20+ The Hunt Reviews – Not as politically charged, but not that good either

The Hunt ⭐️⭐️

Like other moviegoers, I was intrigued by the controversy surrounding the movie’s initial release and subsequent pull and delay.

After seeing it, the hype wasn’t deserved. It wasn’t a bad film, but it wasn’t as politically offensive as charged. Really, that’s my biggest beef with the film, or pork, rather, since a pig is on the box art.

Despite the controversy that was led by people who hadn’t even seen his movie, Zobel says he supported Universal’s decision to shelve the film out of respect for the victims of the recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. As much as the film’s principals wanted to defend their movie against the false narrative around it, Zobel and Co. opted to take the high road and not push back.

Why ‘The Hunt’ Director Decided Not to Push Back Against Critics | Hollywood Reporter

Time to dig into my critique, which will contain spoilers. If you haven’t seen The Hunt and want to, then you might want to bookmark this post and come back after seeing the movie. Don’t want to ruin it for you.

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS AHEAD ….

Political satire that panders to both sides is a difficult sell

Really, this movie would have been better if it went all in on either side of the politics. Instead, the main character is more centrist in behavior and actions, which leaves either extreme political side, right or left, sort of hanging.

If you’re hellbent on making a movie about killing “deplorables” based on a tweet, then why hold back?

This movie felt like it kept wanting to pull back on being extreme — except in the case of the violence. A mistake.

The controversy surrounding the movie raised my expectations to a level that didn’t deliver. It’s like the movie Faces of Death promising to be the most shocking, gruesome thing I ever saw and it was “banned in 50 countries.” All that hype led me to a certain expectation.

This movie failed to deliver on being as extreme as it wanted to be.

Before you can have a message or agenda or subtext, you need an entertaining movie

The basic premise of the movie has been done before — and better. People waking up in an unfamiliar situation and facing death. Go see Cube or Saw. Much better movies about people waking up in strange, perilous circumstances.

As for people being hunted for sport? How about The Running Man or Jean-Claude Van Damme in Hard Target.

Reviews by Others

Let’s see what others are saying about The Hunt.

Recommended

  1. Cookie N Screen: “…is enjoyable in places but heavily misguided. It feels too much like a gaggle of writers got together and frothed at the mouth to provide the internet with something to get angry about. It’s just – if you are going there, go the whole hog.”
  2. Danielle Vanderstock: “I went in with a pretty good idea of what I would see and I had a good time. Mostly I just enjoyed Betty Gilpin’s brilliant acting and want to see her in more stuff immediately.”
  3. Darren Lucas / Movie Reviews 101: “This is a wonderful satire that will get laughs that will make you think about who you word things in your own life, with a outstanding leading performance from Betty Gilpin.”
  4. Full Circle Cinema / Cleve Barber Jr: “This film is an absolute blast for fans of thriller films. But The Hunt takes things to another level in its final stretch, connecting its story to the classic work Animal Farm. Its incorporation into the film is magnificently brilliant, putting a through line between two works of political satire.”
  5. Nick Bartlett / critical popcorn (3/5): “Everyone is a caricature, from the overly woke liberals who happily murder people but balk at harming an animal, to the immigrant hating fanatics. If anything, the irreverence shown to both sides makes it less controversial”
  6. Nikko Soto (8/10): “Overall, I really enjoyed watching The Hunt and I’m grateful that the film was actually released.”
  7. No But Listen: “The Hunt, with its sharp wit, great action, and propulsive central performance from Betty Gilpin, is worth far more than just the controversy that surrounds it.”
  8. Stan The Man Movie Reviews (4/5): “While the movie has a less than original story arc, like horror films featuring a “last girl,” “The Hunt” approaches the toxic political climate with equal doses of humor and exaggeration. Liberals and conservatives alike should find things to love and hate in the film and, to me, that means it must be doing something right, annoying good people on both sides.”
  9. victorsmyname (3.5/5): “I would love to say that The Hunt, on the contrary, is saying more about human flaws than what an idealogue (who needs the world to function in a black-and-white manner, lest they sacrifice agenda for objectivity) can comprehend. But I don’t wanna make the movie seem too smart. It’s fun, though.”

Not Recommended (or undecided/unspecified)

  1. Amused in the Dark: “…a muddled mess with mildly entertaining death scenes that Spinal Tap would give the thumps up to. I am pretty sure the movie wasn’t taking itself too seriously, but then I go why not? If you are going to make this – take it seriously. If you aren’t going to take it seriously, make it funny. You have to pick…one. At least one.”
  2. Bringin the Juice: “…this is your typical Blumhouse affair, and I am not usually a huge fan of their stuff so you can imagine how I feel here. There are some fun action moments but overall the story and the lessons here just did not do it for me.”
  3. Daniel’s Dunkings: “…as a social satire it’s completely, utterly, magnificently toothless when it should have been tearing lumps out of both sides or even (whisper it) picked a side. But no, instead it’s a shell, a shadow, a pale imitation of the film it could have been.”
  4. David Crow / Den of Geek: “The Hunt so clearly wants to be Get Out and check its target audiences’ privilege. But in the end, it just feels like it spent 90 minutes saying, “I would’ve voted for Obama a third time if I could.”
  5. Halloween Year Round: “Among the stylized killing and dark sense of humor, the film equally pokes fun at liberal and conservative alike, spouting talking points, and discussing commonly debated issues (gun control, immigration, climate change, gender/race equality, etc.).”
  6. In Their Own League (2.5/5): “…is nothing more than an action-filled movie full of stereotypes that missed the opportunity to deliver a powerful message. This film is the live-action depiction of a social media post where both parties are attacking one another.”
  7. Just A Little Bit Random: “While some action works there’s a lot that focuses too much that dwells on blood and gore rather than the action. This is a film for fans of high gore horror, but not a great deal of others.”
  8. Matthew Liedke on Film (1.5/5): “…gives a feeling that it’s just trying too hard. The dark humor here is more eye-roll inducing than laugh producing, the characters aren’t all that great and the movie runs too long considering how simple of a story this is.”
  9. screenaddictreviews (6/10): “the new generation Hunger Games with real world controversy and minor jokes about racism and a whole lot of girl on girl fighting.”
  10. Society Reviews (1/5): “There is no messaging or propaganda in this movie, the writers aren’t smart enough to inject it so what you get is a hollow mess that makes you indifference for anyone who engages in politics.”
  11. The Game of Nerds (2.5/5): “…succeeds broadly, but loses itself in the details. Perhaps the complexity of today’s political conflicts require misfires like this, so that a better film can come along and truly nail it. In that sense, The Hunt may be remembered as the prototype for the film that adeptly satirizes the modern world. It’s the first film I can recall where the conflict centers squarely on a Twitter beef, but it won’t be the last.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS (on VOD): Bloodshot, The Hunt

I’ve been delayed getting this posted hoping the theater closure would be short-lived. Clearly we’re past that fantasy, so I might as well get caught up with the final two films caught in the theater before they all closed.

Week #11,12, and 13 (this week) have all passed with no “now playing reviews in the theater.” There were other films playing in the theater that we haven’t seen yet: I Still Believe and Emma. I have another post about those two movies at a later date. For now, let’s get to those final two movies we saw in the theaters before the shutdown.

Bloodshot ⭐️⭐️½

Vin Diesel is front in center in this adaptation of the Valiant comic book character. He dies, then comes back aided by nanotech that repairs his wounds. I haven’t ever read the comics, but the character has familiar regenerative powers as Wolverine, sans the metallic endoskeleton.

Just left theater (no spoilers) review of Bloodshot

Sony gave away the first 9 minutes of the movie to tempt others to see it. March was a terrible month to gauge the performance of any movie and now it’s on VOD. It’s not recommended, unfortunately, because it’s just kind of a killjoy to watch. You think it’s going to be cool, it feels like it’s going to be … and then just isn’t.

I wouldn’t even call it serviceable, so save your $19.99 VOD purchase unless maybe you’re a diehard Valiant comics fan and want to show the brand some love. It’s tough to get a comic book movie adaptation made, especially if your company isn’t Marvel or DC.

The Hunt ⭐️⭐

W️as looking forward to seeing this last year when it got pulled to see if the hype and controversy were warranted. Um, no, it wasn’t. This movie played it too safe, if that’s even possible. They should have chosen a political side — red or blue — and just drilled on the nerve of the opposition. That’s what I was expected to see.

Leaving the theater for the last showing before the theater shutdown in Las Vegas

On the plus side, we do get some cool women on women fighting and some graphic, gory kills. Bonus points on the grenade carnage.

Can’t recommend either of these movies, but if you want to take a chance on one, the other or both, give them a blood-y (The Hunt) shot.

Opening 3-12-2020 in Theaters: Bloodshot, The Hunt, I Still Believe

Wednesday! Week #11 of 2020 (3/12-3/15/2020). We get the 7-11 store equivalent of a Big Gulp of wide release movies this week.

Vin Diesel starring as Valiant Comics superhero Bloodshot, the only non-Disney/Marvel and non-DC movie based on a comic book character. A movie that was dropped from release in 2019 for being too politically incorrect about hunting people. Another movie, this one faith-based, from a true story about a popular country singer-songwriter who falls in love and has his faith challenged by tragic illness.

Bloodshot
[FIRST LOOK]

I’m intrigued by the trailer and Vin Diesel in an adaptation of a comic book character. This seems like a darker story, not Joker-dark, but somewhere between Batman and Joker.

Anticipation: 7/10

The Hunt
[FIRST LOOK]

Don’t know why I enjoy stories about humans being hunted in a safari-like setting, but this premise is appealing to me. My concerns are more about how much politics play into this. The President made this movie out to be a political hit job on conservatives. I will be bummed out if this goes down some preachy path.

For that reason alone, I’m slightly less interested in this than Bloodshot.

Anticipation: 6/10

I Still Believe
[FIRST LOOK]

Regal Cinemas sent me an early screening in IMAX offer for this one. I kind of wish this would have been released in/around Valentine’s Day. Some might be turned off by the religious undertones, but I think that could be a powerful part of the picture. Ready the tissues, this could be a real tear-jerker.

Anticipation: 4/10

ANTICIPATION for Week #11: 3/12/20 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 3-12-2020 movies?

  1. Bloodshot – 7/10
  2. The Hunt – 6/10
  3. I Still Believe – 4/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

The movies are confirmed wide screenings available at theaters in our area with screenings available starting on 3/12/20. As mentioned above, I Still Believe has one advance IMAX showing tonight at 7pm. That is a conflict with my work schedule, so not sure I’ll be able to make it, but am interested. Also, not sure why IMAX would be necessary for the film, but maybe it would be worth seeing. All will be watched, rated and reviewed.

FIRST LOOK: The Hunt

Remember the movie in September 2019 that horrifically timed real events and President Trump seemingly squashed with a tweet?

It’s back on Friday the 13th in March, I guess because it was all just satire, the production money was spent, and it’s from Blumhouse that seems to have earned a lot of wide release movies by its box office track record.

The film — a satiric thriller that follows a group of liberal elites who try to track down and kill “red state” conservatives for sport — sparked controversy and was shelved in August following the Dayton and El Paso mass shootings. It also drew the ire of President Donald Trump, who (though he did not name the film) insinuated via Twitter that “the movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos.”

‘The Hunt’ Producer on the Film’s Release: – Variety

This is a recent drop-in title from Universal that was lingering in TBA status after being pulled last year. It was put back on the screening schedule Thursday, February 13 for a month later. A new trailer was added as well, embedded below.

The Hunt official trailer

Haven’t seen the original trailer?

The original extended trailer

Political controversy aside, we’ll soon find out if this movie is worth all the fuss it received last year. Clearly in the promotion blurbs the marketing team is pushing the controversy as even more reason to go see it.

The story of a bunch of people waking up to find out they’re being hunted could be interesting, but I’m hopeful it doesn’t try to be too political in its message and just focuses on telling an entertaining story. I’ve liked some of what Blumhouse has produced. I think they’re at their best when they are doing something original vs. remaking/rebooting films and this is an original.

The Hunt opens wide in theaters on March 13, 2020 — Friday the 13th!