**** 1/2 out of 5
Rated R for strong bloody violence, and language throughout
Article first published at The ReelPlace.com
Given the ever-changing times we’re currently in — more than ever we need some escape. For myself, going to the movies always has, and always will be, my preferred way to check out of the world. Unfortunately, that’s been put on hold. And if The Hunt is the last film I see in a theater for a little while, it could’ve been way worse. Taking shots at both sides of the political spectrum, director Craig Zobel’s wicked, pitch-black comedy takes its writers’ screenplay — from Nick (son of Carlton) Cuse and Damon Lindelof — it clearly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. For interested parties looking for some catharsis as both the left and right take some well-deserved hits, The Hunt is worth venturing out for. Especially anyone who’s been waiting for this — after it was wisely pulled last September.
For anyone who hasn’t seen the trailer — which was also pulled until a new release date was announced — a group of strangers wake up in the middle of the forest. They have no idea how they got there — or why. Before they know it, things go from bad to worse as they realize they’re being hunted. Turns out, a small band of liberal elites have brought them together — and in classic Lindelof fashion — The Hunt, aka “Manorgate,” is absolutely not what you’d guess. Will anyone be left standing by the time the credits roll? I’ll leave that up to viewers to discover.
The Hunt has had an ugly shadow over it ever since it was deemed deplorable by anyone who had never seen it — including our Tweeter-in-Chief. Now that folks finally have, what Zobel, Cuse, and Lindelof have done is thrown a whirlwind of topics and scenarios into a blender and hit pulverize. The main idea that resonates hardest, is that there are horrible people on both sides of the aisle. Deplorables snowflakes, elites, etc. get thrown around at will. The biggest surprise may be that the bad guys aren’t even who you’d think. Not that you can trust anyone in this scenario to begin with.
Constitutional amendments, personal politics, liberals, alt-right, Animal Farm, and the ol’ chicken-before-the-egg are all on tap. Zobel owes a lot of debt to the Kill Bill films, particularly Vol. 2. The finale plays out like the kitchen scene from Vol. 1 transplanted onto the end of Vol. 2. Knock-down-drag-out! Having producer Jason Blum’s backing clearly gave the filmmakers the freedom to make the film they wanted. And huge kudos to Universal Pictures for finally releasing it. The Hunt is brutal, hilarious, gruesome, and — definitely — topical. This also isn’t the first time a film like this has been made and it won’t be the last. Not everyone is going to like what it has to say, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.