The anime is a classic among many anime-watchers. The otaku community knows better than to trust a live adaptation of any anime to uphold the true essence of its source material.
City Hunter may come under as an exception to this stigma as it upholds the same comedy while not holding back on the action an anime would typically dish out.
The reason it is stated as an underrated gem is due to how it went under the radar of popularity despite having a stellar cast and plot.
The film is produced in a way that the audience need not know about the anime to understand the film and its characters.
Ladies man: Jackie Chan
Of course, this film would not be what it is today if it was not for the legendary martial artist to be part of this project himself.
There are not many films where you would find the Drunken Master as a womanizer, especially an overconfident one.
This film has that unique selling point of showcasing the wholesome Jackie as the stereotypical shameless lady's man without making it highly off-putting for its audience.
Within the initial minutes of the film, we enjoy the scene of Ryo Saeba, aka City Hunter, being seduced by more than 10 women as they bait him into celebrating his birthday.
Not only that, the film features multiple scenes where City Hunter is at the center of an erotic scene only to transform it into a comedy before things get too far.
Even though the film starts off with multiple romantic interests, this is a purely comedic movie sprinkled with action.
Considering the state of anime adaptations, cutting out a romantic side plot in order to enhance the main story is a definite win.
Visual and scripted comedy
City Hunter is an anime adaptation, but more than that, it is a Jackie Chan film.
Therefore, every scene involving the martial artist involving some sort of motion is a guaranteed gold mine.
The dances, the action, the cheesy jokes, and the cartoonish freedom that it lends to the legendary actor manage to give it a flair no other anime adaptation can.
Ryo Saeba is a mercenary by profession which allows the character to have as many action scenes as the story allows.
Due to the anime being an action comedy, it would be a missed opportunity to not have Jackie Chan perform some amazingly comedic action scenes.
When it comes to scripted comedy, the dialogue can come off as a bit predictable at times however that is the flair that this film aims for:
- Is there a way into the casino?
- Yes, take the lift.
- I meant without being seen.
- Yes, take the lift and don't tell anyone.
The comedy of the film is as clear cut as possible as it does not try to beyond its source material and keeps the anime as a good source of how the style of the humor and action should be.
Of course, no Jackie Chan film can be complete without having at least one scene with a fight choreographed to feel similar to a dance.
One of the best features of this film is the action sequences that Ryo lands himself into.
Whether it be a bat, gun, or chair, trust that is a prop that will be used later in the film.
City Hunter can easily be a hit or a miss depending on the audience watching, however, one thing that can be unanimously agreed upon is that is definitely an underrated movie for an adaptation of a popular classic anime.