Director: Craig Zobel
Starring: Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank, Ethan Suplee, Justin Hartley, Reed Birney, Amy Madigan
Runtime: 90 minutes
The Hunt is about twelve strangers who wake up in an unknown place in the middle of the woods without knowing how they got there. Amidst a dark conspiracy theory on the Internet, every year, a group of liberal elites captures and hunts people for sports.
Donald Trump called this film the political satire that he does not want you to see due to the controversy surrounding this film. Originally planned to be released in September 2019, The Hunt got delayed due to the multiple mass shootings that occurred in August. This film’s greatest asset comes from Betty Gilpin, as she dominates her screen time with gravitas and charisma. But through the midst of all this fast-paced dark and humorous action thriller, it lacks a focal point to be considered as a modern, timely satire.
The Hunt begins just like a typical survival thriller. Then, it eventually turns into the type of film where viewers realize that this movie has so many twists and turns that, at one point, they know what to expect. However, combined with the suspense and humorous moments, this film’s fast-paced and entertaining action sequence gives a boost to the story, keeping us invested in the moments.
Given the social climate we are in, it’s becoming more difficult for people to take things less seriously because people are so used to looking through other people’s perspectives. But the movie includes all the jokes for leftists and right-winged Republicans, so it does not portray one side as worse than the other side. More than a satire, it often feels like an action-comedy poking fun of both sides due to its not-so-subtle, in your face tone.
As mentioned before, Betty Gilpin delivers a fantastic performance that slightly reminded me of Phoebe Buffay if she has gone wild and in combat training for years. We don’t get to know much about the characters in this movie. We don’t hear the names of the characters, so it might have been hard to connect with her, but her persona and badassery just absolutely killed it.
This film made a bold move by tackling various issues, especially by critiquing the online witch hunt of people pouncing against one another in social media. However, because the jokes are so broad, the film goes in so many different directions that some of the jokes don’t land on the spot. I am honestly confused as to why people started boycotting this film because director Craig Zobel wanted to go right up front instead of approaching for a more subtle direction.
Overall, The Hunt‘s packaging of the film and its approach can be a double-edged sword as it will divide people for its over-the-top gore and in your face approach. One side can lightly realize that this is a movie that makes fun of everyone, including themselves, and take things less seriously while the other half of the spectrum can watch this film in dismay for its stupidity and unnecessary violence. That choice is entirely up to the viewers.
Definitely not for the squeamish as The Hunt’s gory rampage satire makes fun of both sides of the party with its fast-paced momentum and brilliant performance of Betty Gilpin.