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25 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
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting albeit silly initial idea, good actors, nice images - all this completely drowned in viciously toxic nonsense...
I bought this 2011 Australian film encouraged by good reviews and I watched it full of hope - and I was DEVASTATED! This is a terrible, TERRIBLE, boring, depressing and nonsensical movie! Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

The film begins when a mercenary named Martin David (Willem Dafoe) is hired by a "military biotech company"...
Published 8 months ago by Maciej


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25 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
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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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5 of 5 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'être. 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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12 of 13 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 Sept. 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE', 14 Sept. 2014
By 
rbmusicman/and/movie-fan' (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hunter [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
'William' an ex-mercenary is sent to 'Tasmania' to search for the elusive and widely believed extinct 'Tasmanian Tiger'
lodging has been arranged for him with a family, a mother and two children who's husband and father had disappeard some time ago ( whilst on the same quest as 'William' )
'William' befriends the family.
The locals in the small town appear hostile toward the stranger in town.
'William' during his searches often believes he's being watched, things are certain to come to a 'head'
A decent watch in which 'William Defoe' is on form in this role.
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2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting albeit silly initial idea, good actors, nice images - all this completely drowned in viciously toxic nonsense..., 8 Oct. 2014
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this 2011 Australian film encouraged by good reviews and I watched it full of hope - and I was DEVASTATED! This is a terrible, TERRIBLE, boring, depressing and nonsensical movie! Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

The film begins when a mercenary named Martin David (Willem Dafoe) is hired by a "military biotech company" named Red Leaf to go to Tasmania and gather tissue samples of the Tasmanian tiger, with further instructions to kill all remaining tigers to ensure that no one else ever will get their DNA... Once arrived to a small isolated town in Tasmanian wilderness he will rent a room from a reclusive widow, Lucy Armstrong (Frances O'Connor) - he will go on hunting trips from there. He also meets a somehow mysterious neigbour, Jack Mindy (Sam Neill).

That very idea is hugely idiotic as there is nothing in the realm of living worth such a risk and any company trying to pull a stunt like that would expose itself to total destruction by lawsuits - and also blackmail from anybody who would learn that they tried to do such a thing... But OK, I can live with stupid plots as foundation for a scenario - after all virtually all action movies and spy flicks base on such outlandish things... Therefore this was NOT the reason why I disliked this film so much.

THE reason why I didn't like this film is that the whole rest of the story doesn't make THE SLIGHTEST SENSE and is also extremely UNPLEASANT and DEPRESSING, without ANY REASON! People whom we just began to know get killed out of blue without any reason whatsoever! The whole spiritual voyage ot the hunter, which actually contains some of the few watchable scenes of the film, goes absolutely NOWHERE! All people involved act like headless chickens - they move, even run, but without any sense in it...

The whole film is a huge pile of nonsense but the ending is something that I simply can not find words to describe! It must be the biggest IDIOCY I have seen on the screen in years - the only reason why my jaw didn't drop at that moment is that I was too busy yawning...

I give to this film two stars only because of some great wilderness shots which punctuate the spiritual voyage of the hunter - but let's just stress that this voyage ultimately goes nowhere and ends in pure lunacy. Willem Dafoe is of course a pleasure to watch as always, even when he appears in the worse kind of cr@p (like this film). Sam Neill and Frances O'Connor are very good too - it is only a pity that they are hardly allowed to do and say something at all...

I gave this film away immediately after watching it and I just want to forget that I ever saw this... this... thingy... For the sake of your sanity and your soul AVOID THIS GARBAGE!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Track it down, 14 Mar. 2015
By 
Steven - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
For the most part, I found this quite absorbing. The gorgeous locations lend themselves to an artful eye and are presented in a stark contrast to Willem Dafoe's craggy, world weary face. The family stuff at his lodgings didn't sit so well with me and although it provided some mystery it was fairly short lived and in the end, throwaway stuff. I enjoyed Dafoe's wilderness trecks and watching him go through the motions of fieldcraft and tracking was entertaining enough.

A couple of things bothered me though, if the locals despise out of towners, how come they leave the Red Leaf operative alone in the bar after they've verbally and physically threatened David (Dafoe) and how come he doesn't see the Red Leaf operative sitting at the bar only feet away. Dafoe's subsequent clash with the Operative is somewhat predictable but it did offer a moment of genuine suspense.

The ideas about corporate sharks pilliaging the planet wasn't lost on me and I couldn't help but think about the beautiful creatures we've already lost, a point most elegantly made when our hunter finally meets his prey. In one heartstopping moment I considered how the hunter too was acting on a sense of instinct rather than duty or morality. All things considered, the tale was interesting but it left me with a strong sense of sadness.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling Tasmania: A Tiger's Tale, 12 Jan. 2013
By 
W. Rodick (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
Ecology. Murder. Sickness. Family. Business. These are some of the words that encapsulate this original drama. Loved the way the different story strands unfolded. The professional hunter going about his trade. The Tasmanian family boarding him are on the edge of nowhere. The locals are fiercely repelling strangers.

The star of the film is Tasmania. Wild and just slightly encroached. Animal behaviour. Strange the place for iPod music. I met some youngsters from Tas once. I got the feeling that they were between worlds. Feeling their way. Glad to be in Australia. Working. Employment is a strand in The Hunter. Perhaps the main force for all the drama. On a second viewing I was rewarded with some fascinating mis-en-scene; background details, characterization of a way of life.

The film reminded me of another film I reviewed here The Way [DVD]. A journey and a film of discoveries. Human heart. Death defined. Salvation. And Dafoe has that rare quality that is both mesmerising and integrity. Stripped down directing. Action. Emotion. Ignorance on a global scale. See it. Belief.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "THE HUNTER" SEARCHES FOR THE LAST OF A BREED AND SELF DISCOVERY, 8 Sept. 2014
By 
RBSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
Five MESMERIZING Stars! Dafoe triumphs! "The Hunter" is an Australian movie based on the eponymous book by Julia Leigh, featuring marvelous understated acting, stunning cinematography of Tasmanian mountain and valley vistas, and a beautifully-fitting soundtrack. The plot moves at a deliberate pace and tracks the activities of Martin, a solitary European hunter hired by a shadowy biotech company to search the forests of Tasmania for the suspected last of the indigenous tigers. The tiger has some unusual traits that could be of great use. Also, the hunter is also in the middle of the affairs of a widow and kids, as well as among intense competing local groups. Willem Dafoe gives an outstanding performance as the grim, patient lead protagonist, along with the scene-stealing beautiful Frances O'Connor, the always marvelous Sam Neill, Sullivan Stapleton, Morgana Davies, Finn Woodlock, and Callan Mulvey. Directed by Daniel Nettheim. Rated R. Highly Recommended. Five OMINOUS Stars! (Amazon Instant Video. Time-1:40)
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The Hunter [DVD]
The Hunter [DVD] by Daniel Nettheim (DVD - 2012)
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