Rated: R for excessive violence. Reviewed by: Chris Release date: February 25, 1995 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.
New York computer chip salesman Paul Racine (Christopher Lambert), in Japan on business, gets himself involved in a bizarre ritual killing.
Racine meets a mysterious beauty (Joan Chen) in the bar at his hotel. After spending the evening together, a group of Ninjas attack the couple in her hotel room, killing her and severely wounding Racine.
The Japanese police scoff at the idea that Ninjas exit in modern day Japan. But Takeda (Yoshio Harada), a martial arts instructor who's dedicated his life to killing the Ninja leader, Kinjo (John Lone), persuades Racine to recover at his house. He feels sure the Ninjas will return to finish off Racine and he can protect him at his island hideaway where he and his wife teach self-defense.
In his Highlander films. Lambert engaged in many combats with his mighty sword and was pretty adapt in its use, but here, he takes a back seat to Harada's handy work. He takes on what seems to be the whole Ninja population in a bloody battle on a speeding bullet train.
The production value is better than you'd expect to find in films of this genre. Some of the Japanese characters are very amusing. A police detective, who reminded me of an Oriental "Colombo", and a sword maker, who likes his Sako strong and frequently, are quite funny.
Both the lovely Chen and Lambert are mere window dressing. The action is the focus and there's plenty of it. Bodies are sliced and diced at every possible angle. There's an unrelenting emphasis on blood and violence, and it took the enjoyment out of it for me.
|The Hunted 1995||C||C|