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Hard Target (1993)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  20 August 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 32,570 users  
Reviews: 174 user | 65 critic

A woman hires a drifter as her guide through New Orleans in search of her father, who has gone missing. They discover a deadly game of cat and mouse behind his disappearance in the process.



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Title: Hard Target (1993)

Hard Target (1993) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chuck Pfarrer ...
Robert Apisa ...
Mr. Lopacki (as Bob Apisa)
Douglas Rye ...
Frick (as Douglas Forsythe Rye)
Mike Leinert ...
Frack (as Michael D. Leinert)
Elijah Roper (as Willie Carpenter)
Barbara Tasker ...
Randy Cheramie ...
Eliott Keener ...


Natasha Binder comes to New Orleans looking for her father, who has gone missing. In doing so, she meets a very hard man called Chance. He helps her find out that her father was killed by an organisation who sell the opportunity to hunt human prey. They are taking advantage of a police strike in New Orleans. Will the Muscles from Brussels win through? Written by John Hartnup <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Don't hunt what you can't kill. See more »


Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a great amount of strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 August 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hard Target: Operación cacería  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$32,534,954 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (Director's Cut) | (Workprint Version)

Sound Mix:

(4 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Woo turned down the script for Face/Off (1997) to direct this instead, as the science fiction side of that movie didn't interest him. (Apparently he became a fan four years later.) See more »


When Chance blows the dust off his shotgun, the positions of the gun and his hands change between camera angles. See more »


Emil Fouchon: [Fouchon stops Zenan from shooting Roper before the chase can begin] This is New Orleans... not Beirut!
See more »


Referenced in Fist of Fury (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The best Van Damme film...thanks to John Woo!
3 July 2000 | by (Philippines) – See all my reviews

Jean Claude Van Damme has many, many and many action films all in all...but none of them comes close to the art, fast-pace, intensity and entertainment of Hard Target. And the factor behind these? John Woo! John Woo has proven himself the answer on providing greatness to Van Damme, and it's obvious that Van Damme's films that followed, simply lacked goodness.

With Woo on the helm, we get to see Van Damme doing those Woo signature-action like double-gun firing, action slow-mo, dangerous stunts, revealing views, and the back-to-back 2 side camera name it. Van Damme himself said that this was the most creative action film he's ever done, and you'll see why.

Regarding the story, the plot seemed simple on paper but John Woo added twists and gimmicks to transform the simplicity into interest. The cast is highlighted by Lance Henriksen's role as the bad boss, and he adds quality acting and voice to this film. Yancy Butler however, does not make a good lead lady here, and I always thought of other actresses replacing her.

John Woo's action scenes are very defined here, and thanks to those slow-mo scenes, you get to see Van Damme REALLY HIT HIS opposed to seeing him move too fast in other films, which made you wonder if his kicks were real or not. In addition, he did some dangerous stunts on his own, which adds authencity to his action figurre.

Van Damme needs to team up again with Woo. The films that followed this were simply lacking of quality (The Quest) or lousy (Double Team). It's easy to realize that Hard Target is more of a John Woo-film than a Van Damme-film. Van Damme, in my opinion, is better-off with Woo as director simply because his best is brought out. Since this film is Woo's US debut, this film is like a preview of things to come...meaning Broken Arrow, Face/Off and the ongoing blockbuster Mission Impossible II! You'll really see how far Woo went from this debut.

Definitely worth watching! Hard Target is not John Woo's best, but it's Van Damme's best film ever! This is where you see Van Damme in his greatest action, and thank Woo for that!

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