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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laconic but deeply atmospheric
The Hunter is the story of veteran tracker Martin David (Willem Dafoe - Platoon) who is tasked by a pharmaceutical company to head to Tasmania to assess, track & find rumours of the last Tasman tiger. Thought to be extinct; the specimen might just hold some unique biology that will allow the company to develop medicines and ultimately, profit. But as Martin bonds with the...
Published on 12 July 2012 by J. Morris

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay film but nothing to rave about.
Lovely views of Tasmania. Defoe is decent as usual. Story is weak. Good/enlightened 'eco-warrior' versus bad/imbecilic 'capitalist' alert. Okay if you don't mind that kind of thing.
Published 5 months ago by Passerby


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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laconic but deeply atmospheric, 12 July 2012
By 
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hunter [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The Hunter is the story of veteran tracker Martin David (Willem Dafoe - Platoon) who is tasked by a pharmaceutical company to head to Tasmania to assess, track & find rumours of the last Tasman tiger. Thought to be extinct; the specimen might just hold some unique biology that will allow the company to develop medicines and ultimately, profit. But as Martin bonds with the host family he stays with; he struggles with the morality of what he is doing. Should he kill the last tiger for corporate profit? When his intentions are doubted; the company - Red Leaf - send the second best to finish the job, will Martin manage to outsmart the new hunter?

The Hunter is a quiet affair, minutes are spent with scarcely a word as we watch Martin move through the bush, set snares and traps and track the tiger. Even his runs into town for supplies where he encounters the locals, Jack (Sam Neil - Event Horizon) their interactions are terse. Resultantly, The Hunter builds its appeal with its intrigue of finding the tiger and the waiting that it takes, interlacing historic actual footage of Tasman tigers in captivity from 1911 with the film. It builds a lot of empathy for the species and the respect that it garners from the locals. Dafoe is fantastic in his stoic portrayal of a lone hunter and the second hunter adds a lot of tension.

Recommended for an outdoorsman film, limited script but a truly atmospheric experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tasmanian Tiger Hunt set in a beautiful film., 19 Mar 2013
By 
Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
This is from the novel by Julia Leigh and tells the story of Martin Davis played by the brilliantly talented Willem `I use Just for Men' Dafoe who has been in more great films than you can shake two sticks at. Martin is an assassin who sort of always gets his man, like The Mounties but on the wrong side of the law. He is hired by an unscrupulous bio tech firm called Red leaf. They have bought into sightings of the assumed extinct Tasmanian Tiger and want samples of its DNA to synthesise for their own money grubbing ends.

Martin arrives in the remote area of Tasmania posing as a researcher from a University, where he is supposed to lodge with Lucy (Francis O'Connor - `Bedazzled' and `A-I'). She is high on medication and her two young children, Sass and Bike are almost fending for themselves, with the ambiguous `help' of local ranger, Jack played by the always brilliant Sam Neill. Martin soon realises that Lucy's husband has been missing on the mountain for some time yet they are still holding out a forlorn hope that he will return, and little Bike seems to have lost the will to speak, and expresses himself through drawings. Pretty soon Martin realises that he may not have been told the whole picture and the locals are positively hostile to all `foreigners' causing inevitable ructions.

The closer Martin gets to his elusive quarry the closer he gets to nature and to the family he is increasingly caring for. The problem is Red Leaf want delivery at any price and so things are going to come to a head.

This is an excellent film, both moving and gritty where it needs to be, there are scenes of animal butchery which I know can be upsetting for some. The country side is remarkably beautiful and the issues around conservation are left low key enough to be part of the fabric of the tale rather than the raison d'Ítre. All of the actors are superb and there is a poetry to the development of the story which unfolds at just the right pace to keep you hooked whilst allowing time for reflection too.

The whole Tasmanian Tiger thing I have always found interesting, some American put up a huge reward for a live one, but stopped offering it a while back, the few who were placed in zoos never produced offspring and so they are believed to be extinct, but the coelacanth was believed to be extinct too but rare specimens have turned up, so there is always hope. This is a film for those that like movies to make them think and get a bit dewy eyed at the same time, I absolutely loved it and can only recommend.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moved me to tears, so beautiful, so sad but strangely uplifting, 23 Oct 2012
This review is from: The Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
Rarely does a film come along that moves me so completely. If you are passionate about wildlife, conservation and Dafoe (and Bruce Springsteen), watch it, but you will need tissues and a stiff drink afterwards. The tragedy is that this is the only animal ever to be lost to extinction in Tasmania, if indeed it has been made extinct, which remains in some doubt. As a huge Dafoe fan I think this is one of his finest films but the landscape and the scenery is a close second when it comes to starring roles. The book was highly acclaimed but actually I prefer the film even if it does wonder off the script. You will be gripped. It doesn't romp along like an Arnie movie or come with lots of cheese a la Kevin Costner but it is dark, brooding, charming, heartbreaking and absolutely enthralling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hunting for a Tiger in Tasmania., 29 Dec 2012
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
Good old Willem Dafoe has that sort of lived in face that is never going to see him out of film work. He is in the happy position of picking and choosing his roles, which allows him to do a bit of globetrotting these days which he seems to revel in. This unusual role takes him to Tasmania, one of worlds few remaining wilderness areas. Dafoe is hired by a dubious biotech corporation to hunt down a Thylacine, better known as the Tasmanian tiger, a wolf like marsupial thought to have been extinct in the wild since the 1930's. But the corporation have a hidden agenda. Meanwhile Dafoe confronts hostilities from locals and stumbles across clues to an old murder. He also becomes involved with an attractive woman and her two children.

Perhaps the real star of this movie is the magnificent Tasmanian scenery which is beautifully photographed in all weathers. It proves to be a fine advert for Tasmanian tourism. I realised the potential for filming in this area when I watched another very decent Australian film "Van Diemen's Land", which also showed what an unforgiving place it can be. Dafoe's taut face is perfect for ratcheting up the suspense in this movie as the hunter inevitably becomes the hunted, all the while tantalisingly closing in on his quarry. One character comments that the animal is better off extinct as it will only be hunted down if found anyway, echoing the inevitable fate of wild tigers and rhinoceros who are worth a kings ransom to the Chinese market dead. Their only future being in zoos. The film also boasts the services of Sam Neil who hails from nearby New Zealand, in a return to grass roots for him. The film is very minimalist in feel. Shot on what must have been a small budget with a small cast, the film relies on suspense and scenery to deliver for the viewer. This papers over the flaws in a relatively lightweight script. With the morose Dafoe striding like a simmering Heathcliff over a steaming primeval landscape the film works a little magic. It would be nice to think there are still Tasmanian tigers out there, but sadly I doubt it. People still make futile searches for them to this very day! Another film that highlights mans abuse of the wonders on this blue planet! A good release by Artificial eye who continue to champion innovative cinema. Well worth watching.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful slowburner..., 10 Sep 2012
By 
Mark Gillespie "Sparky" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
The Hunter is a very mature piece of filmmaking - yes, the slow pace might not be for everyone but all good things come to those who wait. This is a slowburner, a beautiful film with great scenery, characterisation and wonderful acting performances by all. I've read the book and think that for once, the film is even better. Huge credit to Willem Dafoe - one of the best actors in the world. Can't recommend this enough.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top class, 5 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
The demise of the Tasmanian Tiger is a sad and shameful episode in Australian history and a comment on man's insatiable lust for land. The Hunter does justice to the tiger story and even adds a layer to the saga, updating the historic significance with a pinch of corporate greed. It's a heartfelt and moving story, beautifully acted with very few flaws. Don't expect a Holywood-style happy ending and don't expect the thrills and spills of other 'man with a gun' movies. The Hunter is different. Top class. Five-stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Slippery., 10 July 2014
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This review is from: The Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
A sleeper that sidles up and grips you while all the time forcing you to choose a side, just never the same one for long. Well worth a visit.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Willem DaFoe out in the wilds of Australia., 28 May 2014
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This review is from: The Hunter (Amazon Instant Video)
A film a little off the beaten track, but well worth watching. Good to see something from outside Europe and America.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A rare gem!, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: The Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
This is a surprisingly moving and intelligent film, which I initially only watched because (apart from me) my family is entirely male. I'm so glad I stayed the course because this turned out to be treat!

Terrific acting from Willem Dafoe and the supporting cast, I thought. In particular, the young boy who played the part of a child traumatised by his dad's disappearance did extremely well. He conveyed a huge amount with facial expressions and body language. We were treated to an intelligent script and storyline, too which is quite rare these days! On top of all of this, the stunning scenery just topped off an already good film.

I rarely cry when watching a movie, but the final scene at the school between the young boy and Willem Dafoe's character did bring a couple of tears rolling down my face - great!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully shot film in Australian wilderness., 30 April 2014
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This review is from: The Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
A snapshot of the beautiful Tasmanian wilderness with an intriguing story of mercenaries, spies and a battle between conservationists and loggers. The story shows the rapport which is built up between the hardened mercenary and a small child.
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The Hunter [DVD]
The Hunter [DVD] by Daniel Nettheim (DVD - 2012)
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