This time, the movie is one I actually went and saw in the theater and its a doozy. It is a movie called The Hunted. I'd wager that almost all of you thought of this:
But that isn't the one I'm talking about. No, I am talking about a movie that was released in 1995 and stars John Lone, Joan Chen, and more importantly, none other than the Highlander himself CHRISTOPHER LAMBERT!!! Yes that's right, this movie stars Connor MacLeod, or if you prefer Raiden himself. I really think for a brief period in the mid-90's Christopher Lambert was thought of as bringing "legitimacy" to a movie. But that's beside the point, here's an example of the movie in all its 90's glory:
Just look at that sexy poster. If that doesn't make you want to run out and see it then I don't know what will.
The plot of this film is this: An American businessman (Lambert) goes to Tokyo and after a hard day's work attempting to sell computer chips to Japanese people (yes you read that right) goes to a bar in his hotel where he meets and subsequently picks up the hottest woman there (Chen). He then proceeds to have a fun filled night on the town with her and ends up back in her hotel room where they get it on despite his wearing little piggy boxers. Upon completion of the coitus he does what any dorky man who just got laid by a hot asian woman would do, he offers to say in town longer in the hopes of spending more time with her. She is flattered but makes it clear this was a one time thing as she clearly has something big going on very soon. He leaves the room and once he is gone IN COME THE NINJAS!! I'm not kidding, there are freaking ninjas in this movie. Anyway the ninjas come in and the leader of the ninjas has an exchange with her in which she delivers one of my favorite lines ever. **SPOILER ALERT** The ninja essentially tells her to choose quick death or slow and painful to which she responds: "I wish to die slowly and with much pain so I remember what it was to be alive" **END SPOILER** She delivers that LIKE A BOSS! Anyway, they kill her but before they do she asks the main ninja to take off his mask so that she can see the face of the guy who kills her. Well he obliges and it is during all this that Christopher Lambert's character lets himself back in the room after finding her key still in his jacket. He sees what is happening and tries to stop it but the ninjas kill him. Or so they think. As it turns out the other ninjas are pretty crappy assassins and he survives. In the hospital he finds out that the ninja leader is a man called Kinjo (Lone) and that no one has ever seen his face and lived. Until now. He is then introduced to a Japanese Kendo instructor who is a descendant of a Samurai clan that has a beef with the ninja clan going back to the time of the Samurai. Still with me? This gets even better. The Kendo instructor wants Lambert to come with him to his freaking samurai training island (no BS this mf'er has an island) so he can protect him from the ninjas and after initially refusing and barely escaping a second attempt on his life he agrees and goes to the Kendo instructor's island where he stays until the big inevitable showdown at the end.
There are some other things that happen in the movie as the story develops and I won't spoil any more of it for those of you who read that and are willing to try and handle all that 90's awesomeness. I will though tell you about one more thing. If this doesn't make you want to see it then the point of such a movie as this is lost on you, and oh well not everything is for everyone...but anyway back to the point. There is a scene in this movie that is so epic I almost can't describe it. It is probably the main reason I picked this movie for this review, to be honest. After deciding to go to the island they must first take the bullet train to where they will get the boat and while they are on the train the ninjas attack looking for Lambert's character. Saying it like that though doesn't do it justice. Let me elaborate. You see, what happens here is that the ninja's start at the front of the train and just start killing everyone. EEEEEVVVVVVEEEERRRRYYYYYYONNNNEEEE!!! Well the Kendo Samurai sees this coming and starts at the other end of the train telling people to go to the back because the ninjas are coming and he clears out the train until they meet in the middle. What ensues is a slashfest of samurai vs ninja swordfighting that is, in my humble opinion, completely badass. A sword fight, in the confines of a train which happens to be a bullet train, between a samurai and ninjas? Count. Me. In. Every fraking time.
I've seen it numerous times and while I will not pretend to say that it is a good movie it is definitely a good time if for no other reason than that train sequence. All in all it's probably only a two out of five stars type of movie but if you go in expecting bad then it may come off as a three out of five.
That's all for now I will leave you with the trailer for you to judge for yourselves.
Just as an addendum I want to make it known that I am aware that I have so far chosen two movies for random review that I have only rated at two out of five stars and I promise you it is not my intention to give less than stellar movies for each one of these. The problem is that the really good movies don't necessarily go unnoticed or overlooked and so these first two may have set a bad tone, I give you my word though that the future does hold some better movies for this part of the blog. As to when they show up well I guess you'll just have to stay tuned....
Thanks for reading.