By Liz Lopez

Rating: B+

Watching the trailer to a film may be the way someone decides to view a film or skip it as something that is not interesting to them, or they have a pre-conceived notion of what it is about, so they don’t give it a second thought. “The Hunt” is one of those films I have heard some people say they will opt -out for varied reasons. Yes, it is difficult to think that humans would be shooting other humans for sport and it is not something acceptable, given the multiple mass shootings in the U.S. – which was the reason for the almost six month delay in the release date by Universal Pictures. Directed by Craig Zobel (Z for Zacariah), The Hunt is a modern day satire and the screenwriters, Damon Lindelof (World War Z) and Nick Cuse (“Watchmen” TV Mini-Series), have been able to incorporate the language often seen in social media, including terms that are very much a part of everyday conversations regarding climate change and other topics that can become a spoiler. Watching some of the characters who are the “hunters” still attached to their cellphones and checking their social media accounts is darn right hilarious as the viewer learns more about their backstory and behavior. 

The hunters and the hunted in this satire has a twist and for many, it becomes quite an action movie. The hunted try to survive and after a few of the targets have been eliminated, Crystal (Betty Gilpin, “Glow”) emerges after she has managed to evade the traps others did not survive and from the look in her eye, she means to fight back to live. She is fit, and highly trained, something not expected by key characters, no matter what side they may be on. Gilpin’s character is surprising, and she delivers a solid performance to merit having more leading roles. It’s why this film should not be missed and be aware there is bloodshed in several scenes. The director does not hold back on the gore from varied weapons.

Shortly after the film begins with some individuals conversing via text messages where someone casually uses the words “the hunt,” we then see a group of gagged strangers wake up in a field as they come to. They were unaware they were on a flight and have no idea where they are. The mystery begins to unfold, but only after it zig-zags its way through to the mastermind of the operation, Athena (Hilary Swank, also very good in her role).  

Among the varied actors (some with scenes shorter than others) are: Ike Barinholtz, Emma Roberts, Wayne Duvall, Christopher Berry, Sturgill Simpson, Kate Nowlin, Amy Madigan, Reed Birney, Glenn Howerton, Steve Coulter, Dean J. West, Vince Pisani, Teri Wyble, Steve Mokate, Sylvia Grace Crim, Jason Kirkpatrick, Macon Blair, and J.C. MacKenzie.

Rated R Running time: 90 minutes. Opens in theaters March 13th

Source: Universal Pictures

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