Friday 14 June 2024

REVIEW: City Hunter (2024 Film) - Starring Ryohei Suzuki, Misato Morita, and Masanobu Andô

City Hunter

By Jon Donnis
City Hunter, the 2024 Japanese live-action adaptation of Tsukasa Hōjō's beloved manga, directed by Yuichi Satoh and penned by Tatsuro Mishima, is a vibrant, action-packed tribute that successfully brings the original series to life. Starring Ryohei Suzuki, Misato Morita, and Masanobu Andô, the film is a delightful mix of action, comedy, and mystery set against the bustling backdrop of Shinjuku, Tokyo.

The plot follows Ryo Saeba (Suzuki), a charming and skilled "sweeper" who operates as a private investigator. The story kicks off with Ryo and his partner Hideyuki (Andô) taking on a case to find a missing cosplayer. Their pursuit leads them to a mysterious woman with bulging veins and superhuman agility, who is carrying two vials of an enigmatic blue substance. As the night unfolds, Hideyuki meets his sister Kaori (Morita) for dinner, only to be attacked and killed by another crazed individual. This tragedy propels Ryo and Kaori to team up and unravel the conspiracy behind Hideyuki's death. Detective Saeko Nogami (Fumino Kimura), a former colleague of Hideyuki, joins the investigation, suspecting a powerful crime syndicate is involved.

City Hunter is an energetic adaptation that captures the essence of the manga, delivering visually stunning action sequences with stylized kinetic gunfights, bullet time, and zoom shots that keep the audience engaged. Ryohei Suzuki excels as Ryo Saeba, seamlessly balancing the character's comedic charm with his hard-boiled detective persona. The supporting cast also shines, with Masanobu Andô delivering a heartfelt performance as Hideyuki and Misato Morita portraying the resilient and determined Kaori convincingly.

The film offers a nostalgic journey for fans of the manga and anime while remaining accessible and entertaining for newcomers. Its Japanese comedic elements, though exaggerated, add a unique flavor that sets it apart from Western action comedies. However, the humour might not sit well with all audiences; some could perceive it as misogynistic, potentially alienating viewers with a more woke mindset.

As a long-time fan of the 1993 City Hunter film starring Jackie Chan, I approached this modern adaptation with high expectations. While it doesn't fully surpass the charm and creativity of Chan's version, the 2024 City Hunter is a commendable effort that delivers an engaging and action-packed experience. With strong performances, thrilling action sequences, and a faithful homage to the original material, this film is sure to please fans and newcomers alike. Overall, I give City Hunter a solid 8.5 out of 10.

Out Now on Netflix