May 20, 2024

City Hunter 2024 Movie Review

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City Hunter 2024 Movie Review

City Hunter the anime dates from 1987. The world was different then. A remake therefore requires some adjustment to contemporary times. Unfortunately, it soon becomes apparent that no attempt was made to do so in this remake, especially with regard to main character Ryo Saeba. He is still an extremely oversexed private detective who just stares at breasts, sings songs about women with big breasts and is bribed with promises of women in bikinis. The ‘humor’ of this is extremely outdated.

City Hunter follows the life of Ryo Saeba; an extremely capable, but extremely perverse private detective. He and his companion Hideyuki take on the most dangerous jobs in Tokyo. They are assigned to track down a famous cosplayer. At the same time, a plague of a dangerous drug is raging through the city, causing people to lose their senses and also seem to gain superpowers. Shortly after the rampage, these people die. The drug plague in the city and the disappearance seem connected and so Ryo becomes entangled in a major case.

The outdated portrayal of Ryo makes it difficult to actually take the dramatic scenes with him seriously. His immensely heroic looks after saving someone cannot be taken seriously when the same man has just been staring at some cleavage while drooling and giggling. The same is true when his partner Hideyuki dies in Ryo’s arms early in the investigation and they share an emotional moment. This just minutes after Ryo has said several times that he is going to seduce Hideyuki’s sister against his will.

At all these moments it becomes painfully clear that the translation of an anime or manga into a feature film should not be a direct copy. Some scenes and characters simply don’t lend themselves to all types of media. The same goes for the humor, which is so overdone slapstick that it both feels outdated and doesn’t come into its own. Due to the rapid changes between serious moments and the silly humor, the seriousness or tension never becomes palpable.

Shame, the story did have potential. Hideyuki’s death is directly related to the drugs that give people superpowers, providing the perfect setup for Ryo to get revenge. The powers that people get from these drugs only occur occasionally and do not go any further than someone who jumps a little higher than normal. There could have been much more to this.

The pace of the story is also far too fast at times, with conspiracy theories, secret groups and major themes being discussed in a few scenes. Too much content is crammed into the film, meaning scenes can’t breathe and storylines are resolved illogically quickly. In addition, Hideyuki’s sister is introduced as Ryo’s new partner, but mainly functions as the princess who needs to be saved. By the way, women are only two things in City Hunter : the damsel in distress or busty eye candy.

And the problems don’t end there. The low production value looks ugly. The fight choreography is good, but it is so messily depicted that little remains. Most enemies have worse aim than an average Stormtrooper and most action scenes are so exaggerated that it becomes ridiculous. City Hunteris occasionally funny in its absurdity, but above all an unnecessary remake that does not dare to let go of the past.

City Hunter 2024 Movie Review