After six months, the controversial “The Hunt” makes it to the big screen.
Political leftists and rightists have always been at odds on how our country should be run. But never, as far as I know, have they ever been so fiercely opposed that they would literally attempt physical combat and kill one another over their beliefs. The Hunt could possibly be the ultimate, terrifying illustration of a completely no holds barred battle between two dedicated factions vying for national supremacy.
This militant polarized satire, kicks things off with a visceral series of texts, extended by a savage incident precursive of the film itself. Messages celebrating something called “The Hunt” which involves the tracking down and killing common people dubbed “deplorables”, is a perfect indication of the blatant madness of those involved ; mostly rich people who insist that since they pay for everything, this country belongs to them.
Wasting no time, this group of wealthy elitists commence their murderous spree almost as soon as a band of deplorables (many of whom do actually work for the elitists) is dropped off in a large field seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Many are deftly aced almost immediately, despite access to a bevy of weapons the elitists were kind enough to supply them with to give them a “sporting” chance. One very familiar face doesn’t last five minutes.
Betty Gilpin’s Crystal almost immediately emerges as a makeshift leader/survivor. Her initial reticence can be a bit annoying, but it’s well compensated by her common sense and slightly awkward athleticism. Plus, she’ nobody’s fool. Quickly escaping an early demise, along with one other awkward, lucky survivor, Crystal works to directly assess their precarious situation,including taking out a pair of husband /wife hunters.
Even before The Hunt’s release was cancelled in 2019 because of the tragic shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, the film was already a hot bed of sweeping controversy. Even our current president chimed in, although not actually mentioning the flick by name, tweeting that the movie was meant to “inflame and cause chaos.” Notwithstanding, despite it’s divisiveness, Universal finally set an appropriate, Friday the 13th of March release.
Screenwriting duo Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse and “Z For Zachariah” helmer Craig Zobel deliver an apt combo of action, drama, comedy, and naturally, brutal slayings enough to keep one intrigued. And despite the consistent character tropes, the snappy dialogue faithfully encourages one’s decision as to who, and who not, to cheer for.
Crystal definitely bears the ever increasing burden of The Hunt, fairly welled armed with sharp wits and a dogged determination to track down who’s responsible for this madness. You’re decidedly okay with everything she does to stay alive And as an added attraction,Gilpin informs our female antagonist with that proverbial anti “damsel in distress” attitude.
Hilary Swank trades in her usual good girl persona as Crystal’s primary target, Athena (the name of a Grecian goddess incidentally), the distinct, chief orchestrator and impresario of this homicidal lunacy. Her cold, nonchalant attitude toward killing innocents, belies her disarming friendliness. Swank infuses Athena with such a cavalier persona, it’s downright frightening.
Supporting cast members for our two makeshift amazons come in various shapes, sizes and attitudes. Crystal is burdened the most in discerning who and who not to trust before a hard hitting mono a mono climax that may leave some shaken by the end.