Excellent for fans of the genre and thought-provoking for others who'll give it a chance (by BrandtSponseller)
Aaron Hallam Benicio Del Toro is a special ops guy in the military who has been trained by one of the best--L.T. Bonham Tommy Lee Jones . Hallam is routinely ordered to execute strategic figures, and he probably doesn't often know why. Sometimes he has to do his work in the midst of chaos, and sometimes he has to take out people who get in the way. After a brief prologue establishing Hallam's character in the middle of the Bosnian conflict, The Hunted has him back in the States, trying to reintegrate with society. When Hallam can't do it, L.T. is sent for to track him down.The <more>
Hunted is an action/chase film in the tradition of The Fugitive 1993 . Thematically, it is much closer to First Blood aka Rambo 1982 , but it doesn't have the firepower of that film to its benefit, the emphasis here is on brutal hand-to-hand combat . On the surface, at least, the plot is an excuse for the chase and encounter scenes between Hallam and Bonham. If you're a fan of action and fighting films, this may be right up your alley, although there is more to be gained than the surface qualities.Director William Friedkin and the cast are able to create fairly complex characters in Hallam and Bonham through subtle means while the action material is occurring, through well-placed flashbacks, and through two significant, slower scenes that give us a momentary breather. But as much as Del Toro and Jones, the stars of the film are the staging of the chases, the staging of the fights, and the spectacular stunt work. Del Toro and Jones seem to have done more stunt work than is the norm, with Del Toro actually breaking his wrist at one point and halting the production of the film until it healed.Friedkin and editor Augie Hess deserve a lot of credit, as action scenes like these can frequently become muddled. It's always perfectly clear what one location's relationship is to the next location, what and why characters are doing what they're doing, and just what is occurring in the fight scenes--who is injuring who and how. Friedkin never falls back on fast cuts, blurry shots or speed control tricks to mask these scenes. The Hunted is also effective for retaining more realism than is the norm for contemporary action films--not that I ever subtract points for a lack of realism, but the realism is novel here and in context, works perfectly. Friedkin's choice of Johnny Cash songs for the opening and closing of the film was also inspired, as were the beautiful locations.Of course, there's also a more political subtext here--namely that we officially train persons to be fearless killers without a conscience and stick them into the middle of crazy situations, often for extended periods of time, then later expect them to be able to "turn it off" and meld back into society with all of its more mundane norms and mores. The film asks who is really responsible for the later behavior of these persons. The Hunter is also admirable for bringing up these issues, but not providing definite, curt answers. On this end it's not just an action film, but a film to provoke serious thought and discussion.
Another great Tommy Lee Jones movie with message! (by Movie Nuttball)
What a great movie The Hunted is! Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro were excellent especially in their scenes together! Connie Nielson was good. I was so amazed by the fighting that they did! There is a lot of blood and slashing! People think it is like the Fugitive and First Blood but I really don't think so. Sure Its in the wilderness and Tommy Lee Jones said some things like Richard Crenna did in First Blood and his character trained Del Toro's character and Del Toro was being chased a lot but to Me it is a lot more than that! The scenes are spectacular! I don't think this <more>
movie deserves all of the bad comments it has gotten and I like Tommy Lee Jones' chase movies and I wouldn't mind to see him in another one! If you haven't see The Hunted and you like The above mentioned cast and action and chase films such as First Blood, The Fugitive, U.S. Marshals, and Double Jeopardy then this movie is perfect for you!Movie Nuttball's note: This is totally in My opinion and may offend people but I wanted to get this out. I like the subject in the plot of the Hunted of a man that made a sport hunting humans! I am not a fan of hunting and I think it is very bad for a person to do such a thing. Like one point in the film Benicio Del Toro said "What if there was an animal higher than us on the food chain? And what if this suddenly lost all respect for us and started slaughtering us wholesale?" Think about that! Also I like what he said to the girl about the animals about people being mean to them and such about people on purpose hitting them with their car. I see this stuff on the street and I think boy, how would you like it if you were simply taking a walk and someone just hit you just for fun with their car? When he was talking about these things I almost cried! That's how good it is! I am an animal lover and I always been! Why can't others? I'm sorry to be like this but this is how I think and how I am. The Hunted is a great movie and intelligent! Thanks for reading!
What surprised me most about the movie was not the movie itself, which is superb, but the poor reviews it received. After reading some devastating opinions about it, some giving it a D- rating, I simply assumed one of my favorite directors, William Friedkin, lost his touch. I wrote it off. Who's got the time to waste, or the money? But after Roger Ebert gave it a thumb up, I said "What the heck" and went.It was bloody as hell, but it wasn't gratuitous, like the slasher movies. It was used more in context of the story, i.e. "Bonnie and Clyde," equally bloody. The <more>
cinematography was outstanding. Almost makes filming MIB look like a kid show. Just watching the action and scenery setups is a valuable movie experience, since few movies come close to the quality. Nor did I see any obvious special effects or computer tricks. The closest comparison movie that comes to mind for combined drama and cinematography, is "The Sorcerer," also directed by Friedkin. Caleb Deschanel did the cinematography "The Right Stuff" and "The Black Stallion." One of the supposed weaknesses of the movie was its lack of plot and depth of character. Not true! The sub-plots are obviously overwhelmed by the action and get hidden. It actually has more depth and character than most movies.The writers and director could actually be using the movie to represent a microcosm of the world today, on the eve of another potential world war. Maybe the used the Bonham Tommy Lee Jones character to represent the U.S. and Aaron Hallam, his too well-trained killer, to be a leader like Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden. Bonham taught him how to survive and how to kill. Now his former student can't be controlled - his power has gone to his head. Only his original trainer-teacher "father" symbol is capable of undoing his creation. Today, Bush realizes that some of the U.S.'s former students, who were likewise trained to kill and were supplied with arms, can only be taken out by their former teacher. The rest of the free world just doesn't get it yet Tommy Lee Jones says that explicitly a few times. Far-fetched analogy? Probably. But who knows?
Three facts about this film help to make it highly-rated in my book: it's very entertaining, moves fast and lasts only 90 minutes. So, if in the mood for a combination Fugitive/Rambo story with two very intense lead actors, this is a convenient diversion to play numerous times.Tommy Lee Jones was the mentor who trained Benico Del Toro on the art of killing and now the ex-student has gone out of control and Jones must hunt him down, something the police can't seem to do. That's the story, simple as that. The only thing was a little implausible is that old man chasing down a kid for <more>
miles. Tommy Lee might be in shape, but he isn't young enough to do what he does here. However, both men are fun to watch and the action scenes are well done. You don't get bored watching this movie.No, the film isn't high-grade mentality but it isn't totally stupid, either. It doesn't get carried and is pretty believable until the final chase scene. Along the way, we are treated the Portland cityscape and Northwest woods, both of which are nicely filmed.
I had the privilege of working on this picture. I am only writing this as so many viewers have sought out our work due to this film. We made the custom moccasins that Tommy Lee Jones and Benico Del Toro wore in the film. We can be contacted by doing a Google search for "the hunted moccasins". IMDb does not allow me to list our website or email address, but we are the first return on the Google search.I want to thank everyone who made it possible for us to be a part of this wonderful project. The cast and crew were fantastic to work with! Seeing the finished picture on the first day <more>
of release was an incredible thrill. I had no idea how the film would turn out. I can honestly say that I was totally pleased with every aspect of the picture. Thank you, Mark Goldfarb
Possibly the first highly artistic/entertaining movie of 2003 (by Quinoa1984)
William Friedkin stirkes it again: The Hunted, which goes in the tradition of his best work like The French Connection, is like a cat and mouse/chase picture where there's always intent interest on what happens because it's more of a duel between a cat and a wild cat. Tommy Lee Jones, who often plays his best roles in his archetype of the persona he portrayed in The Fugitive, has that sensibility again of being the chaser, yet this time he's not up against a man who uses his wits to escape, he up against a man who's been in true, stark combat that's made him a lethal <more>
weapon. Jones plays Bonham, an ex-civilian-killing instructor, who instructs Hallam, played by Benicio Del-Torro another striking performance on his end . Hallam returns from Kosovo, with a silver star for accomplishing an assassination, only to find the images from battle are far more detrementing than common shell-shock - he becomes a killer in the woods of Oregon, and his old master, Hallam, is called to bring him in. The plot developments after this are secondary to the exquisite craft and success of the suspense and action, using little or no visual effects, thus giving the picture a feel of a 1970's thriller, real locations a large facet to the atmosphere. A few gory parts, but never to an un-realistic effect. A
Hey, out there. You guys who slammed this in your reviews, did you see the same film I did? Not real? Improbable? Impossible? Huh. If those of you who found this thought-provoking film about two men on the edge of the social plane, one who is over the edge and the other given the task of hunting the first one down-- both men, socially disaffected and on their own, unbelievable and impossible, give some attention to Alston Chase's article in the June, 200, pp.41-65 of the Atlantic Monthly on Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber and the effects of his experiences being part of the <more>
ill-conceived and unethical study on human subjects during his undergraduate years there. The formula is simple: Take a bright, talented person who is teetering on the edge of emotional stability, fill them with lots of head stuff about social and environmental corruption, train in the technology of killing people and then, turn them loose. While no one wanted to turn Kaczynski into the unabomber, the circumstances, however well-intended, did. The film story of Aaron Hallum played by the competent Benicio Del Toro and his counterpart, L.T. Bonham, played by Tommy Lee Jones, bring this theme into clear focus. OK, if you are a shoot'em up thriller fan as I self-confessedly admit to being , you might have missed the car chase, the sex and all that, but gang, it is a gripping and thought-provoking story. Not real? I submit, read the data on Columbine, The Minn Indian Res and the Unabomber and guess again. It's real. Damn real.
Jones and Del Toro show why they are amongst the best of their respective generations. Not only with strong acting, but also for the precisely coordinated and physically demanding fight scenes. While it may be hard to believe that Jones can deliver such impressive action at his age, he is more than believable as the type of grizzled ass-kicker who can square up against Del Toro's world-class assassin. The movie's plot is too simple; its basically two men hunting each other. Still, legendary director William Friedkin delivers a sharp well-paced 90 minute chase through the film's <more>
third star, the beautiful city of Portland and the magnificent forestry that surrounds it.
A Pure and Potent Return to Form for a Defining Master of the Modern Action Film (by jzappa)
William Friedkin's forceful and menacing action thriller is an unadulterated and quite inspired case of the lone wolf chase movie. It's about one man tracking another essentially nonstop for the whole film. This is not a live-and-let-live action picture, rather an intimate brute duel between its two central characters. Jones plays L.T. Bonham, a civilian worker of the U.S. Army who prepares elite military to shadow, trace, pursue and kill. His men become skilled at crafting weapons out of rubble, fashion knives from scrap metal. In a sequence proving we haven't seen everything <more>
yet, they learn how to exterminate an enemy by the numbers, leg artery, heart, neck, lung. That Jones can make this training appear authentic is obvious. He has a modest, unassuming acting style that means he trained troops for a long time.One of his trainees was Aaron Hallam, who served in Kosovo and had encounters there that psychologically traumatized his already case-hardened consciousness. He's lost his ability to distinguish between predator and prey in human civilization. He's become a predatory wild animal himself. What makes him and his father figure Jones so uncannily expert is the utmost vigilance of the slightest disturbances in nature, things practically any modern civilized human would find invisible, listening to the bird calls, fissures in wood, even displaced blades of grass. His hypervigilance has become so internalized, it's part of his individuality. Back home in Oregon, upset by hunters using telescopic sights, he takes four lives. Bonham distinguishes the methods and goes into the forest after him.Hallam's stress syndrome has made him into a militant protector of animal rights. He talks about chickens in factories, and asks Connie Nielsen's FBI field officer how she'd feel if a superior organism were cropping humanity. Nielsen's armed FBI agent has killed on the job. Jones has never killed anything. Yet Jones is the only one qualified to stop Del Toro. Nielsen would kill Del Toro without hesitation. Could Jones? What makes the movie refreshing is that it doesn't stand back and view its pursuit as a drill, but keeps extremely close to the characters and converges on the tangible corporal reality of their skills. The use of Brian Tyler's understated yet pulsating score is only ever necessary, never to redundantly supplement tension that we're already in the thick of.Think about the initial unarmed combat between Bonham and Hallam. We've seen countless elaborate state-of-the-art computer-enhanced fight sequences in modern movies that we presume the combatants can defy any law of physics the choreographer wants them to. Not Friedkin's characters. Their fight is a natural spectacle by which their bodies draw with force relative to their size. Their limbs are heavy. Their hits land sturdily, pain felt by both parties. They pant and rumble with sweat. They can be cumbersome and anxious. They've both subsumed the modus operandi of close-range combat, however in reality, it isn't scripted, and it isn't so simple. We're in the thick of the abrupt, grueling, strenuous brute exertion of fighting.The concentrated chase scenes, through both Oregon woods and urban streets, on freeways and viaducts, are also realism-centered. The cinematography by five-time Oscar-nominated Caleb Deschanel submerges itself in the authenticity of the locations. The woodlands are damp and jade, mucky and meticulous. The leaves aren't backcloth but right before us, to be grazed aside. Dashing, disappearing, tracking, the two men get grimy, worn-out, winded. We feel their bodily struggle. This isn't one of those movies where hair and make-up are unscathed again in the next scene, and the star has the lungful for extended orations.This tense, visceral story necessitates its accomplished actors. Common action stars wouldn't work. The screenplay by Art Monterastelli and the Griffiths, has a low-key precision, in which dialogue is never too heavily depended on and everything counts on tone. Note scenes where Del Toro is questioned by Feds. He doesn't give us the regular antagonistic, hostile formula, but feels as if to be attempting to account for himself from a place so unfathomable he can't bring it to life for strangers. This man doesn't take life out of wrath but out of grief.The fascinating early tutorial sequence, where Bonham's trainees study how to craft weapons from scratch, also indicates there'll be a later sequence where they will for real. The consequential knife fight is physical action of a distinguished sort. There are other characters in the movie, other succinctly characterized relationships. A woman with a daughter, who Hallam visits. Numerous cops. They complement surroundings and ambiance, but this worthy installment in Friedkin's throng of naturalistic action-driven thrillers is about two meticulous men who are expert at their work, while only one can be of the highest expertise.