Film Review - Dear White People
Blu-ray Review - Lionheart

Blu-ray Review - Hard Target

HARD TARGET Jean Claude Van Damme

Although 1993's "Hard Target" is regarded as a Jean-Claude Van Damme action vehicle, the feature is more interesting when approached as the American filmmaking debut for director John Woo. Lured to the states by co-producer Sam Raimi, Woo was a monumental get, with his work on Hong Kong masterpieces such as "The Killer" and "Hard Boiled" cementing his reputation as unique architect of blistering action sequences, often executed with an emotional foundation that preserves performances and widens cinematic scope. The transition wasn't easy, with Woo's exaggerated sensibilities alien to Hollywood's shoot-em-up formula, but the marriage resulted in an especially funky offspring. "Hard Target" isn't a convincing drama, but this loose update of the 1924 short story, "The Most Dangerous Game," is transformed into a celebration of carnage and bruising stunt work, reworking western traditions to fit Van Damme's rise as a big screen hero. It's a berserk picture slathered in absurdity, but if one can find the rhythm of its outrageousness, "Hard Target" rises to become the most satisfying entry in Van Damme's rise to glory during the early 1990s, smartly using the star's limited vocabulary and limitless flexibility to create one of the finest B-movies of the decade. Read the rest at


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