Rental Review: The Hunt

The Hunt is an expertly paced, darkly humorous action-thriller that pokes fun at both ends of our current political spectrum while keeping you entertained and on your toes with its great twists and even greater characters.

Basic Synopsis: A group of “deplorables” get dropped into a The Most Dangerous Game-type situation, and are forced to run from or fight against their captors in order to survive

First Things First: I’m not going to dig into the controversy that surrounded The Hunt when it was originally announced. All I will say on the matter is that, in my opinion, the flack it got (which ended up delaying its release by half a year) was unwarranted for the most part, and people shouldn’t condemn a movie before they’ve actually seen it.

Second Things Second: I’m glad that The Hunt employs the South Park style of humor, meaning everyone is fair game. Even though one of the two “teams” is clearly the villainous faction of The Hunt, and the biggest laughs are at their expense, the movie doesn’t take a stance as much as comedically point out that each side of the political divide has members who go way too far.

Brief thoughts: I’m even going to keep my brief thoughts brief…er because I truly believe that the best way to approach The Hunt is to go in like Jon Snow (knowing nothing).

The Hunt’s pacing, witty dialogue, and utterly bizarre lead performance are its biggest strengths. Somehow it can keep you in suspense and make you laugh out loud at the same time. And while the lead is definitely the movie’s highlight, the supporting cast is great too. I was going back and forth between being shocked by every new development or action sequence and laughing out loud at an insult or quirky line almost the entire runtime.

Not gonna lie: I really, really wish that a certain actor had been kept out of the trailers, as their appearance would’ve been that much greater, possibly the most memorable part of The Hunt if I hadn’t been expecting it. If you haven’t seen a trailer yet, I strongly urge you to avoid doing so until seeing the movie. The less you know about it (aside from the summary above) the better.

Favorite Line: “What is this Avatar shit?!”

Closing Thoughts: The Hunt had a hindered release that was mired in undeserved controversy, was in theaters for less than a week due to the Coronavirus, and then eventually doled out as $20 digital rental for a few months, so odds are it didn’t get the love it deserved. That’s a huge shame because it’s a fantastic movie, which is why I’m doing a rental review even after I spoke about it on Middle of the the Row: The Podcast months ago. It’s smart, intense, expertly-crafted, and one of my favorite films of 2020 so far.

And speaking of the podcast…

Second-ish Opinion: You can listen to Zac and I further discuss The Hunt on a Middle of the Row: The Podcast bonus episode here.

Liked what you read? Then why not follow me on Twitter or Letterboxd and bookmark my author page. And until next time, remember: the best seats are in The Middle of the Row!

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