Hard Target
Entertainment: +1/2
Acceptability: -4

This bloody, brutal film takes place in New Orleans where a small group of well-to-do, ruthless thugs conduct a sadistic, bizarre business. They will arrange a "game" for wealthy clients in which the client tries to track down and kill a man in cold blood. The hunted are downtrodden veterans who agree to try to elude the hunters for a large sum of money. The film begins with one of these sadistic chases, and the veteran is soon killed by large, rotating steel tipped arrows which penetrate his body. The attractive daughter of one of the victims, Natasha Binder (Yancey Butler), enlists a powerful, itinerant worker, Chance Boudreaux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) to help her determine what happened to her father. Much of the film portrays Boudreaux's continuous violent battles with the mob. Countless men are beaten, shot, and killed in bloody gun battles, vicious hand combat and violent threatening chases. The film is well made technically, but it is difficult to understand how such brutality could be entertaining to anyone.

The constant barrage of brutality in this film is painful to watch. Men are shot repeatedly, some at close range or in slow motion. The vicious hand battles show men being beaten and karate kicked in the face or legs. Once, a man's arm is broken at the elbow. In other sadistic incidents, a man's ear lobe is cut off with scissors, another shot in the eye at close range, some burned to death and a snake bites a man's face. Along with all this comes massive property destruction and explosions. This type of violence appeals to the animalistic nature of viewers. It could motivate some to act it out in real life, particularly youth or those mentally unstable. Those who find it entertaining should be concerned about their psychological and spiritual condition. Not surprising, the violence is accompanied by numerous obscenities and some profanity. Also, a pornographic photo of a nude woman is briefly displayed. HARD TARGET is another glaring example of the sickness of Hollywood's soul.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Distributor: Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Crude Language: Several (6) Times - Moderate
Obscene Language: Many (15) Times (f-word 12, s-word 2, other 1)
Profanity: Several (7) Times - Regular 5 (J, C, GD); Exclamatory-2
Violence: Continuous, usually brutal and gory (men sadistically hunted down and killed; brutal fights, shooting and killing with guns, clubs and arrows; many bloody gun battles; men shot at close range in head and eye; ear lobe cut off with scissors; karate kicks in face and legs; arm broken at elbow; men burned to death; snake bites man in face; massive property destruction and many explosions)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Once (pornographic photo of nude woman)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Scene in prostitution house
Drug Abuse: Few times - Whiskey drinking
Other: Photo of burned body
Running Time:
Intended Audience:

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)