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46
3.6 out of 5 stars
The Hunted [DVD]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Benecio del Toro plays Aaron Hallam, an exceptional U.S. Special Forces Operative who's won the rare accolade of a Silver Star medal for gallantry. He goes AWOL and holes up in a forest wilderness, where he uses all his finely honed skills to survive and evade the law enforcement authorities, covert and otherwise, who are keen to take him into custody.
Hallam makes do with a hatchet, knives and man traps, whilst his pursuers are armed to the teeth with hand guns, rifles and poisonous inhalers. However, Hallam is stealthy and surreptitious like a Snow Leopard, and he's an extremely skilful predator in the dense woodland terrain.
Tommy Lee Jones plays Lieutenant Bonham, a retired Special Forces instructor, who is tasked by the Government to help track down the elusive Hallam and bring the fugitive to justice. Bonham is the man who trained Hallam years ago and he's wise to all the trained assassin's tricks of the trade. His search of the forest is supported by a S.W.A.T. team, and the F.B.I., who are led by the diligent, resourceful and tenacious female Agent Abby Durrell.
As the hunter and hunted go ever deeper into the woods, the two Special Forces guys have to resort to all of their lethal combat and extreme survival skills, in order to stay one step ahead of their foe and keep both feet out of a grave.
This is a competent cat-and-mouse chase thriller, which clearly owes a lot to movies like Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) and The Fugitive (Harrison Ford). Tommy Lee Jones as always does a very good job of being the stoic, taciturn, grizzly and relentless law man, a role which he can perform blindfolded. Benecio del Toro is a good actor but I think that he's somewhat miscast in this film - his performance here is a bit understated if not wooden, and he's not exactly a John J. Rambo type - a more muscular and menacing hard man was probably needed for the role, somebody like a Matt Damon or Jason Statham.
Suffice it to say, this is a reasonable action thriller, but if you watched it back to back with Rambo, you'd see why Rambo is comfortably a 5 star flick, whilst this movie merits 3 stars.
Thank you very much for kindly taking the time to read this review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A really good movie, squarely in Rambo territory, but cuts its own path far too clearly to be seen as a remake.

At the centre of this are two characters.

Benicio Del Toro, taciturn and brooding, is mostly excellent as the vet gone "bad", the best I've seen from him, although when he is required to be sensitive, it works less well. Unlike Rambo, the military put him over the edge, not the bigoted cop.

However, Tommy Lee Jones puts in yet another simply brilliant performance as the non-killer who trains killers and eventually and reluctantly has to go after one of his own. A complex and reserved character, superbly portrayed by this man who surely ranks as one of the greatest actors around, and with a voice to make your nerves tingle. Only one slight jar; he seems to walk a little stiffly, yet is dynamic in his fight scenes. Well, who the hell cares?

Much of the action and subplotting is fairly predictable, but it's the journey that matters. This does lack some of the sharp dialogue- usually emanating from Richard Crenna- that lightens up "First Blood": "God didn't make Rambo-I did!" and "I didn't come here to save Rambo from you. I came to save you from Rambo." LT gets some great lines, though "If I'm not back in two days it means I'm dead", completely deadpan and completely brilliant in its scene.

At the end of the day, to call this a remake of the brilliant "First Blood" is less accurate than to call "Saving Private Ryan" a remake of "The Longest Day"; there are similarities in setting and context, but no more. Like "First Blood", there is an inevitability about the way it all develops.

An oddly satisfying, gently paced movie, considering its content. Well worth a watch. At the end of the day, there's perhaps not "enough" in this for it to get five stars, which is why I think I very marginally prefer "First Blood", but this might actually be the better film. WHY can't I give it five stars? Dammit, I can.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2009
A good action movie with a mix of psy-situation (the ex-Special Forces killer becamed a serial killer and chased by his "ex-Jedi Master" instructor) with good action scenes, a very good cast (with Del Toro perfect for the role) and a intriguing plot, but a little confused. With a best director maybe a better movie.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 10 December 2003
Benicio Del Toro stars here as Aaron Hallum, a trained Army killer seemingly severly distresed by his experiences in Kosovo. Four hunters have been killed in woodlands and Tommy Lee Jones' character, LT Bonham, a tracker extraordinaire, is called in to assist in the hunt. As the plot develops, we find out that Hallum had been trained by Bonham in the art of survival and knifecraft, and had come to regard him as a sort of father figure and mentor.
Most of the action takes place outdoors in beautiful scenery, be it in woodlands, snowfalls or on the edge of a river. The script is kind of hackneyed, and the roles are derivative, but Jones gives a good performance none the less. Del Toro is not in Oscar mode here, but does turn in a performance as a confused and dazed man.
The film lost coherence a bit when Del Toro is shown in a scenen forging his own knife, but the knife-fighting scenes have a gritty real feel to them. Overall it's not bad. It's just not great either.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2004
Actions thrillers are my favourite films, but recently I have been getting more and more cheesed off with thrillers that promised much, but in the end were souless and unrewarding.
How lucky I was, then, when I found the Hunted!
This film sums up escapism for me. It is 90 minutes of pure and exhilarating entertainment. The viewer is plunged straight into the action, and from then on in it doesn't let up--as we see Tommy Lee Jones hunt down his man and occasionally engaging in what can only be described as jaw-dropping hand-to-hand combat.
Personally, I can think of no better way to unwind after a hard day than to watch two insanely tough and well trained men play a lethal game of cat and mouse.
The acting is solid, the set pieces deliver and you really root for both the hunter and the hunted--which is never a bad thing.
Go on, indulge yourself!
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on 23 April 2014
Tommy Lee Jones is guilty of a little overacting, although he does spend most of the runtime poking, touching and staring at his surroundings for clues – so I guess he’s making up for that. Del Toro does his tried and tested stone cold killer routine, but with such dialogue-light characters neither feels properly developed. The underlying issue being that you should really be giving guys of this caliber deeper, more rounded characters to play with.

The film’s cut well for the action scenes, with a few standout heavy-handed, bloody fights – however there are a few moments where Del Toro feels more like a bogeyman than a human. The film’s full of good locations, good story, good leads – but it somehow fails to fully engage or grip you. Biggest flaw is the lack of mood music, when it appears it’s very low volume, and makes the film feel flat, and vacuous. Director William Friedkin could have got away with spending less on big stars for empty roles, and more for big music over flat scenes.

The Hunted starts off with a bang, but loses focus and audience by about the half-way mark, relying on big, macho action to keep interest up.

Score: 5/10 - from ParagraphFilmReviews dot com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2014
There are so many things wrong with this film - plot, acting, continuity....For example if you were being hunted in broad daylight by helicopters dogs police and Tommy Lee Jones would you light a fire and start forging a knife? Avoid wasting time and money on this drivel
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2006
There are not enough films that deal sympathetically with the impact of fighting in a war and being programmed to kill. This film raises the interesting point of what do we do with these people once they have been utilised to their full potential during War time? Having witnessed the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo at the start of the film, Benicio Del Toro carries out his mission with the swiftness and skill of one of our SAS elite. His courage is awarded with the Silver Star, but the nightmares of what he had to do and witness never leave him and he is seen waking up in the middle of the night screaming and that takes the viewer to the present day in the film.

Tommy Lee Jones is the man who taught Benicio and his fellow soldiers how to kill and how to survive. He is working as a conservator for the Wildlife Fund and in a touching scene early on in the film he rescues a wolf from a snare and appropriately deals with and humiliates the culprit responsible for it. I found his character quite relatable in that respect. His character appears very enigmatic and quite solitary in the film.

Someone (Del Torro) is butchering hunters and decapitating and disembowelling them. Tommy Lee Jones has to assist the authorities in hunting Del Torro down (although at this point it is not quite clear who is the hunter or the hunted).

As the film progresses and Del Toro is arrested it turns out that he employed by the American Government for top secret killing missions. This then builds up to an excellent high-octane finale.

There is quite alot of violence (as with most 15 rated action/horror films these days), but it is not excessive and it is relevant to the story and the theme of suffering (both mentally and physically).

Del Torro just wants to return home to his family and put the past behind him, but this film deals with the tragedy that it can't happen that way, his fate has been sealed from the moment he was recruited for covert missions.

This film struck a chord with me because I know of people who have had to deal with the horror of war and the fact that afterwards they can never lead a normal life.

An underrated, poignant gem of a film. The acting from all involved is top grade.
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Benicio Del Toro plays a Special Forces veteran who becomes a serial killer. He is pursued by the ever excellent, but aging, Tommy Lee Jones who had trained him in the army in self defence, survival, the effective use of the knife, and turned him out a ruthless killer; A task his student excels in. The bottom line is knowing when to switch off. This the young man is incapable of and has become a virtual robot.
This is a fast moving, well choreographed film, with no plot to speak of and host of faces I did not recognise. The scenery, however, is breathtaking.
A watchable film if there is nothing better around at the time.
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on 17 August 2013
2 fantastic actors, a great story, good locations. This could of been such a good film, if they had drawn it out
more and fleshed out the characters. Instead it seems like it's been rush edited into a 90 minute formulaic action
adventure. Missed opportunity, and very disappointing really. Still what is left is good enough for 3 Stars, and is
certainly entertaining.
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