Hard Target (1993)

R   |    |  Action, Adventure, Drama

Hard Target (1993) Poster

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




  • John Woo and Lance Henriksen in Hard Target (1993)
  • Arnold Vosloo in Hard Target (1993)
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme in Hard Target (1993)
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme in Hard Target (1993)
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme and Wilford Brimley in Hard Target (1993)
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme and John Woo in Hard Target (1993)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


John Woo


Chuck Pfarrer

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

20 February 1999 | DaWHo
...miles better than most Hollywood action fare.
Action master John Woo's first (and best) American movie is somewhat of a disappointment to his Hong Kong movie fans--see "Hard Boiled" and "The Killer" for comparison--but still miles better than most Hollywood action fare. A good introduction to Woo's directing style with plenty of show-stopping action sequences, incredible stunt work and a solid performance by Van Damme. Despite a very impressive ending set piece and lots of awesome slow motion gun play, the movie (as released) seems to be missing something. Seek out the unrated, uncut version if at all possible--you won't regret it!

Metacritic Reviews

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


Hollywood had already shown interest in John Woo when he was approached by Warner Bros and director Oliver Stone to direct a modern kung-fu movie. The project ultimately fell through and Woo went on to make Hard Boiled (1992) instead. Afterwards he was offered the screenplay to Hard Target, and although he liked the story, he thought the film would be too difficult to make. Jean-Claude Van Damme had already been a huge fan of Woo's films and arranged to meet with him in Hong Kong, together with writer Chuck Pfarrer and producer James Jacks. The two got along well, despite both Woo and Van Damme's difficulty with their English. On working with Van Damme, Woo later stated that he was "sure of my own abilities, and I know how to make an actor look good on screen, make him look like a hero. I thought I could do the same for Van Damme". Despite early misgivings of working with Van Damme, Woo changed many action scenes in the film to make them more spectacular on finding that Van Damme was up for it. While working with Van Damme, Woo stated that Van Damme had "a pretty big ego, but he's still professional and always tries to do a good job."


Douglas Binder: Please...


Ring on Fouchon's left hand changes positions through whole movie, from ring finger to little finger and back.

Alternate Versions

A 128 minute workprint of Hard Target does exist in a rare very poor quality video tape dub. It is a rough cut consisting of all shot footage, much in which was unnecessary and would later be trimmed down to the 116-minute test screening after further refinements. It is mostly the same as the 116 minute version, though it includes the following differences:

  • there is no music score throughout the whole film
  • most sound effects are missing
  • alternate/extended scenes of dialogue
  • alternate/extended shots in certain scenes
  • additional shots and missing shots


Walkin' Blues
Written by
Son House (uncredited)
Performed by Eric Clapton
(Only in workprint version)


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Action | Adventure | Drama | Thriller


Release Date:

20 August 1993


English, French

Country of Origin


Filming Locations

White Castle, Louisiana, USA

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,106,500 22 August 1993

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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