Friday, 30 January 2015

Hard Hunted (1992)

For his seventh film, Andy Sidaris tried something he hadn't done before.  Not "cast leads who can actually act" or "get a decent script", of course.  Let's not be silly.  No, this innovation was to take one of his existing tropes - the returning actor re-cast in a new role - and invert it, to give us a returning character re-cast with a new actor.

Now other films have done this of course, but most of them have had the good sense not to replace Pat Morita with Roger Moore's son.  Not that there is anything wrong with Moore Jr's performance, at least by Sidaris standards, but it is a rather dramatic alteration to the character, to say the least.

This is not to say that Sidaris eschews his normal pattern of re-using actors in new roles.  There are least five of them in this film, including the perennial Rodrigo Obregon, who racks up his fifth appearance and (if I recall correctly) fourth death in this film.

Kane, the villain from the last movie, returns here.  He's mysteriously changed ethnicity and got a whole lot younger, though nobody comments on that.  He's also acquired a jade Buddha statue that secretly contains the trigger device for a nuclear weapon.  Kane plans to sell it to the highest bidder, but before he can, the device is stolen by an undercover government agent.  Fortunately for him, the contact who helped the agent flee is secretly in Kane's employ, and reveals where she went.

Quite why this contact didn't kill the agent when he had the chance is never satisfactorily answered (there's an answer given, but it isn't a satisfactory one).  But he didn't, so Kane sends a hitman after her.  Because that went so well in the last movie.

This hitman is Al Leong though, so he actually kills the woman - but not before she gets the jade Buddha to two other agents.  We then head into the usual Sidaris territory of gratuitous nudity (not that we hadn't had some of that already, by this point of the film) and badly staged gunfights.  Just once I'd like one of the women in these films to fire a gun without obviously flinching.  Apparently Alan Rickman had the same problem in Die Hard, but Rickman has the important quality of actually being a good actor to compensate.  And also a director smart enough to not show him flinching on-screen.

This is a silly, schlocky film, like all of Sidaris's offerings.  Unless the idea of a pair of hitmen codenamed "Wiley" and "Coyote" sounds hysterical to you (and yes, they suffer a suitably Looney Toons fate), then you can safely skip it.

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