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Hunted, The (2003)

R 94 minutes

Directed by William Friedkin
Written by David Griffiths, Peter Griffiths

 · Tommy Lee Jones
 · Benicio Del Toro

Review by Thom Stricklin

Benicio Del Toro may a hit-or-miss actor, but Tommy Lee Jones is tried & true. Even in his least impressive film, Men in Black II, Jones was the shining star. So it's no surprise to discover he's the highlight of The Hunted. Unfortunately, there's little other bragging rights this film can claim.




The Hunted tries hard to seem smart, and falls flat on its face. Tommy Lee Jones plays a tracker, and Benicio Del Toro plays one of his students, a soldier gone looney. Unfortunately, this movie reveals glaring plot holes from the get-go. Why, if Benicio was taught so much of Jones' tracking abilities, is he so sloppy? Why does he leave such a trail?

My mother told me I was being too critical, that she felt, "He wanted to get caught." Yeah, well, he sure didn't fight like he wanted to get caught. Moreover, not a single frame of the film was dedicated to imply he wanted to get caught. Not a line of dialogue. In fact, all of those clues pointed to the fact that he was just plain crazy. Either way, whether his character was being sloppy or just wanting to get caught, the filmmakers failed.

That fact alone killed this movie for me, because it seemed to want to be about "skill versus skill". There were other things that turned me off to it as well, however. In the first twenty minutes of the film, there was some hideous editing, so bad I almost wonder if one of the reel room boys was messing around with the film.




With all the failed efforts trying to make this an intelligent film, there's really little left to enjoy. I suppose the best bet you have to enjoy this film is if you're undergoing a little mid-war bloodlust. If that's the case, you'll love this film, because they don't spare any of the graphic violence they could possibly throw at you.

What else is there to enjoy? Tommy Lee Jones sneaking glances left and right like a paranoid schizophrenic? Perhaps. In all honesty, for what little Jones was given to work with here, he does turn it into an intriguing character: a rugged outdoorsman who feels ill at ease in the big city.



Don't waste your money. Wait for it to come out on DVD, and even then you should either buy or rent the VHS to save money, or else wait for it to go on sale on the cheap $5.99 rack... It shouldn't take long for The Hunted to get there.

425 Words Published: 28 March 2003

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