The Hunted

Mieko: “Nothing can stop them from finding and killing you.”
Racine: “So how did they screw up and leave me alive?”
Mieko: “Even monkeys fall out of trees.”

release year: 1995
genre: martial arts action
viewing setting: home DVD, 10/1/2005

synopsis: A Western businessman in Japan sees something he shouldn't, and ends up being hunted by ninja assassins.

impressions: This movie gets a little better each time I watch it, but it still has its flaws. Chief among these is the idea that a man who's never picked up a sword can get a little practice and then be able to survive a duel with the head of a ninja clan (not to mention being all cocky about it.) The other action scenes make up for it, especially the one in the train. All in all, it's a good action story that shines some light on the customs of the East.

things to watch for: The fight/massacre in the bullet train. It's basically evil ninja at the front, their target at the back, nine cars full of innocent people in-between, and evil ninja leader says "Kill everyone you find. Go."

something this movie has that no other movie has: A mortally-wounded assassin who uses her sword to slice off her own face so that nobody can identify her.

acting: Christopher Lambert is, as usual, quiet and wooden in a leading role. Everyone else - particularly the skilled warriors - bring a powerful intensity to their roles.

final word: Has its flaws, but still a great sword movie.

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