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2 reviews, 12 user ratings

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Hunted, The (1995)
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by Brian McKay

"An american-made Samurai flick that almost gets it right"
4 stars

Being an aficianado of Samurai Cinema (though I am nowhere near the expert that Oz is on the subject), it is nice to see a western-made Samurai flick that isn't a completely lame waste of time. Of course, this is mostly thanks to the Japanese supporting cast.

Christopher Lambert, who is generally a fucking hack but sometimes entertaining, is Paul Racine, a western businessman who witnesses the murder of a woman he has just had a one night stand with (Joan Chen). He manages to escape from the killers, (although they are supposedly skilled ninja) led by Kinjo (John Lone). Kinjo is pissed off, because he only shows his face to the victims who are about to die. Racine has seen his face, and now he must pay.

When Racine ends up in a hospital after his escape, he is visited by Takeda (Yoshio Harada), an aloof businessman who offers Racine protection from the ninja that will soon be stalking him. Turns out that Takeda is the last in a long line of proud Samurai who have been warring with Kinjo's Ninja clan for ages. Takeda offers to take Racine under his wing, not out of the goodness of his heart, but to use him as bait in the hopes of luring Kinjo out.

While this movie is obviously not going to be as good as the average Japanese Samurai film, it is pretty entertaining. There are some good sword fights, including one particularly bloody skirmish aboard a bullet train. Unfortunately, the film focuses too much on Christopher Hambert when Yoshio's "Takeda" is the true star of the piece. Not only does he handle a katana fairly well, but resonates a grim and stone-cold determination reminiscent of the great Wakayama Tomisaburo from the Lone Wolf and Cub series of Samurai flicks.

Drive-In Triple Feature Picks for The Hunted:

Anything from the six-movie Lone Wolf and Cub series. Collect them all!

Any Samurai flick with Toshiro Mifune in it - Yojimbo and it's sequel, Sanjuro would be a good place to start in a light-hearted vein.

Props to Yoshio Harada for giving this film a little boost of credibility, and for kicking some ninja ass "Lone Wolf" style.

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originally posted: 09/01/02 23:26:41
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User Comments

10/03/09 Sugarfoot One of the best martial arts movies of the 90s 4 stars
10/19/04 ALDO BEST Christopher Lambert FILM ..Samurai vs NINJA SICKASS FILM 5 stars
1/24/04 just an anonymous person from some billions excellent movie which reminds *lost moral values*like honour,compasion,goodness,bravery 5 stars
12/20/03 tim brown I love Yoko Shimada (Lady Mariko in Shogun) but this movie is WAY below her standards 2 stars
11/29/03 mac101 Excellent! TAKEDA kicks some serious ninja ass. Props to Harada. 5 stars
10/29/03 ROXANNE MORROW I LIKED IT 5 stars
10/25/03 Wolf Thoroughly enjoyable. 4 stars
7/12/03 Bill Stager The spirt of Bushido, funny and exciting 5 stars
6/15/03 Paul Hung Great if your a kendo practioner 4 stars
3/20/03 Jack Sommersby Stiffly directed bore of an actioner. A couple of good fights, but that's it. 2 stars
9/14/02 Tooltime Taylor Great film, mostly for Joan Chen fans (YEAH!) but Chris Lambert is a putz!! 4 stars
7/10/02 Zargo Great underrated samurai action movie 5 stars
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  24-Feb-1995 (R)



Directed by
  J.F. Lawton

Written by
  J.F. Lawton

  Christopher Lambert
  John Lone
  Joan Chen
  Yoshio Harada
  Yoko Shimada
  Mari Natsuki

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