Hard Target (Woo, 1993)

Really the one American John Woo effort that reflects the director’s thematic and stylistic Hong Kong roots. Hard Target also has a biting critique of homelessness under it’s countlessly impressive action sequences, and it’s to Woo’s credit he uses Jean-Claude Van Damme’s sweaty charm and brutal punches to frame such ideas. Also, the group of hunter villains in the film actually mean something to the vision beyond their flashy ability to kill, representing a dominant and dangerous elite with the ideology that all humans are not created equal. Woo gives Van Damme all the chances to destroy these truly evil men, more importantly with style and grace unseen in his later pictures.

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