‘The Hunt’: Film Review

An intense, over-the-top satire of partisan politics taken to its most dangerous extreme, Craig Zobel’s controversial thriller delivers the excitement, if not necessarily the deeper social critique.
Last summer, even before the public had gotten a chance to see it, humans-hunting-humans thriller “The Hunt” became a target for pundits on both sides of the gun control debate, when mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, prompted critics to consider the media’s role in glorifying violence. In response, Universal ripped director Craig Zobel’s movie from its Sept. 27 release date and rescheduled the thriller for spring 2020, making room for national mourning in the wake of the horrific events, only to turn around and use the controversy as an unconventional marketing hook.

While not nearly as incendiary as the early coverage made it out to be, “The Hunt” gives skeptics ample ammunition to condemn this twisted riff on “The Most Dangerous Game,” in which a posse of heavily armed liberal elites get carried away exercising their Second Amendment rights against a dozen “deplorables” — as the hunters label their prey, adopting Hillary Clinton’s dismissive, dehumanizing term for the “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” contingent whose fringe beliefs have found purchase with President Trump. No matter who you ask, the “right to bear arms” was never intended as justification for Americans to turn their guns against those they disagree with, whereas that’s the premise from which “Lost” creator Damon Lindelof and co-writer Nick Cuse depart here — partisan politics taken to their most irreconcilable extremes — as Zobel proves just the director to execute such a tight, well-oiled shock-a-thon.

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Source: Variety.com

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