The Hunt

The Hunt ★★½

This "highly controversial" satirical action movie has had a strange release cycle. It was originally slated for 2019 but moved up to 2020, had a limited run, and is now, due to COVID-19, released early on digital on demand. At least it'll finally reach a much wider audience, not that I think it was that much to look forward to anyway.

A group of American conservatives are kidnapped by rich liberals who hunt them for sport.

This wasn't quite the movie I thought it would be. I thought the controversy meant a hard-hitting, uncomfortable action-horror movie with political undertones. It's not that at all, just a broad satire that pokes equal fun at liberals and conservatives alike.

It's attempting to be funny, actually placing almost all its eggs into the humor basket, with absurdist situations and quips combined with violent murder and gunplay. If you find it as funny as it thinks it is, you probably won't mind or even notice that the plot is paper thin and the characters just the same - they're a lazy excuse for poking fun at politically polarizing times. The movie is basically just a Twitter flamewar with guns and grenades. I wanted more out of it, and a less juvenile approach to things.

The actors do their best with what little they're given though, and there are some talented ones involved, in particular a surprise appearance in the third act, and I like that the action and violence had an unpredictable quality to it, it was probably the most well made aspect of the film for me, they dared to make that wild and fun. If that had been a sloppy mess the entire movie would've tanked. It doesn't, but now that it's over I'm not exactly eager to rewatch or even recommend it. This is not controversial. I wish it had been, I wish it would've had something daring to do or to say, but it's just "look at the silly political bickering, imagine if they got their arguments out with guns".