The Hunted

A Film Review By Jason L. King

Rating:Rated R for strong bloody violence and some language 
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Benico Del Toro 
Directed By:William Friedrkin 

Final Grade: 

A few years ago, I saw a film called “US Marshals” You all probably remember it. In fact I know quite a few people who even have a copy of it in their own collection. You all remember it right? It’s the story of an FBI agent who tracks down a fugitive from the law. It was a lot like that other film called “The Fugitive” from even a few years before that. What you still don’t remember it? They both had “that Men In Black guy” in them, yeah that’s right Tommy Lee Jones. Well guess what everyone, if you enjoyed those, here is the next stage of the Tommy Lee Jones fugitive saga. The film is called The Hunted and the story goes something like this…

A man armed with only a hatchet killed two hunters in a forest. But the real question is who is this man? The one man who knows in LT Bonham . Why does he know this? It’s simple he was the man who trained him to be a killing machine years ago. Now that this young man can’t turn off his killing instincts, LT realizes he is the only one who can successfully track him down, and stop him from killing more innocent people.

Tommy Lee Jones once again reprises his role that he has filled twice before in his life, as the FBI tracker we have grown to love over the course of two films, The Fugitive, and US Marshals. Though the name is different in this role, he is basically a more grizzled version of the Sam Gerard character he played just years before. Tommy Lee Jones has had the charisma to carry the role of Sam Gerard well, and in this movie, which is almost a tribute to the “Fugitive” sagas, he brings that same charisma to the Character of LT Bonham. Jones is a gifted actor, so it’s no surprise that his presence on the screen is one that can’t be ignored. His charisma (gosh that must be my word of the day) is one of the big things that makes the film.

His co-star Benico Del Toro once again proved that he is still an actor to be reckoned with, as he took on the role of the fugitive from the law. Del Toro continues to play his calm, collected, man of few words attitude that he has done so many times before in the past. This role is no different from any of those other roles, yet I have to admit there is something about that persona that makes his still a joy to watch. The Hollywood executives have realized that sometimes it’s the actors that make a film, and this one falls into that role. Had it not been for the wonderful pairing of Jones and Del Toro the movie would have had nothing to offer, other than a few cheap pops that amounted to nothing, and a rising bloody body count.

Unfortunately, actors can’t make the movie. There have been a few times that has worked in the past, but it won’t for “The Hunted.” The plot is mediocre, and they try to add something to the film, by adding biblical references and lots of symbolism into the film that just doesn’t cut it. The “hidden” ideals are too hidden, and not many are going to catch it the first time around, and most won’t give this film a second view, it’s really not worth seeing more than once or twice. The film is almost a rip off of The Fugitive and US Marshals so it looses originality right from the get go. Add the script of two “fugitive movies” a few “Rambo” films and spice it with a hint of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” and you have “The Hunted.”

I really wanted to enjoy “The Hunted,” and to be honest, I did to an extent, but unfortunately it’s nothing I will watch more than maybe once more at most. It’s a “popcorn flick,” you know one of those movies that is enjoyable at first, but is nothing more than fluffy, bland, overrated stuff disguised by mountains of butter topping (in this case we call them actors.) The camera work is great, and so is the acting, but that just wasn’t enough to carry the film to the next level.

In the end, is The Hunted worth the cash? Possibly. For a one time viewing it’s not a bad film, especially for the calm before the storm of “summer blockbuster” films. But if you don’t have a lot of cash to spare, go to a rental store, and rent US Marshals and a Rambo film, and you should be equally satisfied for a lot less cash. 

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