Hard Target

1993

Hard Target (1993)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Hard Target gets a boost from John Woo's stylish direction, but at heart, it's still another silly, explosion-dependent action thriller in the Jean-Claude Van Damme oeuvre.

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John Woo's first Hollywood feature stars Jean-Claude Van Damme as Chance Boudreaux, a down-and-out Cajun merchant seaman, who, after saving a young woman, Natasha Binder (Yancy Butler), from a gang of thugs on the streets of New Orleans, agrees to help her search for her father (Chuck Pfarrer), a homeless Vietnam vet. They locate local businessman Randall Poe (Elliott Keener), for whom the vet had been working, and learn that her father has become a victim of wealthy sportsman Emil Fouchon (Lance Henriksen), who, along with his cronies, hunts homeless men as a form of recreation. After Fouchon finds out that the girl is investigating the murder of her father, he arranges for she and Chance to be ambushed, but they manage to escape into the backwoods of Louisiana -- his stomping grounds. Realizing he needs to regroup, Fouchon assembles a private army to invade the bayous. They track the pair to the rustic cabin of Chance's Uncle Douvee (Wilford Brimley), and the real fireworks begin. ~ Michael Costello, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Hard Target

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (9)

A disappointing American debut of the Hong Kong cult director John Woo is a decent action vehicle by standards of its star Jean-Claude Van Damme but, hampered by a B script and flat characters, it doesn't bear Woo's auteurist signature and unique vision

Oct 10, 2006 | Rating: C+
Variety
Top Critic

It's what Hollywood wanted Woo for: bigger, brighter explosions.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Presenting Mr. Van Damme as reverentially as Sergio Leone did the young Clint Eastwood, Mr. Woo displays a real aptitude for malignant mischief, which is this story's stock in trade.

Aug 30, 2004

Even when the acting is hammy, notably Wilford Brimley's turn as Chance's Cajun uncle, Woo stages every fight with hypnotic grace.

May 12, 2001

Essentially, Hard Target is a risk-averse Van Damme vehicle, steered by many hands, and set on tracks leading directly to the delivery entrances of the country's video stores.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Woo, a master of stylized violence and explosive action, has had to buy into America's fascination with explosive effects and reaction. Something gets lost in the transition.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hard Target

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Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Director, John Woo's first American film is an action masterpiece. A fun, explosive and adrenaline-charged edge of your seat action-packed thriller. It's loaded with dark humor, bone-crunching fights and enough explosive gun-battles to keep any action fan entertained. Van Damme and Woo are a stellar team together, bringing exactly what we want. Easily one of Jean-Claude Van Damme's best films. Lance Henriksen gives a thrilling and intense performance. This is one wickedly cool and wildly entertaining action movie.

Al S
Al S

Super Reviewer

½

Haha this is really silly and really tacky but again the over the top violence and ultra cool gun fights really rock ass LOL! Henriksen gives it a touch of class and really hams it up beautiully haha and Woo really loves his slow mo leaps n gun pan shots LOL!. Predictable but great fun, and a dodgy Jean Claude hair style.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Van Damme has one Badass haircut...but otherwise...a pretty average movie

Martin Sahlin
Martin Sahlin

Super Reviewer

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