Universal Pictures has taken a lot of heat for their new film “The Hunt,” rescheduling it from last year to this weekend. Word had gotten out that its plot was about “liberal elites” hunting “deplorables” and people went nuts on social media on both sides of the political spectrum.

The knee jerk reactions are mostly unwarranted from those looking to point their finger needlessly hoping to glomb up some media attention or clickbait article generating income.

“The Hunt,” written as a satire and full of funny moments amid exploding heads and a cute pig, will appeal to fans of horror and action films who will laugh off the “deplorable” and “snowflake” characters because they have a sense of humour.

Opening this weekend could be an opportunity for Universal to capitalize on box office sales when other films are “resetting” (removed from release schedule with no date) and events like SXSW being cancelled with only Vin Diesel’s “Bloodshot” opening.

Story

Official description from Universal:

“In the shadow of a dark internet conspiracy theory, a group of elites gathers for the very first time at a remote Manor House to hunt ordinary Americans for sport. But the elites’ master plan is about to be derailed because one of The Hunted, Crystal (Betty Gilpin, GLOW), knows The Hunters’ game better than they do. She turns the tables on the killers, picking them off, one by one, as she makes her way toward the mysterious woman (two-time OscarĀ® winner Hilary Swank) at the center of it all.”

Betty Gilpin as Crystal in “The Hunt,” directed by Craig Zobel. Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Performance

There are a host of fine actors in this film which was pleasantly surprising considering the premise. Putting on a striking dissimilar performance from her well acted role on GLOW (Netflix) is Betty Gilpin who seems utterly capable and almost unrecognizable as a truly ass kicking character. Gilpin chose to create her character with some facial grimacing nuances that actually down play her natural beauty and made it difficult for me to recognize her. I found that refreshing as you often see actresses, especially in this genre, who want to really play it up for the camera.

Aside from the obvious physical comments on her appearance, her fight scene physicality is outstanding, and I hope, no I really want to see her in more action roles. Think Angelina Jolie in “Tomb Raider,” though she’ll probably prefer something like Sigourney Weaver in “Alien.” She has potential to be that good, but it is likely this film will get buried amid the Coronavirus ramifications.

Another notable performance includes Hilary Swank as the liberal elitist not living in reality. Her character has a hard time distinguishing what came first, the chicken or the egg when it comes to her own motivations to hunt and kill “deplorables.” Swank proves without a doubt that she still has the “Million Dollar Baby” physique and her fight scene with Gilpin near the end is super impressive. I’d love to see the making of the fight scene on a DVD special edition because it’s that epic. Incidentally, it has nothing to do with two females going at it, they were just good but I know a segment of the population will enjoy that for that exact reason, and that’s okay. The director and DP did a phenomenal job of making you feel that fight in your gut.

General Thoughts

You could go deep on this film in so many ways. You could compare it to the source -type material of Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game,” and other stories like “The Battle Royale” and even to some extent “Hunger Games.” You could focus on the political lines being exploited or laughed at (depending on your mood) or you could just go watch the film with a big tub of greasy popcorn and giggle when a character you thought was cool get’s their head blown off unexpectedly. After the first 10 minutes, that’s what I decided to do, -leave my politics at the front door because this story was going to take cheap shots at both sides and that’s fine by me.

The Verdict

“The Hunt” has an talent established cast, who despite not getting a lot of screen time do get some memorable moments and ghastly deaths that are funny for their hilarity. Yes, the film does explore the polarity of Liberals and Conservatives as seen through social media for their hypocrisy and often over-the-top non-logical beliefs, but does so in a tongue and cheek manner. There are some people that will not be able to get over that and will no doubt give this film a failing score. Those exact people are probably mirrored in this film, though they don’t see that themselves.

For the rest of us, who just want to be entertained, this film is fun. Though not a unique story despite the political sway of the antagonists motivations, it’s still entertaining. Blumhouse Pictures was brave to pick this type of story despite the unwarranted media attention, and I hope it gets support from people who just want to be entertained and could care less about being offended by some jokes. Keep in mind, there are people out there actively campaigning for you not to see “The Hunt” because they don’t like their politics to be made fun of (and inadvertently themselves). For that reason alone, go see it and make up your own mind.

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Review: "The Hunt" More Fun When You Leave Your Politics At Home
Pros
  • Comedic
  • Evenly Paced
  • Well Executed Action and Special Effects
Cons
  • Perfunctory despite the political satire
7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)
4.1