- Adaptation Displacement: The inconsistent, bowdlerised, atrocious and hilarious French dub (the villains especially) of the anime in the late 1980s/early 1990s TV show Club Dorothée has remained memorable for a whole generation of French people who grew up in the 1990s (as demonstrated by the likes of Joueur du Grenier, who has reviewed the film, and was rather pleasantly surprised by it) the director and main star included, hence the French production and cast, and the multiple nods to it in the film, the icing on the cake being the cameo of Dorothée herself.
- And You Thought It Would Fail: As it is often the case with French Live-Action Adaptations of comic books or cartoons (manga/anime here), which are rarely good, the project was Snark Bait from second one, especially for fans of the manga and/or non-dubbed anime. Then the press critical consensus proved better than the average film of that kind, and the core audience targets (30-something of age French viewers) reacted surprisingly well to Philippe Lacheau's blending of elements that are faithful to the manga and references to the So Bad, It's Good Club Dorothée era dub. An example:[...] I did a murderous review of the first trailer. Because what I saw in it really scared me.
(Flashback to said review:) Huge disappointment! I'm not even gonna bother to go and see the movie! This trailer is an absolute disaster! Horrendous!
(Back to present:) Well, I did see the movie. And I have only one thing to say to you, mister Lacheau. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, because you actually did it. Yeah, I spoke too soon, mea culpa.
- Critical Dissonance: If the film has been described by most of the press as So Okay, It's Average, audiences have been more enthusiastic towards the movie, especially (and surprisingly) fans of the original material as well as the French dub for being a very faithful adaptation, while non-fans found it just as funny as most of Lacheau's filmography. It's most notable on the French website AlloCiné (the closest thing France has to Rotten Tomatoes) where the movie has 2.8/5 for the press review score and 4.3/5 for the audience's one.
- Crosses the Line Twice: The sex jokes are overly 1980s. They're funny because of it (but can be seen as offensive for some).
- Fandom Rivalry: With Alita: Battle Angel in France, for it came out at the same time and has the same kind of Critical Dissonance and approval by the manga's creator.
- Foe Yay: Ryo expresses a lot of attraction for the unnamed woman that act as The Dragon to the Black Hand boss; not only is she attractive, she tells Ryo that she's a sex maniac.
- Fridge Horror: At the end of the movie, Ryo and Kaori spray the (now in prison) Big Bad with the last dose of perfume, making two burly inmates, a prison guard, and a dog fall in love with him. Laser-Guided Karma at its finest, until you realize some things:
- The inmates and/or the guard could already be in relationship with someone, meaning that our heroes potentially destroyed up to three relationships and forced three people (and a dog) to have romantic feelings toward someone they don't love for the sake of their revenge.
- The prison guard now in love with the Big Bad might help him escape.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Didier Bourdon and the two other members of the trio Les Inconnus mercilessly spoofed the Club Dorothée phenomenon back in the 1990s. Now he's part of a movie that homages it.
- Narm: Dramatics moment are sometimes wasted by gags.
- Narm Charm: The movie's concept.
- Older Than They Think:
- The Scrappy: Both Mr. Skippy and Poncho for being Canon Foreigners that have nothing to do with City Hunter. Fans accused Philippe Lacheau of creating those characters to give screentime to his friends.
- Tainted by the Preview: The trailers are infamous for focusing on the low-brow comedy and the side characters, instead of the City Hunter license, which left a very bad taste in the mouths of fans.
- Unfortunate Implications: Detractors have criticized the seemingly sexist and homophobic tone of the movie. Ryo's constant sexual harassements are only played for laughs, he derides Kaori for not looking like a woman (more tellingly her "masculine" appearance is the subject of a few jokes) and finally the mere idea of a relationship between men is treated as a funny setup for jokes. It doesn't help that Philippe Lacheau and his friends have already been under fire for the same reason in previous movies. Fans of the movie have also defended the jokes, stating that they were already part of the original series and that it was Fair for Its Day. However one could argue that the reason Ryo wants to retrieve the antidote is that he doesn't want to be forced into a relationship against his will. That the movie is about consent and the perfume ignore the consent of Ryo.
- Visual Effects of Awesome: The interrogation/fight scene in the scrapyard is extremely well done. Not only it's The Oner, and a fairly long one at that, but it's entirely in P.O.V. Cam from Ryo's viewpoint. At one point we even see Ryo's shadow, perfectly matching the scene, with no trace of the camera's shadow in sight.
YMMV / City Hunter: The Cupid's Perfume