As trailers go, the one for Manhunt gives almost nothing away in terms of its plot. What it does show is plenty of guns, balletic choreography, explosions, car chases and – Mr. Woo’s favorite – white doves.
Manhunt is a remake of a Japanese movie from 1976 of the same name and is about a prosecutor (Zhang Hanyu) who is wrongfully accused of murder, rape and robbery (oh my!) attempting to clear his name of any wrong doing. It also boasts a cast of internationally famous stars from China, Japan, and Korea, including Japanese heartthrob Masaharu Fukuyama, who co-stars as a police detective tasked with hunting Hanyu down, Chinese actress Qi Wei and Korean actress Ha Ji Won.
While John Woo returning to form should be a celebration, there is something a little off about the trailer. It looks a little too close to those straight-to-video action movies from the 90s that starred Christopher Lambert, and while the action has some kinetic movement, it also looks a little slow. It’s also missing John Woo’s old mucker, friend, and working partner, Chow Yun-Fat, but here’s hoping that working with a cast of fresh faced youngsters will invigorate the old director and he’ll make a film closer to The Killer (1989) and further away from Paycheck (2003). One also hopes that since Woo is revisiting past glories, he may attempt to make another historical epic like Red Cliff Parts 1 and 2 (2008).
Manhunt will premiere at both Venice and the Toronto International Film Festival where it hopes to find distribution and will be released in China on February, 16th 2018.