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"Now take your pig stick and your boyfriend, and find a bus to catch."
The first film that John Woo made in Hollywood after leaving Hong Kong, Hard Target starts off with a homeless man fleeing attackers on motorcycles, before being shot down just before he escapes across a river. Cut to three weeks later, when Natasha Binder (played by Yancy Butler) is looking for her father deep in the heart of New Orleans. Jean Claude Van Damme...sorry, "Chance" Boudreaux, saves her from a gang. Natasha, after being told that the police won't be able to find her father, hires Chance to protect her as she investigates. Soon, the pair find out about a secret "hunting" ring, led by Big Bad Emil Fouchon (Lance Henriksen) and must turn the tables on the hunters.
The movie is chock-full of John Woo's signature style, especially in the action scenes. Slo-mo, motorcycles exploding, and pigeons abound as Van Damme kicks and shoots dozens of Mooks. All while sporting a mullet. And being aided by Wilford Brimley. Needless to say, there are some who consider it So Bad It's Good, completely awful, genuinely awesome, or somewhere in between all three.
- The Archer: Uncle Douvee.
- Attempted Rape: The thugs who rob Natasha also try to rape her too. Boudreaux intervenes.
- Badass Grandpa: Wilford Brimley, believe it or not, playing Van Damme's uncle.
- Badass Longcoat: Applies to both Chance, and Emil Fouchon (the Big Bad).
- Badass Long Hair: Despite its style as a gelled mullet, Chance's hair is this.
- The Big Easy
- Bottomless Magazines: One of the guns Chance acquires has an extended magazine, justifying this to a degree.
- Cigar Chomper: Stephan, one of the hunters that Fouchon brings in to hunt Boudreaux.
- Curb Stomp Battle: The unarmed prey vs. a team of hunters with vehicles and firearms.
- Dramatic Gun Cock
- The Dragon: Pik is this to Fouchon, the Big Bad.
- Disposable Vagrant
- The Drifter: Chance Boudreaux.
- Evil Is Burning Hot: There's a lot of fire imagery used for the Big Bad.
- Gangsta Style: A Mook gets dispatched this way, with the gun being held upside-down in the left hand and the trigger being pulled with the forefinger of the right.
- Groin Attack: Van Damme finishes off The Big Bad this way. Using a grenade.
- Guns Akimbo: Duh. It's a John Woo movie.
- Gun Fu: Multiple times, Chance gives combatants a roundhouse after emptying half a magazine into their center mass, point-blank range.
- Hand Cannon. The Big Bad's Thompson Center Contender.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: What most of the plot is centered around.
- The Killer Becomes the Killed
- Oh Crap: "Whoops." *Boom!*
- Out of the Inferno: Used lots of times. It's a John Woo movie. Duh.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Uncle Douvee shows promise at first, but his French accent degrades quickly, at times almost sounding Indian.
- Shout-Out: Pik Van Cleef is named after Lee Van Cleef.
- Stuff Blowing Up: In spades.
- Unflinching Walk: Repeat after me - It's a John Woo movie.
- Villainous Breakdown: Fouchon gets more aggravated as the hunt for Boudreaux goes on, culminating with Pik's death.
- Villainous Vidows Peak: Pik Van Cleef.
- Wicked Cultured: Fouchon, as evident by his intensive piano playing.