Hunted, The (1995)
R
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -3

Paul Racine (Christopher Lambert), an American businessman in Japan, meets Korina (Joan Chen) in a hotel bar. A few hours later, he witnesses a ninja about to kill her. Because Paul sees the ninja's face, he is severely wounded and left for dead. An attending doctor asks Takeda (Yosho Harada), a samurai instructor, to protect Paul from the ninja. Takeda and his wife Meiko (Yoko Shimada) take Paul to their island home. On the way, ninjas take over the train and attempt to kill Paul and everyone aboard, but are prevented by Takeda. Later Paul learns he is bait for a showdown to end a 200 year old feud between Takeda's clan and that of Kinjo, head of a major cult. English subtitles are used for the Japanese speaking characters. A blend of "Shogun" and Steven Segal, this ninja versus samurai story is intense and predictable.

Historically in Japan, ninjas are hired assassins and samurai are the honorable heroes. Both are skilled in martial arts and use swords as a main weapon. In this movie, their clash calls for excessive, graphic violence, including multiple stabbings, choppings, slashing and beheadings. Paul's encounter with Korina begins in a bar where both are drinking saki, a strong alcoholic beverage. In her room, Korina and Paul share a bath, and intercourse is strongly implied. Both full frontal female and breast nudity occur, as well as male rear nudity in two scenes. Partly due to different culture and language, obscenities and profanity are refreshingly limited. Kinjo sometime sees the ghost of Korina and Paul is told that some poisons, in small amounts, allow people to see into the spirit world. The introduction to a different culture make this film interesting, but the excessive and graphic violence cancel out any reason to see THE HUNTED.

Preview Reviewer: Paul R. Bicking
Distributor: Universal Pictures, 100 Universal Blvd., Universal City, CA 91608

Summary
Crude Language: Few (3) times - Mild
Obscene Language: Few (2) times (s-word)
Profanity: Few (4) times - Exclamatory
Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (decapitation, blood splattering; numerous sword chopping/stabbings; arm breaking, heads smashed, arrow wounds; shooting; hatchet in chest, belly slashed)
Sexual Intercourse: Implied twice
Nudity: Male rear in thong-type wrap; breast nudity twice, brief female frontal nudity, rear male and female
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Man and woman undress each other
Drug Abuse: Alcohol drinking to excess, cigarette smoking
Other: Reference to spirit world, ghosts seen
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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