The Hunt tries to be satirically clever, but falls short just as quick as the movie gets into the action. The film offers no new insights and can quite easily tread on the edge of murky waters with themes and an overall message.
There had been quite a lot of controversy when this film was first announced, and a lot of that had to do with President Donald Trump throwing a fit upon hearing about the premise of the movie; globalist elites hunting other humans for game and for the trailer using the term “deplorable”. The film then got pushed back due to events of mass shootings and was finally to be released in March of 2020. Due to recent events of the COVID-19, the studio decided to make this watchable from your own living room and released it digitally. Now, with all this controversy and hype surrounding the film, one would hope that at the very least it was worth the wait and the hype. To be honest, it was one of the more underwhelming experiences I had with my interest as peaked as it was.
The main issue with the film is it doesn’t feel like satire. It feels like a confused mixed bag of depictions of those who are left and right wing. The filmmakers have gone on record to state they wanted to keep it equal and balanced throughout the whole film. By the end it’s sort of visible with how they went about that, but for the majority of this film we are to follow this group that is being hunted only to find out they feed into extreme right wing propaganda and that is the reason these globalists are hunting them. Suddenly these propagandists are the victims. That imagery doesn’t mix well nor does the message it’s sending out. Of course the filmmakers try to revoke all messages with a twist (won’t spoil it here) where we are supposed to accept the overall message as clever. That begs the question though… What message was intended from the get go, because with how it ended versus how it began are two different things. In the end it just feels like a fifth grader trying to make jokes about politics they don’t understand in any way. That is where the film definitely meanders into murky areas.
The confusion of politics aside, the characters in The Hunt are two dimensional and serve no purpose other than to just be killed off left and right. The movie takes zero time to build up tension and forces us into a war zone of these people waking up in the middle of a field only to be shot at and chased. Even though the first ten minutes were rather “suspenseful” (I use this term loosely), it quickly flatlines as there is nobody to hold onto without them being blasted away. The filmmakers shot themselves in their own foot due to the own pacing and the structure of the movie. It feels like if they had gone with a different structure with the same concept then the satirical elements would have come through more concisely. As it stands, it’s just a muddled bag of shit you see on Reddit.
With all of that being said, The Hunt has some fun sequences of pure action, especially in the third act. By a long shot the third act was more enjoyable than the build up in the prior acts. It wouldn’t be right to disagree with the film without giving credit where it’s due. Stunt work, fight choreography, and the absurdity of the overall situation. Those elements made for some entertainment throughout the movie, unfortunately they are too easily drowned in political debauchery and are easily forgotten by the time the credits roll.
The Hunt fails to provide any relevant social commentary and loses sight of who its target audience is. The whole film ended up shooting itself before the hunting season even began. The hype, for me at least, was not worth the wait.