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The Hunted(2003) - By TDawg

Rating out of 5 possible lobsters :


The Hunted

 The first thing that came to mind after I saw this movie was this is one of the bloodiest movies I have seen at the theatre in a long time. The movie combines the best elements of Rambo and Predator into a non stop chase from start to finish.

 The movie stars Benicio Del Toro as a specially trained covert Ops killing machine who has climbed up and down Jacobs ladder one too many times and a grizzled veteran tracker and the man responsible for training him played by Tommy Lee Jones. All the other supporting characters aren’t even worth mentioning due to the fact that they are more window dressing then fleshed out characters. Connie Nielsen does her part by looking good in tight fitting jeans and wearing an FBI coat. This is fine because once the movie begins we want to see these two go at it and they are the only characters we care about anyway.

 Aaron Hallam has seen his share of war crimes and atrocities that end up shaping him into the well adjusted soldier we see on the prowl or being prowled for most of the movie. The movie opens up somewhere in Bosnia where there is some ethnic cleansing going on in hell or so it looks with all the flames and fireballs hurling into the air. Hallem along with an elite group aren’t there to save those who are innocently being slaughtered but to kill some high ranking officer. It is after going through this traumatic experience that Hallem is haunted by the images and carnage he witnessed.

 The movie then introduces us to L.T. Bonham (Tommy lee Jones) out in the frozen wilderness tracking a wounded wolf that got caught in a snare - without confrontation he rescues the wolf and fixes its wound by chewing on some moss and rubbing it on - Lorne Green would be proud! We all know that his tracking techniques will be exploited throughout the film and we also get a glimpse at what his former job was through flash backs.

 Hallem’s idea of down time from a mission must have been taken out of the pages of Guns and Ammo cause he goes out into the wilderness like he is ready to storm Baghdad only to kill some hunters because they are using sophisticated equipment to hunt a dear. I don’t think this is the aggressive image the World Wildlife Fund was going for. That’s when the FBI get involved and bring L.T out of retirement to track down his boy - Where is Colonel Trautman when you need him? We finally get to see what molded Hallem into what he is through flashbacks revealing the training that Bonham put them through. There are some real believable and cool moments when L.T shows them the swift and brutal 6 point way to fatally kill someone with a knife (“When you go for the chest use your other hand as a power assist! I want you to find his backbone!”). He also shows them how to make weapons from stone and scrap metal (we all know that will come into to play down the road).

 From this point on the chase begins and when the two square off for the first time in hand to hand combat (Love the line - “Remember me?”) it is awesome and not like most Hollywood action flicks it doesn’t look like it was choreographed by someone from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. There are some red herrings thrown out along the way throughout the plot but are really never touched on again during the movie. Is there a government conspiracy against Hallem, is he an animal rights activist, and so on.

 The movie primarily takes place in two locations the deep woods and the concrete jungle (that being the city people) my main complaint of the movie stems from this. Tommy Lee Jones’ character is able to apply his tracking techniques in the woods and the inner city seamlessly - Damn those foot prints! Whether he stepped in water, grass, dirt or mud Jones was always right on his ass. That having been said Rambo got away with less plausibility than that. All the scenes between Hallem and Jones are terrific and luckily make up the bulk of the movie.

 The final showdown at the end of the movie has both men relying on there training and instincts to come to a blood filled Friday the 13th style slasher ending to the movie. Half the budget alone had to have been exhausted on exploding squibs placed around the jugular and all the other main arteries.

 In closing the Hunted is well worth catching at theatres especially for action junkies and fans of Rambo. The movie never lets up which is a good thing cause after you leave the movie and start applying logic and reasoning it falls apart at the seems. For it being an hour and a half the relentless action and blood letting I give it 4 lobsters of brainless entertainment.

Henry's Comments

 "He's no John Rambo!"