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on 19 November 2010
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Given the films title and the fact that it features wrestler star Steve 'Stone Cold' Austin as a man out to rescue his kidnapped daughter, it comes as a bit of a surprise to discover that this is not a high-speed-action-fest of a movie. If like me you were expecting something along the lines of 'Commando' or 'Taken' I think you are going to be disappointed.

That's no to say it's a bad film, the cast is pretty good, even if they all play stock characters. Even Steve Austin, someone who I'd expected to be awful, acquits himself pretty well as a decent man up against the odds. The movie's biggest problem is that it to leans too heavily on it's weakest points (the script and story) and ignores it's biggest asset (man mountain Steve Austin) for too long. Austin looks like he could knock eight-shades out of anyone he comes up against but is rarely given the opportunity to do so. In fact we are kept waiting until the last third of the film before any of the real action kicks in, and even then the dull film work robs it of impact.

At the end of the day this film is more of a disappointment rather than an outright disaster, it has all the ingredients to be a dumb-fun action flick, where the bad guys meet grisly ends at the hands of a justice dispensing Steve, but this is never served up. Which is too bad, because it could have been a blast.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 September 2013
Steve Austin simply can't act outside of a "wrastling" ring. He really stank up the movie along with a bad script. Austin plays a border patrol guard in Texas and his partner gets killed in a Meth lab raid. Some Mexican steals Austin's wallet and claims he never forgets a face. Other than the watch with a 50 foot rope wrist band, this really isn't part of the movie as the next thing we know Austin is in Montana living in the woods, chomping on grizzly burgers while his daughter hates him, but we get that information more from the DVD box than we do the script or acting.

Meanwhile in Reno, a group of thieves, who are not Mexican drug dealers, steal some unmarked bonds. One of the thieves double crosses the rest and heads to Montana of all places so he can walk miles (and days) through the woods to the Canadian border (HEY! Park a little closer next time!) Now it just so happens he is carrying a tracking device so the other crooks can follow him. While this gang of crooks is in town, they force Austin and his daughter to guide them through the woods. How they knew this guy took off on foot, I don't know as he left the tracking device in an abandon vehicle on the road.

The gang of crooks are not too bright and always in disagreement. At some point in time Austin is shot, falls off a mountain side and washes up on First Blood beach. He then finds a hunter's pack with a cross bow and carves out perfectly straight arrows and even attaches feathers from...? At night he puts black shoe polish under his eyes (shiny bald head is not an issue) and by day (when he really needs the polish) the shoe polish is all gone.

If bad acting, corny lines, and the stupidity of the script doesn't bother you, go ahead. No sex or nudity. Drops f-bomb. I recommend you watch "The Expendables" instead.
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VINE VOICEon 25 October 2010
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Much like most of the movies starring American wrestling superstar "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, although you might expect otherwise, his acting skill is not the biggest problem.

The movie follows a well-worn plot that has been the subject of many actions movies before this one. The star is made to guide a group of criminals through rough terrain because they are dragging his daughter along for the journey at gunpoint. Simple enough and everyone knows it's only a matter of time (approximately 75% of the movie's length) before he starts killing them one by one in imaginative ways which befit his character (if we're lucky).

And it plays out more or less as you would expect, right down to people who we're meant to assume are dead getting back up for another round. Why throw out one action movie tradition when you've touched upon all of the rest? At least there's no token love interest.

And so to the acting, such that it is. Eric Roberts makes an all-too-brief cameo in the opening few minute which sadly stands as the best turn of the movie. Emilie Ullerup somehow manages to be worse as one of the criminals than she is as Ashley in sci-fi series 'Sanctuary', Marie Avgeropoulos is so obviously too old to be playing Austin's teenage daughter Kim that she can never make "Daddy" ring true, and why British-born kick boxer-turned-action star Gary Daniels quite feels the need to over-do his English accent is a mystery. Presumably director Keoni Waxman thought his normal voice was too subtle for American audiences to realise he was English.

One thing Austin can never be faulted for in his acting is his effort. He always seems to try hard despite being in a string of low-budget, badly scripted action-by-numbers DVD releases. Besides Austin's admirable efforts the only real acting going on comes from Gil Bellows as murderous leader Banks, but his script is truly dreadful at times, and the ever-eccentric Michael Eklund as tech geek Geary. In both cases though they're forced to over act in the majority of their scenes, especially Bellows.

Like Austin's other recent DVD release 'The Stranger', 'Hunt To Kill' is watchable on one of those lazy evenings when you just want to watch something without having to think too hard, and since no one involved in writing this movie did, it stands to reason that you don't have to either. There are better, there are worse, take it for what it is.
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on 23 October 2010
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
NOTE: A longer version of this review can be seen by clicking on the comments section at the end.

The film is competently made and the quality of the acting and scriptwriting is decent enough for this sort of film. The low budget shows only in the not very impressive or overly well directed action scenes. The film has an early to mid 80's Arnold Schwarzenegger action film vibe to it. There really isn't that much action, and it's too small scale to really comfortably be described as an action film. I would describe it more as a thriller.

The film plods along and is enjoyable enough. The thing that keeps you going is the promise of some seriously violent retribution to come when the worm finally turns and Steve Austin fights back. Unfortunately when it does finally happen the film doesn't pick up any steam. Instead it just continues to plod along just like before. Plus the scene were Austin arms himself and puts the camouflage make up on is a strangely dragged out moment that kills the momentum right at the moment it should be shifting up a gear. The resulting deaths are workaday and lacking invention or any sense of enthusiastic glee from the filmmakers.

The thrills are tepid but at least it's mildly entertaining and doesn't try to be anything more than what it is. If I was a thirteen year old wrestling fan then I'm sure I would still consider it to be an average film, but I could easily see myself watching it again and again anyway.

For me the real problem is that I've already seen the film. The same story was filmed as The Contract [DVD] [2006]. It has better actors (John Cusack and Morgan Freeman) and a better script with a bit more story to work with. The Contract is a very average film but it's likeable and it does punch slightly above its own weight. I would rate it as being on the more enjoyable end of the average film spectrum. So if you've not seen it then I would recommend The Contract over Hunt to Kill. And if you have seen The Contract then Hunt to Kill adds nothing new so you can safely skip it. Also it's worth pointing out that the Stallone film Cliffhanger [DVD] [1992] also has a very similar plot and is a much greater film than either of those two put together.
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VINE VOICEon 27 October 2010
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Hunt to Kill follows the story of a border patrol agent who get's mixed up with 'the bad guys' of the movie when they take his daughter hostage in return for his help.
With a name like 'Hunt to Kill' I wasn't expecting a serious down to earth type movie and every so often a good action flick is just what you want in your DVD player. However for it's genre I still consider this movie rather poor. I feel like that baddies of the film had little depth and were made to augue an act stupid just to provide some action and kills into the movie (supposedly to add tension at how easily they will kill members of there own I don't know).
The film also starts with a four years ago section which didn't really add much other then describe how he got a 'cool' watch. I feel more could have been done to describe the main characters background and why he was soley looking after his daughter rather then that scene.
With this film you never get a sence of knowing who exactly each character is an how they will react next so it all becomes abit of tracking through the woods with somebody randomly getting killed. My boyfriend described this film as 'silly'.

It's worth a watch if you enjoy this sort of film and can pick it up cheap, but otherwise avoid and get yourself a copy of the Die Hard's in place of.
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on 3 November 2010
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
To say this film is good would be giving it too much credit, it is viewable, but isnt very interesting or entertaining. It is another attempt at the action movie market but it doesnt really get there and seems quite bland and due to previous Austin films, it isnt very surprising. Austin's acting is quite good and actually better than the other films he has featured in, but it seems that dialogue is cut short and relys too much on action scenes while austins co stars do most of the talking. Overall, there is no denying Austins image and potential in the action movie scene, but with very little presence and charisma it doesnt do the film any justice, 3 stone cold stunners.
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Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I can't really muster the energy to write a long and detailed review of this terrible film - just watching it sapped all my motivation.

It starts off with a scene that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the film - the production company obviously had enough money to hire Eric Roberts for one day, so created a scenario where we could see him at the start, thinking he would be gracing us with his presence for the rest of the movie, but then killed him off because they couldn't afford him for longer.

Fast forward four years to the bulk of the movie itself. This is a rip-off of Cliffhanger, but without any of the excitement. Even the baddies are completely ripped off from the far superior Stallone vehicle, with the slightly psychopathic "leader" of the gang, the beautiful but deadly woman who doesn't really do anything until she is killed, even the English psycho who isn't much of a psycho except that he talks tough with a pseudo-Cockney accent (at least, in Cliffhanger, Craig Fairbrass's accent was real). They couldn't afford to go to the mountains, so instead they go into some very un-dangerous woods, where, had one of the characters got a splinter, it would have livened up the dullness of this arrant nonsense.

There's a bit of the film which is ripped off from "First Blood", when Steve Austin's uncharismatic lead character makes a spear from a stick; and there's a "weapon preparation scene" that they nicked from "Commando" - except they managed to build up some tension when they did it in "Commando".

The "psycho" baddy leader looks a very tiny bit like Jack Nicholson, so they give him a line ripped off from "The Shining", which I think we were supposed to find faintly amusing ...

Oh, I've run out of things to so. In all, this is a tedious, tiresome, ragged-plotted, pointless, unexciting piece of rubbish. No wonder Steve Austin's films never appear in the cinema - they're too awful. As for all the charisma that people keep saying the man has - rubbish. He can't act, his voice is a monotone, and even his action sequences are contrived and badly choreographed. This was another hour and a half of my life, wasted.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 November 2010
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have to say that when I sat down to watch this I was expecting it to be a load of rubbish, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it exceeding my initial expectations.

Unfortunately this kind of plot has been seen many times in films and so you just know how it is going to run and end from the beginning. The only difference is the skin that is applied to the plot. The basics of the film are that survivalist Jim Rhodes (Austin) is forced to escort a band of murderous thieves across the US/Canadian border via the mountain forests. They are ill equipped and dependent upon Rhodes to track down another of their group whilst keeping them from wondering off into the unknown. Their trump card is Rhodes sulky daughter is also along for the ride under duress.

The quality of Steve Austins acting also exceeded my expectations, but I have to admit I was expecting the worse. He wasn't bad although his character seemed to lack any substance. I couldn't work out if that was because of the script or because he was living up to his "Stone Cold" image. That being said, he did play the hero well without coming across as a superhuman. The other characters played believable parts and together probably rescued this film from the abyss.

I like a bit of spoon fed, no thinking action from time to time and this gave me my fix. Whilst not a waste of money, it is not one I would ever watch again. If this is your kind of thing then you won't be disappointed. If you only like action films with complex plots, twists and turns and rich characters then you should avoid this.
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Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Reuniting Steve Austin, an underused Gary Daniels and - very briefly in a pointless cameo clearly shot in one day - Eric Roberts from The Expendables, straight-to-DVD thriller Hunt to Kill is certainly better made than Austin's previous starring vehicle for Anchor Bay, The Stranger, but unfortunately it's also a lot duller. It's the kind of action movie that offers zero characterisation and a well-worn plot that's little more than a coathanger for the action sequences, which wouldn't be a problem if there actually was much in the way of action or if what there was were particularly well executed. Unfortunately neither is the case. The plot is standard commando-issue, with Austin's border patrolman forced to guide Gil Bellows and his gang of bad `uns through the mountains to recover the loot stolen by their treacherous partner if he's to save his petulant daughter from their clutches. In other words, a hybrid of Cliffhanger, Shoot to Kill, Commando and First Blood without all the good bits but with almost as much walking as Timothy Hines' infamous version of War of the Worlds. There's very, very little action in the film - maybe five minutes of its 93-minute running time - and what there is is unimpressively staged. Even the fight between Austin and former kickboxing champion Gary Daniels underwhelms thanks to uninteresting choreography and excessive close-ups, with even the one decent stunt Daniels is given botched by shooting the first half in slow motion and then ramping up the speed so fast for the second half that it barely registers. Unfortunately that's fairly typical of the kind of lazy by the numbers stuff on display throughout a film that's all walk, no action. Still, unlike the poor digital camerawork on The Stranger, at least this is properly lit and looks a lot better, but since the film really isn't worth watching in the first place that's not much of a recommendation. You'd be much better off just watching Shoot to Kill instead.

No extras on the DVD unless you count a trailer for Austin's more enjoyable The Stranger.
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Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Hunt To Kill could easily have been a Four Star movie, if just a little more attention had been paid to the script, and with a more stylish hand at the director's helm. Any shoot-em-up movie with Stone Cold Steve Austin in the starring role has a natural advantage, because this ex-wrestler has a commanding screen presence and is no slouch at proper acting. However, he was let down by limp dialogue, a nonsensical plot (not always a handicap but it got in the way at times here) and some hammy acting from his co-stars.
The plot sees a gang of bank robbers chasing down one of their number who has done a bunk with the proceeds of their latest raid. Stone Cold's stressy, wise-ass teenage daughter is used as leverage to get him to guide the gang through the Montana wilderness in pursuit of the cash, and towards the safety of the Canadian border. Friction between the gang members sparks the violence, which turns deadly. And our hero has to fall back on his skills as a hunter and tracker, using bow, arrow, and anything which comes to hand... Could've been really good.
However, most of the supporting cast feel like 2D cardboard cutouts, one complete with risible and obligatory Mockney accent. The 'teenage' daughter looks to be 20 is she's a day. And although the forest is a superb background for filming, it's wasted when Stone Cold magically scrambles up sheer, wet rock faces (after being shot) with only marginally more effort than strolling in the park. Plus, there are a couple of edits which make no sense whatsoever -- the action literally snaps from one scene to another without explanation.

Even so, get some beers inside you and watch Hunt To Kill late at night and it's enjoyable enough. Not a patch on The Condemned [DVD] [2007] which was a far better film and demonstrated Steve Austin's talents to much better effect. Let's hope he doesn't end up in a downward spiral of B-movie misery, cos the man's got much more to give than this film would let you believe.
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