Netflix February_day.28 – HARD TARGET (1993)

_The final day, day 28, has arrived. It brings to us Hard Target, John Woo’s American debut film. I believe a personal summation of the opening scene sets the mood perfectly for all events to come…

_Open on: A homeless man frantically running the streets. Camera cuts to a metal arrow flying spinning through the air. The pierces the wall next to the homeless man. Someone is trying to kill him. We then see many people are chasing him, in cars, motorcycles, on foot. We’re told by the guy who played Bishop the android from Aliens that “if he gets to the river, he wins.” Wins? What could this be about? The homeless dude reaches a bridge over said river, only for some of the boards to give way. He is hit with a mortal blow from a steel arrow and falls into the water. After pulling his body from the river, Imhotep from The Mummy walks up to his corpse. And proceeds to closes his eyes with his boot.

It turns out Bishop and the Mummy hunt former servicemen-turned-bums for sport. But it turns out that their last target…is the hardest target of all.

The target is Jean-Claude Van Damme. And his huge mullet.

_Van Damme is Chance Boudreaux. He’s helping Natasha find out what happened to her dad because she missed the beginning of the film. When she asks why he was named Chance, he replies “My mother took one having me.” God, yes. Thank you for this bountiful gift of dialog which I have received.

_The movie takes a while to get going with the action scenes, but it’s ok because there’s so much slo-mo and awesome cuts going on to make up for it. Boudreaux dramatically appearing from behind a stack of pallets being moved by a forklift. Alternating camera cuts between close-up’s of Boudreaux and the Mummy’s eyes. The Mummy doing the “Shoot a guy through the peephole of the door.” A police detective celebrating her birthday alone and putting a single serve cake with a lit candle into her desk drawer.

That’s all well and good, but the action scenes…that’s where things start to get fantastic, because that’s when Van Damme starts leaping into the air, allowing his mullet to wave majestically in the wind. That’s when people stand on moving motorcycles and somersault over vans before blowing them up with concentrated pistol fire. That’s when people swing on ropes in slow motion shooting people heroically. That’s when rattlesnakes get punched in the face and have their rattles bitten off. That’s when people get cigars and sunglasses flying-split-kicked off of their faces. That’s when Woo’s signature flying doves get replaced with pigeons.

In short, this movie was 50 kinds of fantastic. A+++++++

_And so ends Netflix February. 28 movies available [at the time of writing] for instant streaming in 28 days. Maybe I should’ve checked if 28 Days with Sandra Bullock was available to watch…just checked, it isn’t. Neither is 28 Days Later with Cillian Murphy’s dong. Anyways, it was fun. I feel like I got enough mileage out of instant streaming movies this month to make up for the countless times where I wanted to watch something and just watched Futurama or Arrested Development again instead of any number of the films available on the service. I think I’m going to make this a weekly thing from now on. Maybe not post about everything, but definitely make a point to watch a movie. It’s been fun. Until next time~


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