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City Hunter (城市獵人; Sing si lip yan) is a 1993 martial arts-action film based on the Japanese manga, City Hunter. It was directed by Wong Jing, produced by Paragon Films and filmed by Golden Way Films Co. Ltd. The film starred an international cast that included Hong Kongmarker super star Jackie Chan as Ryo Saeba.

After City Hunter's release, Chan not only disowned the film, but attacked Wong personally in the press. In his subsequent movie High Risk, Wong struck back by modeling a character after Chan, insinuating that Chan was actually a boozing womanizer and a fraud who didn't really do his own stunts after all. The film offended Chan greatly and started a feud between him and one of the film's stars, Jet Li — a feud that would not end until Jet Li publicly apologized for his involvement. The two have since become friends, and later made The Forbidden Kingdom, marking their first film together as lead actors.


The film begins with the City Hunter, Ryo (Jackie Chan) in voiceover, explaining that his partner, Makimura, was shot. Makimura's dying wish was for Ryo to look after his sister, Kaori (Joey Wong) and promise not to seduce her. Kaori has become Ryo's assistant. They accept a job to locate the runaway daughter of the rich head of a newspaper. The girl, Shizuko (Kumiko Goto), is found at a skatepark. When Ryo reveals that Shizuko's father is looking for her, a skateboard chase ensues, with Shizuko fleeing Ryo, and Ryo being pursued by a group of skaters. To escape, Shizuko hides in the clothes store where she swaps clothes with a man wearing spectacles. By chance, she boards a cruise ship with Kaori and her cousin on her tail. The ship, the Fuji Maru, is filled with rich passengers. Ryo is denied access on the ship and has to find his own way to get on board without getting caught by the crew. Donald MacDonald (Richard Norton) and his terrorist gang board the ship, with plans to hijack it, with police officer Saeko (Chingmy Yau) and her busty sidekick in pursuit.

Further trouble arises when Ryo, Kaori, her cousin, Saeko and her sidekick all meet up at the ship's pool area. In a cartoon-like sequence, a hungry Ryo hallucinates, seeing the body of Saeko's sidekick as food, but she is pulled away before he can take a bite. Kaori caught the lustful eyes of Kim (Gary Daniels), a superior underworld hitman, and then a musical sequence begins. Tramp Kao Ta (Leon Lai), the "gambling king of Asia" is at a card table, and attracts the attention of the women. When he is accused of cheating, a brief fight ensues, after which he hands the ace of hearts to Saeko.

As Shizuko does her make-up in her cabin, she overhears Donald planning to take over the ship and take a list of rich passengers hostage. One of his hitmen comes to check Shizuko's room, posing as room service. When he goes to shoot her, Shizuko pulls out the carpet from under him, causing him to crash to the floor, knocking him unconscious. She runs away and bumps into a sailor, Purser (Louis Roth). He takes her down to the boiler room she tells him what she overheard. Purser reveals that he is actually part of Donald's gang. He attempts to silence her, but is saved by Ryo. Donald's gang arrive and the sailor is killed in the crossfire, while Ryo and Shizuko run to the movie theater. In the theater, the film Game of Death is playing, the final sequence featuring Bruce Lee and Kareem Abdul Jabbar is visible. To beat two towering opponents, Ryo imitates Bruce Lee's techniques from the film playing. Ryo thanks Lee, and as if in reply, Lee is shown on-screen saying "Don't mention it".

After Donald kills the ship's captain and terrorizes the people celebrating at the concert hall, he entices the rich patrons into a sadistic card game. Some opponents are shot for having a low score or a tie, until Kao Ta comes. After 12 games of baccarat, Ryo comes to save the day which leads to Kao Ta going into action using his cards as weapons.

Meanwhile, Kim tries to rape Kaori, but Kaori delays him under the pretentious excuse of trying to arouse him by beating. Ryo shows up and has a showdown with Kim. Donald and his men interrupt the fight and capture Ryo, while Kaori escapes and bumps into Shizuko, the girls, and her cousin. They try to sneak past a single terrorist (Ken Lo) by having Saeko's buxom sidekick flirt with him, but she gets beaten up and thrown across the hall on the rails of the stairs. He then tries to seduce Kaori's cousin, revealing that he actually likes "strong men". The remaining girls take the opportunity to rush in and save Kaori's cousin.

Ryo is captured, and is put before a firing squad with his hands tied. Still hungry, he requests a last wish — a bowl of noodles, which Donald refuses. After Shizuko tries to save Ryo, Saeko's sidekick tries to get the gun but falls down on the deck. Saeko comes to the rescue with the Thunderbolts Squad, the Taiwanesemarker counter-terrorist police, wiping out most of the terrorists. Shizuko then has to deal with a stubborn henchman Mike (Mike Abbott), and using gymnastic moves she manages to knock him over a rail and onto the deck of the ship.

Meanwhile, Ryo fights with Kim in a gaming parlor with his hands still tied up. After taking a few attacks, Ryo is thrown into a Street Fighter II arcade game and suffers an electric shock. This causes Ryo to hallucinate, and to his horror Kim becomes Ken, who proceeds to beat him up with hurricane kicks. Ryo then accidentally chooses E. Honda, but was quickly defeated. After E.Honda loses, the Soft-Hard Kids (Eric Kot and Jan Lamb), come to Ryo's aid by turning into Guile and Dhalsim, only to be blown away by a Hadouken. Eventually Ryo emerges as the agile Chun-Li and is finally able to defeat Kim (still as Ken). The Soft-Hard Kids pull the plug on the arcade machine, reverting everyone back to normal.

Kao Ta is dealing with the last of the terrorists with a final pair of cards, but is shot in the arm. Saeko fires her remaining bullets on the terrorists. She gives Kao back the ace of cards, which he uses to dispatch more terrorists.

The Taiwan Thunderbolts are closing in, so Donald blows up the area where the police squad is, except for the television sets. Ryo and Saeko finish off the remaining terrorist before facing Donald, who is holding Kaori hostage. After a final shootout Ryo shoots the trigger off Donald's gun, and the two starts fighting hand-to-hand. Donald uses tonfa, which Ryo mistakenly countered with the "iron arm technique" before utilizing batons. Donald then uses chains to overpower Ryo, who finally hits back with a pole. When Donald attempts to blow Ryo up, Ryo turns the tables by seesawing Donald in front of the bombs, killing him in the explosion. Before he leaves, Ryo has to choose which damsel in distress he needs to save, deciding upon Shizuko (dropping Kaori solidly on the floor as a result).

Shizuko's father wants to thank Ryo by marry him Shizuko, promising to leave his wealth to the son-in-low. Ryo refuses, saying he wants to remain a carefree bachelor. Kaori overhears and storms off (before hearing Ryo's refusal). Ryo chases after her, but soon starts flirting with Saeko. Kaori furiously hits him with an exaggerated hammer, knocking him into another dream sequence.

Production notes

  • The name of the Street Fighter character was changed from "E. Honda" to "E. Honde". This was because Chan has a contract with the Mitsubishi car company, and Honda is the name of a rival company.
  • The Street Fighter sequence was recorded in real time, with wirework and special effects enhancing the action, to match it with the arcade fighting game, as can be seen in the special features of some dvd releases of the film.

  • There were time constraints on the preparation of the film, in order to release it in time for Chinese New Year release. This meant that during some of the shots of Richard Norton, during his final fight scene with Chan, he was doubled by stunt performer Mars.
  • After the initial shooting of the sequence by the ship's swimming pool, people working on it felt that the women in the background of the scene were not pretty enough. Director Wong Jing agreed and moved filming of the sequence to Ya Ma Tai Sports Recreation Centre.
  • The skatepark at the beginning of the film was filmed in Victoria Park, Hong Kongmarker. During the skateboarding sequence in the downhill chase scene, Chan twisting his ankle as he jumped onto a skateboard. Following the injury, pro skateboarder Rick Ibaseta donned a Chan lookalike costume and performed the remainder of the scene.
  • The gambling area filled with televisions and a dancefloor was shot in the Shaw Brothers Studio.

Box office

City Hunter grossed a strong HK $30,762,782 at the Hong Kong box office. Surprisingly, however, the Japanese market, for which the film was tailored, was less enthusiastic.


(Names after forward slash are those that appear in the English dubbed edition of the film only)

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