'The Hunt' Review With Casey
When a group of random strangers wake up outside together scattered across a lightly forested meadow, it's not long before bullets start whizzing and blood starts splattering. Surprising deaths and blunt punchlines fill this dark comedy as unwitting Americans scramble for survival. But the literal hunt of this film is not an ordinary fight with just guns and knives. The gleefully nasty violence is also delivered with arrows, grenades, stiletto heels, and kitchen utensils.
The Hunt's vibe felt like The Most Dangerous Game (1932) meets over-the-top action films like Rambo (2008) or The Expendables (2010). And The Hunt is not just an amusement park ride of watching people die. The screenplay also includes a political angle pitting people against each other from extreme ends of the Democrat and Republican spectrums. This political bent helps The Hunt achieve a bit more topical and provocative quality. But instead of exploring the tenuous economic and political relationships between different people or exploring the backgrounds that influence extreme political views, the films spends most of its time making fun of expected stereotypes and watching them kill each other. (Republicans are rural, gun-obsessed hicks while Democrats are wealthy, overly-entitled liberals.)
What starts out as an interesting, tight, crazy social commentary with super-high stakes turns into a video game-like quest centered on one woman's fight to escape her murderous enemies. We already know the political climate is volatile in our country. We already know everyone feels angry and dismissive about opposing views. I'm not sure this move is that effective sinking its teeth into that volatility. Making it more psychological or dangerous, instead of brutal and accusatory, could have made The Hunt more memorable.
It started out with great promise and excitement...but then it ultimately failed to reach its full potential.
Since we can't go to the movies right now, here are some films to see at home. Check out Jojo Rabbit, Judy, and The Two Popes from the comfort of your living room.