Thursday, August 22, 2013

Film Review: The Hunter (2011)

The Hunter (Review)
Australia/2011
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...the second half of the film is redeeming -- adding involving dilemmas, tense situations, and pure entertainment."

Mercenary Martin David (Willem Dafoe) is hired by military biotech company Red Leaf to gather samples of the Tasmanian Tiger -- a though-to-be extinct tiger whose existence is solely supported by two witness accounts in the last year. Martin has also been instructed by Red Leaf to slaughter any remaining tigers to keep the DNA exclusive.

The Hunter continues to follow Martin as he lodges with a small family and travels in and out of the bush -- 12 days at a time. Martin connects with the family while tracking the elusive tiger on his outings; he also faces discrimination from some of the locales and begins to question the disappearance of the man he replaced. And so, The Hunter finally reaches its climax as the mystery is unraveled and Martin finds himself facing a harsh dilemma. The ending is bittersweet, even unexpected to a point.

The main problem with The Hunter is its often dreadfully slow pace. This interesting story moves at a snail's pace, which makes this 1 hour and 40 minute feature feel like its over 2 hours. On top of that, the story is often uneventful: it feels very empty, as if hardly anything has happened. The second half of the film really starts to pick up the pace, though. The characters start to interact in involving ways, and the research and investigation builds up a tense atmosphere; in other words, the second half is an involving piece of work, well worth enduring the first half.

Willem Dafoe really steals the film with his great performance; he really delivers a very accurate performance, always hitting his target. The child cast also did an exceptional job being, well, kids. The cinematography is superb; the environment is captured beautifully, the scenery is often breathtaking. The music is also fantastic blending seamlessly with the film and creating the correct vibe at all times.

Overall, The Hunter is a very good adventure/thriller. The first half of the film, while interesting, suffers from an uneventful feeling and a tedious pace; the second half of the film is redeeming, adding involving dilemmas, tense situations, and pure entertainment. Technically, the film is superb; a beautiful film to see and hear.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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