The Hunted


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The Hunted
The Masked Reviewer

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 this one.

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 Hunted

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.  Creepy.

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 well.

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 knife fighting.

 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.



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