Hard Target (1993)

“Hard Target” (1993)


Mad cowboy

This falls in its own genre corner, with all the elements. The story is tailored to feet the marketable features of the actor, and you have all the elements that surround this sub genre of action, which is action built around an action figure, in the Stallone tradition (but in this case with different moves). Also, i was never very fond of Woo’s stylish approach. It’s the style itself that bothers me, So, this would naturally be a time spender, a forgettable experience. Something you could watch on a well spent evening with a couple of already nostalgic 26 year old guys who grew up on this stuff.

Now, my last comment was on a film i thought i’d hate, and that i actually enjoyed. This motivated a protest from a reader who’s my friend and usually trusts my judgement, but based on that comment is starting loose his faith. I suspect i’ll just make it worse with this comment, but i actually enjoyed some things in this film. Those positive things move around two things: cinematography and sets.

The first great thing is how we get into the film, the very first shots, a rainy night in a staged New Orleans, where a man is being hunted. The shots of the empty streets, from the pov of this man, these are great portals to the film. We have all the references in this first sequence: New Orleans, the moody jazz, the Leone/Eastwood western environment (Vosloo character is even named Van Cleef!). These 3 elements meet Mad Max and the rules of that world, lawless, fertile ground for outlaws and maverick justice makers. We are transported into this world in the first few minutes, that’s great, and i think we should credit Woo for how he conceived the entrance.

Than of course, Van Damme gets in and this necessarily becomes closer to another of his typical films. Yet there are some very good uses of the city’s streets, and 2 other sets that i’ll take with me: one is the house of Douvee, and its fragile robust look in the middle of the Louisiana. The other one is the final stage where the final fights occur. Now this last set is a fundamental piece for the success of this Good-Bad films. It usually is a well thought set, but not necessarily interesting. This one is, with all the props, all the colours, all the New Orleans mood transported into a film set. It’s quite good.

The action scenes themselves are boring and vulgar, even according with what was being done than.

My opinion: 4/5

This comment on IMDb


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