kairi, far more excited about the prospect of a good fight than that of a good... Other stuff.
I just don't understand some people.
Anyway, kairi takes the opportunity to put Tommy in a choke hold, proving that she's not as badly written a character as I had at first thought.
Although this was her idea of a choke hold, so maybe not.
Hunter and Tommy fight and it is of course really, really cool.
Until McDonald enters with guns, telling them to stop fighting.
Hunter listens... Mostly.
After Kairi escapes McDonald holds Hunter at gunpoint, saying that he's going to shoot him. Hunter remains composed.
More than Ace Ventura anyway.
Outside Kairi bumps into the other heroes (Except Gambit) and they concoct a plan to save Hunter and the passengers. But first, they have to get to the cop's room and her secret stash of weapons. This is easier said than done, since there's a guard wandering those very halls.
Bimbo decides to seduce him whilst Kairi's cousin sneaks up to him from behind.
Because when concocting a plan, it's important to have the two most useless people be the first ones in danger.
Their plan works perfectly.
In a manner of speaking.
Despite the slight hiccup of the guard being gay (And therefor being attracted to any other man, because gay people are like that right?) they managed to knock him unconscious and get loaded up with guns.
Ain't she adorable?
Kairi and her cousin go to save the hostages whilst the cop, the bimbo and Kyoko go to save Hunter.
Speaking of whom, he's on the deck of the ship facing an impromptu firing squad.
He could have just shot him, but where's the fun in that?
Just as it looks like Hunter's done for Kyoko comes rushing in, telling McDonald that she's worth a lot of money which she'll happily let them have if they let Hunter go.
They politely decine, saying that they'll take her dad's money and kill Hunter because, y'know, they're evil and greedy.
She is not amused. But she is cute.
Luckily however she's not alone, as the bimbo appears with a massive gun pointed at the firing squad. They drop their weapons, which gives Hunter and Kyoko time to run.
Not much time though, since the bimbo loses her balance due to her boobs.
Her role in this movie boiled down to boob jokes. Truly a win for feminism.
The undercover cop shows up and saves their hides (Meaning Hunter had to have his arse saved by three different women in the space of a minute), throwing Kyoko a gun, which she uses to kill one of he few guards that actually had a name.
His name was Ken.
However, the other named guard walks around the corner and shoots at them. Kyoko and Hunter split up, with Hunter going low and Kyoko going high. The guard (Named Mike) loses track of Hunter so he decides to catch Kyoko for himself.
And Kyoko not only manages to evade him but she even succeeds in killing him.
Wile E. Coyote style.
Of course, only then does the cavalry arrive. The cops that the singers called arrive in helicopters, shooting several more terrorists and causing McDonald and Tommy to flee once more.
However, McDonald's remaining goons are laying down bombs in the casino, because he apparently planned to murder absolutely everybody because, y'know, he's evil.
Meanwhile Hunter finds himself back in the arcade (Which I should mention has Street Fighter characters on the walls). And who should enter?
Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber?
They've both just had their arses handed to them by Tommy, who's ready for a rematch with Hunter. He seems completely unconcerned about the fact that Hunter's hands are still tied, since he takes immense joy in kicking him into one of the machines.
Which kicks off one of the most surreal fight scenes ever put to film, as everyone present suddenly turns into Street Fighter characters.
I am baffled.
Hunter (Who's been turned into Honde) gets thrown across the room. But the two singers arrive to help.
To Guile's theme, thus beating out the meme by twenty years.
When I said that they were less manly than Jedward, I didn't realise that I was being literal.
They of course get kicked across the room in one hit, but that's mostly just because they spam the same move over and over again.
Pictured: My entire Street Fighter playing experience.
Just as 'Ken' is celebrating his victory however, he enters the final stage where he has to battle Chun Li.
As portrayed by Jackie Chan.
Pictured: All the evidence you could ever need that there is no god.
Chun Li wins the fight via upside-down spin kick, which I shall spare you the sight of. But I will subject you to his victory pose.
Because if I am to suffer, so must you.
Meanwhile Gambit is trying to lead some civilians to safety, but they get spotted by some terrorists, who shoot at them.
This shot includes the only woman who actually dies on-screen.
Gambit manages to take out all but one of the terrorists, but he gets his arms shot in the process. Just as it looks bad for him the undercover cop shows up, holding the Ace of Hearts that he had given her earlier. Since she can't throw cards to be deadly and his arms are useless, they work together. She throws the card and he kicks it into the terrorist's throat.
Yeah, we don't even need the Mythbusters for that one.
And this myth is: Utterly stupid.
The cop tells Gambit about the cavalry upstairs but she refuses to go with them, instead opting to go to the casino to help them fight.
The cavalry kill all of McDonald's remaining men, but he uses the bombs to kill all of them. 
And only barely missing out on killing Hunter by accident.
Inside the casino, McDonald has Kairi captive (He beat up her cousin with ease) and he points his gun at Hunter and the cop. When one of his injured men tries to shoot them in the back, Hunter manages to dodge, but the cop gets caught in the shoulder.
Kairi proves herself slightly more than a damsel by headbutting McDonald, but he points his gun at her, only for Hunter to shoot it out of his hand.
And then Hunter shows off, wasting all of his bullets by shooting the gun in mid-air repeatedly.
It even lands straight back in McDonald's hand.
Just as McDonald finally decides to just shoot Hunter however, he gets a little surprise.
I guess he's not so trigger happy now.
And so they fight hand to hand, which is of course stupidly cool, considering that it's Jackie Chan.
At one point McDonald draws two batons to fight with, but Hunter deflects using two police batons.
Everyday he's shuffling.
But McDonald's weapons aren't just batons, they're chain batons.
It must be a nuisance packing them away again afterwards though.
Hunter of course still manages to win, this time by using an improvised Bo staff to evade McDonald's reach.
However, the fight ends with Hunter in front of the screens and McDonald holding the remote for the bombs (Which are behind the screens). But McDonald didn't pay attention to his surroundings and the moment he presses the trigger, this happens.
Thank you, fake dolphin, you saved his life once again.
And so the screens explode, taking McDonald with them.
Why do all Die Hard style action movies seem to have massive gratuitous explosions?
All that's left is the epilogue, where Hunter and Kairi return Kyoko to her father, miraculously alive and well. There's a bit of good news too, it turns out that Kyoko's become quite taken with Hunter and her father approves of her desire to marry him, her father even pointing out that after his death Kyoko's husband would become extremely wealthy.
Personally she could be as poor as muck and I'd say yes. She kicked arse.
But Hunter says no, since he could never be tied down to one woman, he wants to be free to try them all.
I truly will never understand some men.
Kairi of course only hears half of the conversation and she gets mad at him, but he swears that he'll never even look at another woman again.
Until five seconds later, when the bimbo pulls up next to him and smiles.
And that's the story of how Kairi got to live out her dreams.
This movie was rather bizarre.
Some parts were good. Sure it had more characters than it needed, but it is an adaptation and they handled it well. Most of the female characters got to kick some arse, without detracting from the main star. The action was amazing and so was the music, but both were done by Jackie Chan so you pretty much expect that.

However, a lot of the humour fell flat, especially by today's standards. I'm not sure if it's really fair to judge humour from 22 years ago that way, but the best humour is timeless and with this, many of the jokes just don't hold up.
Even the slapstick was middle of the road at best.
What really holds this movie up was Jackie Chan's fight choreography, Kyoko's character (Who was probably the most well-rounded and likable) and the Street Fighter scene, which was just insane.

Anyway, next week Nicholas cage's on a plane.

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