What the hell? Where did this come from? And will I even watch it?
Wait, does anyone even remember Hard Target? You know that happened twenty three frikkin’ years ago? 23! Sheesh, I feel old. Today someone can legally vote, drink and sell me insurance, but probably have no idea about that movie or who John Woo is.
Now there is a sequel, which will likely do nothing to promote the original, because it appears to contain none of the stuff that made the original so cool.
Look, I’m not dissing on a film that I haven’t seen yet. No, wait, I am. I’m gonna go all nostalgic fanboy on this one. You know: ‘Back in my day’ and all that sh**.
Here’s a trailer of Hard Target 2 – so make up your own mind, then let’s talk shop:
So… Rhona Mitra in leather with dual crossbows. This is going to be one cheesy movie.
Of course, so was Hard Target. But it has a few special tricks. First, we had Jean Claude Van Damme doing what he did best: slow motion kicks while making a mullet look good. Second, we had Lance Henriksen playing the perfect B-movie bad guy, while Arnold Vosloo played the perfect B-movie dumb-ass enforcer. Third, we had the US debut of John Woo, the pioneer of pistol operas. In his movies the guns had more lines of dialogue than the actors. But above all, they had style.
Here’s the hospital scene from a Woo classic, Hard Boiled:
I love Hard Boiled. It’s one of my favourite Asian action movies.
Hard Target was not in the same league, but even when he wasn’t at full throttle, Woo could still make a solid action movie. He would later cement his reputation in the West with Broken Arrow and Face/Off, but Hard Target was a solid debut.
Here’s JCVD handing out slow motion nap candy:
Sadly Hard Target 2 looks nothing as special and ballsy as the original. I like Scott Adkins – he’s a decent action star – and I always felt Rhona Mitra consistently punches below her weight.
But this sequel? Bad idea, though straight-to-DVD/VOD productions rarely let that stop them.
Last Updated: June 22, 2016