Taxi Hunter (1993) Review

"Taxi Hunter" International Theatrical Poster

"Taxi Hunter" International Theatrical Poster

Director: Herman Yau
Producer: Stephen Shin, Tony Leung, Herman Yau
Cast: Anthony Wong, Yu Rong Guang, Fung Woo, Ng Man Tat, Athene Chu, Chan Fai Hung, Lam King Kong, Lam Chiu Wing, James Ha Chim Si
Running Time: 88 min.

By Numskull

Cabbies beware! Stop rigging those meters! Curb those sloppy driving habits! Don’t snap at those passengers and then expect a generous tip! There’s a new force in town to be reckoned with, and he’s got his eye on YOU! He is…the TAXI HUNTER!!!

This film follows the exploits of Kin (Anthony Wong), a spineless paper pusher who appoints himself judge, jury, and, if need be, executioner or Hong Kong cabbies after two of them cost his wife and unborn child their lives. He goes around “testing” cab drivers and killing or commending them accordingly. His brother in law, Yu Kai Chung (Yu Rong Guang), a cop, is forced to put a stop to his one-man war on negligent cabbies once he (Kin) reveals his identity by hospitalizing an undercover detective. But will he have to kill him to do so?

No doubt somebody out there will call this movie a rip off of the classic Taxi Driver. It’s really just a bit of a spin on the basic concept; the vigilante is now stalking cab drivers instead of being one himself. There are bits and pieces which were obviously inspired by Scorcese’s film (like Kin working out in his apartment) but this movie is more than just a parody or knock-off of Taxi Driver and should be treated as such.

Anthony Wong is the perfect choice to star as Kin. This man is an ACTOR, by God. “Mild-mannered nobody goes berserk” has been done before, but rarely this well. Between Wong’s rock-solid performance and Herman Yau’s confident direction, this film boasts considerably more entertainment value than its silly-ass premise would indicate. The ending kind of leaves you thinking: “What…that’s it?” but no big deal. This is the kind of movie you watch when you’re by yourself and want to tell the whole world to fuck off and take its stipulations for “good” movies with it, and is recommended for such instances.

One last note: supposedly, this film was made as a sort of backlash against an actual Hong Kong cabbies’ strike. Mercifully, though, it’s not just an hour and a half of pissy propaganda.

Numskull’s Rating: 7/10

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