Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Review: The Hunt

Release date: March 13, 2020
Running time: 89 minutes
Starring: Ike Barinholtz, Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts, and Hilary Swank

The most controversial film of last year is finally getting a release in early 2020.  The movie was originally set to release in September 2019, but following the shooting at Walmart in El Paso, the film was delayed due to its depiction of violence and its controversial subject matter.  The Hunt is a satirical movie where politically correct liberal elites kidnap and hunt regular individuals plucked from conservative America, whom the elites often refer to as "deplorables." 

One of the reasons the movie was pulled was because of its gruesome depiction of violence, and this is definitely true.  The film has some gory deaths, however, the depiction is over the top and at times can border on ridiculous with the level that is shown.  However, the film is also satirical, so a lot of the violence does have a comical aspect to it: the violence often does have a humorous aspect or a funny comment made before it happens.  The film's depiction of the liberal elites is likewise over the top, but it has some very funny aspects.  Some of the comments they make to be politically correct hit at just the right time, and some of their statements as they are participating in the hunt elicit chuckles.  Likewise, the conservatives are caricatures of many of the common conservative stereotypes, however, their depiction is more level than the more extreme liberals.  

However, although the film definitely has some laugh out loud moments and cringeworthy violence and dialogue, the movie doesn't seem to have much to say.  Satire generally tries to comment on the world, and although this movie depicts the extremes of both sides of America, it doesn't have much to say on top of that.  It feels like it switched these roles simply to have a comic vehicle for the movie.  And sometimes, it does feel like writing is trying too hard to take a jab at one group or another, but honestly this happened less than I expected it to.  But don't get me wrong, I really did enjoy the film.  It has a decent amount of action, some suspense, and a really funny performance by Betty Gilpin.  Her performance really drives a lot of the movie, and her character is quirky but fun enough to keep the audience entertained.  And, what has become a rarity in many action movies, the final fight in this film is appropriately epic and entertaining.  It builds up and then lives up to that billing.  

Aside from the controversy, the Hunt's over-the-top violence, exaggerated performances, and laugh-out-loud moments make for an enjoyably different experience.

Rent it

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