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Fear of 'The Hunt' note entirely justified

Sean I. Mills
Staff writer
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Posted 4/12/20

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I actively avoided “The Hunt” when it was released in theaters a couple of weeks ago — and I was right to do so — but the movie is not as bad as I …

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Fear of 'The Hunt' note entirely justified

Posted

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I actively avoided “The Hunt” when it was released in theaters a couple of weeks ago — and I was right to do so — but the movie is not as bad as I feared.

“The Hunt” sells itself as some great political gotcha film, a movie so “controversial” in its politics that it had to be moved from its original September release date so as to not be too insensitive around the time of a mass shooting. With little else to highlight about the movie, the producers pushed this political angle for all it was worth to get people to show up to its new March release date.

It did not work very well. But here we are, watching the movie on demand because there are not very many new movies coming out.

“The Hunt” is the latest take on “The Most Dangerous Game”, where human beings hunt other human beings for sport. The gimmick in “The Hunt” is that its front-loaded with the bluntest, most obvious political stereotypes of the modern day. In this specific instance, it’s the liberal “elites” hunting the conservative” deplorables” for all the marbles.

Your enjoyment of “The Hunt” will depend almost entirely on how much you have a stomach for mixing dumb political humor into your action movie. If you have a sense of humor about your political beliefs and can cast aside some intentionally volatile ribbing, then “The Hunt” at least manages to have some solid non-political gags and some cool action scenes.

If you don’t have such a sense of humor, a lot of “The Hunt” is going to be like nails on a chalkboard. I’ll admit, I was in danger of rolling my eyes right out of my head before I just let the movie be the movie and enjoy it for what it was. Of course, “what is was” is nothing particularly special.

“The Hunt” is a middle-of-the-road action/horror/gore movie that is trying really hard to annoy people with its political humor. It’s like they made this movie hoping somebody would get really angry about it on social media, which they could then use as free publicity.

Betty Gilpin stars as one of the hunted, whose character I don’t want to spoil too much in this review. Suffice to say, she makes the whole thing work, easily carrying both the action and the good parts of the comedy. The rest of the cast are a bunch of character actors who play their parts just fine. It was nice to see some of my favorite TV actors getting roles on the big screen.

If you ignore the political commentary, “The Hunt” is not a bad movie. It’s got some good humor, a lot of silly gore and some cool action and fight scenes. But man, it really tries to dig its nails into you with that political commentary.

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