Do you like knife fights? Well, if
you do, don't miss The Hunted. Lots of throwing, stabbing,
and slashing goodness. The knives were really the highlight of
this film, directed by William Friedkin. If you don't like the
sound of spurting blood, fleshing being ripped apart, or the thud of a
knife thrown into a throat, you may have trouble with this film.
Benicio Del Toro (Spanish for "Benicio Del Bull") co-stars as the
hunted. Or the hunter. Maybe a bit of each. Not to
give too much away, but there is a bit of the hunted becoming the hunter
in this film. Or vice versa. Either way, he gets to sneak
around a lot. Benicio has come a long way from his humble
beginnings as Duke the Dog-Faced Boy (Big Top Pee Wee'). He
also appeared in The Usual Suspects, Traffic, and many
other films. But never before has Benicio had as many knife fights
in one film.
Tommy Lee Jones (whom you may remember from such films as Men In
Black, and Men In Black II) plays Benicio's nemesis in The
Hunted. He has a beard in this film, which didn't turn out to
be an important plot point, but is always nice to see. Tommy Lee
Jones also probably never starred in a film with more knife fights than
They were really the focus of the film. The Masked Reviewer
could talk about the performance of Connie Nielsen (Gladiator),
but she wasn't exactly a pivotal character in the film. It seemed
as if she were tacked on so that there would be a strong female
character or a potential love interest, but she was little more than
window dressing. She didn't even get into one single knife fight.
On the other hand, she was in Gladiator, which, if you count
swords as knives, may well have had more knife fighting than The
Even though it appears that to get a lead in this movie, one must
have three names, both Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro gave good
performances. They were both convincing, which isn't a small feat
consiering how relatively little dialogue they had. It was nice to
see a movie where they didn't waste too much time with words.
Benicio did a lot of "stare acting", where he tells you everything you
need to know about what he's thinking just by looking into the camera.
Tommy Lee Jones was convincing in his role, probably because it was
very similar to his role in The Fugitive. In fact, the
movie could aptly be described as First Blood (the first Rambo
film) meets The Fugitive. If you liked those films, you
would probably enjoy The Hunted, though the body counts are
significantly lower than First Blood. And, of course,
people who think Benicio Del Toro is just dreamy will enjoy the film as
The fight scenes are interesting, too, and well choreographed.
They're quite different from traditional fight scenes, and fun to watch
if you like that sort of stuff.
Expectation from the Title: Maybe...Bambi II?
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Nice): Benecio Del
Toro seems like a nice young man.
The Pros: Knife fight, knife fight, knife fight. A
determined Tommy Lee Jones gets to track down a determined Benicio Del
Toro, and he's good at it. They mercifully didn't bother to finish
tacking on a serious love interest for anyone, leaving more room for
The Cons: Ever wonder why there aren't usually more than
3 knife fighting scenes in a movie? Apparently there is a reason.
The story was a bit weak, and it would've been nice to see more of why
Benecio's character was in the position he was in.