Director: Paul Racine
review by Mike Philbin
You either love or hate Val Kilmer. Simple as that. He turns up in the
credits as actor, director or executive producer and you know you are going
to be hearing the sound of turkey's gobbling all through the turgid romp.
Admittedly, Val Kilmer is not in The Hunted, but Christophe Lambert is. He
is another of these irrationally loved irrationally hated movie superstars.
So, it was with much trepidation that I sat down to 'endure' this modern day
The Hunted is a simple story of revenge across the centuries.
Samurai school A hates Samurai school B. Throw in a revenge plot in the form of seductively
assassinated Joan Chen, Lambert's cocktail party love interest and you got
all the narrative you need. Like a scene from some New Testament sermon,
where the ill-fated Messiah, Chen, organises, seduces and takes as her Last
Supper, shall we say, the inimitable, if not happily cross-eyed Lambert. And
she gives of her best in this bathtub romp, gouts of boiling passion in this
steam filled finalé to her cutting edge existence... but I digress.
The hired Samurai Master from school A comes in and offs Chen, a top notch
confrontation with the defenceless pouting starlet spitting in the face of
her assassin and pouring scorn on his honour. Lambert sees this and is
wounded by the Samurai in his escape. Lambert escapes, he is the first to
ever escape the school A assassins. And here is where the movie stops its
cultural posturing and gets into some of the most superbly executed (excuse
the pun) Samurai swording this decade. Some of the artistry reminded one of
early William Gibson short stories like Johhny Mnemonic with the
protagonists monofilament-like blades scything through steal struts and
cleaving apart entire ribcages with horrific gut spilling audio
You really get the sense that these enemies will not stop until all of the
heirs to the respective throne have been offed. No-one in this movie escapes
the ruthless vengeance meted out, either directly or indirectly. Even the
guy who first contracted out the school A Samurai to off Chen gets his
But the clincher, the absolute winner that means 'you have to go hire out
this classic' is the school B Samurai Master's expert defence techniques on
the speeding Shinkansen of horror. We will not be dishonoured again. Kill
all the passengers between here and the enemy. And the blood bath ensues.
Gripping, touching, action packed, memorable for al the right reasons.
In the same way that Kilmer killed Batman and Thunder Heart
and The Island Of Doctor Morreau, so Lambert could so easily have killed this. But he
was on fine Subway form with this one which must score lots out of ten.
Guide to the Movies
compiled by Tony
Lee editor of Pigasus Press
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