cinewise

The Hunt

2020 | Dir: Craig Zobel | Wri: Nick Cuse, Damon Lindelof | USA

Screenshot from The Hunt

As an action comedy, The Hunt has plenty of laughs and over-the-top stunts to make it a passable attempt at its genre. It offers plenty of gore and an interesting (though highly derivative) premise. It does a few things right, there is no doubt about it. But often than not it doesn’t know what it is or what it tries to say.

We follow a group of ‘deplorables’ who wake up in an empty field with a crate of various weapons and a group of cancelled elites who are hunting them down. It’s down to an ex-soldier (Betty Gilpin) to chew some gun and kick major ass. There are some really cool set pieces (how the film efficiently kills its deplorables is quite astonishing) and it’s really funny, but it only manages to remind you better versions of these events. The most obvious comparison would be Battle Royale, which went so leftfield that it almost became foolproof. But The Hunt doesn’t have any of its inventiveness. Its setting also reminded me of the Hunger Games series, but then again those films may have been tame in their political messages, but at least they held a consistent opinion.

And there lies The Hunt’s biggest issue — it doesn’t know where it wants to remain in the political spectrum. It’s firmly sitting on the fence, which feels like a real cop-out. I would have respected it more were it braver in its identity (regardless of where it sat), but as it is it’s nothing more transcendent than a tweet with a typo.