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Film / City Hunter

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City Hunter (城市獵人; Sing si lip yan) is a 1993 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy Live-Action Adaptation of the Japanese manga of the same name. It was directed by Wong Jing, produced by Paragon Films and filmed by Golden Way Films Co. Ltd. The film starred an international cast that included Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan as Ryo Saeba a.k.a. City Hunter.

To most audiences it's best known for the scene where Ryo gets knocked into an arcade machine and begins seeing himself as various Street Fighter II characters (up to and including Chun-Li), and his opponent as Ken. That very scene will inspire Wong Jing’s next movie, also released in 1993, Future Cops.

For the 2019 French film adaptation, see City Hunter: The Cupid's Perfume.

This film adaptation includes examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Kaori in the source material would often be mistaken for a man on top of her tomboyish behavior - in this movie she's played by Joey Wong, who could give Saeko a run for her money.
  • Bishie Sparkle: The Chick Magnet card shark played by idol singer Leon Lai can generate his own.
  • Bits of Me Keep Passing Out: Ryo's arms go numb after blocking Col. Mac's attacks for a while.
  • Bowdlerise: Most character names got Anglicized in the dub.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Kiyoko is shown on a balance beam while her father is explaining that she's missing. These skills come in handy later on, as she avoids capture.
  • Chew Toy: Both Saeko's friend and Kaori/Carrie's Hopeless Suitor.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Ryo himself, to an extent. He does his best to honor his best friend's last request and not seduce her, at least.
  • Colonel Badass: More like Colonel Big Bad, but still.
  • Dance Battler: Ryo twirls Saeko/Anna around like they're dancing, while firing the gun still holstered to her leg.
  • Death by Cameo: Michael Wong shows up for five seconds as Ryo's old partner who dies in the super-abridged backstory opening before the events of the movie.
  • Death Dealer: The Gambler throws cards and can cut, wound, or maim by kicking them.
  • Denser and Wackier: Many of Jackie Chan's films have comedy in them, but this one takes the zaniness up to eleven, with goofy sound effects, gags that would be right at home in a cartoon, and unrealistic effects of attacks (like flying across the room).
  • "Die Hard" on an X: The main plot takes place on a cruse ship.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Played straight with Kaori towards Ryo. Averted with many of the female characters, who get hit on a regular basis by the bad guys.
  • Giant Mook: Ryo takes inspiration from Bruce Lee's fight against Kareem Abdul Jabbar from Game of Death, which happens to be playing in the theater where they're fighting.
  • Hand Cannon: See Prop Recycling... the Big Bad's gun is the same giant pistol used by RoboCop.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: MacDonald is killed by his own explosives after stepping on the remote.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Ryo channels various Street Fighter II characters after he gets knocked into an arcade machine (this is presumably mostly in his head), but eventually wins by channeling Chun Li.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Kaori/Carrie. In the backstory, Ryo's best friend made him promise not to touch his sister. This is the result.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Par for course, he's still the City Hunter.
  • Kingpin in His Gym: We see The Dragon warming up for a bit long before he actually fights.
  • Kissing Cousins: Averted, Kaori/Carrie's suitor happens to be her cousin; she is merely using him to make Ryo jealous.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the fight scene in the theater, Game of Death is playing on the screen. Ryo uses Bruce's moves from the film to varying effect. At the end of the fight scene, Ryo compliments Bruce's performance, and Bruce responds in kind (obviously using recycled footage and a dub voice as this was made 20 years after Bruce's death...)
  • No Name Given: Kaori's cousin is only referred by her and the credits as "Cousin". Similarly, Saeko's partner not given a name at all.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: One of the ladies attempts to flirt with a henchman. He immediately responds by kicking her away. However, he does show interest in one of the guys...
  • Meat-O-Vision: Carrie tries to seduce Ryo by showing her thigh... only for the hungry Ryo to see a chicken drumstick.
  • Pac Man Fever: An extremely minor example, but while Ryo gets knocked into the Street Fighter II arcade machine, the sound effects and music that follow are from the SNES version, which is noticeably different (though more familiar with those who grew up on the SNES version).
  • Repetitive Name: The film's Big Bad, Donald "Don Mac" MacDonald.
  • Running Gag:
    • Will Ryo Saeba ever get to eat something?
    • Guns running out of ammo at inconvenient moments.
  • She's All Grown Up: Kaori/Carrie... the movie begins with backstory showing her as a young girl, and then before Ryo knows, she's grown into a lovely young woman, which makes his promise to her brother not to seduce her that much harder.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Hanna-Barbera and Looney Tunes sound effects can be heard for this film's comedic moments.
  • Stone Wall: Ryo take absurd amount of punishment during the final boss fight.
  • The Television Talks Back: After Ryo imitated Bruce Lee's moves from Game of Death which happens to be playing in the theater where he fought and defeated a Giant Mook, Ryo playfully thanks Bruce, who unexpectedly thank him back, prompting Ryo to run away from the theater.
  • Those Two Guys: Comediac musician duo Softhard show up as background characters throughout the movie.
  • Uncertain Doom: Saeko's sidekick is last seen lying flat on the deck after falling from considerable height.
  • World of Ham: This movie relies heavily on this trope, such as during the Street Fighter II fight.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The character of E. Honda from Street Fighter II was renamed as "E. Honde" due to Jackie Chan's endorsement deal with Mitsubishi Motors.