Hard Target

Director: John Woo
Genre: Action/Adventure
Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lance Henriksen, Yancy Butler, Wilford Brimley
Box Office: $32+ millions in total gross in the U.S.
Trivia: Originally earned an NC-17 rating for violence. It was resubmitted to the MPAA seven times before it finally earned an R rating
Memorable Quotes:
Emil Fouchon: You’re not angry at me, are you, Pik?
Pik van Cleaf: I don’t get angry.
[holds up his shotgun]
Pik van Cleaf: I’m a professional.
——————
Chance Boudreaux: What’s your name?
Natasha Binder: It’s Nat.
Chance Boudreaux: ‘Nat?’
Natasha Binder: Mm-hmm.
Chance Boudreaux: Your parents named you for a… bug?
——————
Chance Boudreaux: Now take your pig-stick and your boyfriend, and find a bus to catch.

An evil mercenary (Lance Henriksen) is a man who recruits homeless combat veterans for the amusement of his clients. These men are tycoons who wil pay a half a million to stalk their prey known as “Man”. Enter Chance Boudreaux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), a simple merchant who suddenly becomes a target by the evil mercenary and his men, while helping a beautiful woman save her father.

Chance is unstoppable in this high heat film as it progresses into a game of cat and mouse at a factory. It was a John Woo directorial debut in the U.S. in which he succeeded. He truly understands how to put an exciting, hard hitting action movie together. He maintains his high standards and reputation with this effort, that has thrilled many fans of manly man type films.

Jean-Claude Van Damme is particularly good as the sailor. While his acting is not in the league of a Gene Hackman or Robert DeNiro, I’ll bet they don’t know squat about kicking people in the head, making it all look easy to do.

Lance Henriksen is effective as the evil guy who organizes the man hunt expeditions.

My favorite scene in the movie involves a street encounter between Van Damme and some bad guys who are trying to steal a Natasha’s purse. The ensuing fight scene is very well staged and edited.

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