Picks and Pans Review: The Hunted

updated 03/13/1995 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/13/1995 01:00AM

Christopher Lambert, John Lone, Joan Chen, Yoshio Harada

Tired of action movies where everyone gets shot to smithereens? Try this one, where they get sliced and diced to bits with massive Japanese swords and daggers.

The Hunted is about body count—the corpse pile is near triple digits by movie's end—and little else. Its minimal plot features the ever stolid Lambert as an American businessman in Japan who accidently witnesses a ninja assassin (Lone) at work. Now a target himself, Lambert teams up with a samurai warrior (Harada) intent on settling a centuries-old feud with the ninja.

Much slashing and severing ensues, though screenwriter-director J.F. Lawton (whose scripts include Pretty Woman) mercifully stops just short of showing many of the beheadings and other gory bits. Hunted does boast two redeeming moments: an angst-ridden Lone moaning, "How much blood must I bathe in to get clean?" before halving another victim; and a lady friend (Chen) discovering that Lambert's undershorts are bedecked with pictures of pigs.

"Piggies?" she asks surprisedly.

"Yeah, I like piggies," he replies.

Amid all the swordplay this exchange passes for rapier-sharp wit. (R)

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