I finally have the time to type this up. Last night I watched Hard Target
for the first time in a long long while. I watched the original version to prepare myself for the Director's Cut, which I burned onto a blank DVD… er, I mean I "acquired", nevermind how. It's not difficult to find.
Overall, I did enjoy it, even though it's not the cut that Woo wanted released and he had all those problems with having to deal with the Hollywood machine for the first time. You had flourishes of Woo's trademarks (the doves, the slow-mo, the motorcycles, etc.), some humor, memorable dialogue, a badass Van Damme (tremendous mullet, accent and all), and awesome rogues in Van Cleaf and Fouchon. How could you ever forget Jean-Claude punching a giant snake in the head, or his "surfing" on a motorbike?
It was great watching good old Lance grow more and more insane and obsessed in his conquest of Chance. The action scenes are unforgettable; the final half hour or so helped make the movie as enjoyable as it was. It certainly stands out among American action movies, especially at the time it was made. I still remember, 15 years later, that at the time it was released, some critics didn't understand all the slow-mo and the flourishes. Really, they bitched about the slow-mo! Even then (without having any idea who Woo was) I thought it was a goofy thing to bash, and after seeing The Killer
& Hard Boiled
(the only two of his Asian flicks I've seen, regrettably) years later, it made me realize how those critics were ignorant douchepilots.
Yancy Butler looked pretty good here; seeing that current picture of her posted a few weeks ago in this thread… quite sad. Besides the anorexia, it looks like she had man hands in that pic!
Once I get around to seeing the DC, I'll mention what I thought of it compared to the theatrical cut. I do know that the DC has a brief scene where Van Damme dances with Wilford Brimley. I know that not everyone buys the "Diabeetus guy" as an action guy, but I thought his scenes ruled. C'mon, Wilford Brimley making moonshine and taking down people with a crossbow… how can you go wrong there? I also know that not everyone who's seen the DC cared for the dancing scene.
Are you kidding me here? This
, and this
proves that there's never a fucking time when you do NOT want to see Van Damme dance. Sigh, if only all of his movies would have had at least 3 to 5 minutes of EPIC DANCING!
Anyhow, I'm glad this movie has been more appreciated now than it was when it was released.