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The Hunt (2020) Movie Review

I Write These Movie Reviews Locked in the Trunk of Your Car. Thanks for the Snacks!!

the-hunt-2020-movie-review

MPAA Rating

R

Running Time

90 minutes

Director

Craig Zobel

Writers

Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof

So yeah…

*Coughs*

Just because I’m Asian and I coughed once during the beginning of this review doesn’t mean you’ll get infected with anything if you continue to read. You can’t see it, but I did cover my mouth in the appropriate fashion and proceeded to wash my hands for 15 to 20 minutes before I resumed the review.

No, a bunch of Doomsday cultists bought the last case at the local (store name removed) -arget as well as the toilet paper.

Anyway, it feels kind of odd doing a review since theaters are closed and any of you can push a couple of buttons to watch a streaming service instead of actually driving to a theater. In the time it takes you to read a review you could just stream the first 5 minutes of a movie to discern if you want to keep going.

No, I’m just saying it’s peculiar since going to a theater takes a commitment that instantly watching something just can’t match. Remember way back in early March when Bloodshot opened?

If you saw Bloodshot in theaters, you know it wasn’t good. At all. There were times when you thought you wasted your money and would have walked out if you could but you spent X amount of dollars on a ticket and you might as well ride it out.

With streaming, you could just…stop. Whenever you want. Go back to it later or not at all.

You could be reading part of this review and have the VOD page open on another window.

No. Read it once. Read it twice. Read it after you see The Hunt even though it’s not a good movie. Read it while you’re watching the movie.

Back to the movie. You might remember this was supposed to open sometime last fall but got pulled from the release schedule due to some absurd controversy. It finally opened in theaters on Friday the 13th and got pulled from the release schedule a couple of days later because of the monkey from Outbreak.

Either way, you’re not missing anything because without its fake controversy you’d probably be wise to skip The Hunt. Not because it’s particularly politically charged either way, but because it’s not every good.

Corona Synopsis

The Hunt opens with a bunch of douchey people on a private jet. Some violence ensues and a redneck guy ends up with a stiletto in his eye socket. Fun for the entire family while you’re stuck together in your house!

We see there are a bunch of people sleeping on a plane. They looked drugged or just really bored. Like when they saw Onward in theaters.

We cut to an open field. Those same people sleeping on the plane now appear to be waking up. Their mouths are muzzled and needless to say they are frightened. They don’t know the half of it.

They’re not really given names, partially because they’re such thinly written characters, but mostly because the majority of them will be dead within the first couple of minutes.

You have to strapped to enter a convenience store...

You have to strapped to enter a convenience store...

They’ve woken up and have noticed a giant crate in the middle of the field. One intrepid soon-to-be-dead person opens the crate and a pig with a shirt runs out (just go with it). There’s also a bunch of guns.

White people know what to do with guns.

Good, because someone or many ones begin shooting at them. Opening fire in an open field as it’s open season and I have to use the word open one more open time.

Hey, isn’t that Emma Roberts from American Horror Story? It was, but she’s been shot in the head.

There’s a girl whose birthday is tomorrow! Happy Birthday, but she won’t see it because a grenade blew her up!

Random white guy. Grenade again!

Some of them manage to escape. This one looks like comic relief actor Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad, The Oath). He and two other nameless soon-to-be-dead people make it onto a paved road and into a harmless mom-and-pop convenience store run by people named Ma (Amy Madigan) and Pop (Reed Birney).

Intimidating looking pajamas.

Intimidating looking pajamas.

It turns out none of the muzzled folks are safe and everyone really is out to get them. Why? You could probably read why online or wait until the end of the movie but this movie isn’t worth it.

Most of the muzzled ones realize they are the objects of a hunt. They don’t know why and most of them will be dead before they’re given a reason.

Except our silent but deadly heroine Crystal (Glow’s Betty Gilpin). From the moment she’s first onscreen you know she can handle herself MacGyver-style. And she can kill people John Wick style. She and her useless podcast-having fellow survivor Gary (Ethan Suplee) must stay alive. Maybe, just maybe they’ll find out why a mysterious woman named Athena (Hilary Swank) wants them all dead.

But we all can agree that Podcast Gary, who mentions he has a podcast within 6 minutes of his introduction, doesn’t need to survive to the end of the movie.

As politically divided as these characters are, they can all agree on that.

Progress.

*Coughs*

the-hunt-2020-movie-review

What Works With The Hunt

  • Betty Gilpin is completely wasted in a badass performance as Crystal. She’s in every frame of this movie and throughout The Hunt’s 90 minute running time you realize the movie doesn’t deserve Gilpin and Gilpin deserves to be in much, much better movie. Any half-hour episode of Glow is more compelling than all these empty calories.
  • To be fair, The Hunt does contain some darkly funny moments, most of them contained in the short scene in the convenience store (“Climate change is...REAL!”). The script by Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof doesn’t sustain enough momentum on a scene-by-scene basis to overcome the countless dead spots.

What Doesn’t Work With The Hunt

  • There might be things that trigger you depending on which side of the political fence you’re on, or you’re just a whiny p*ssy. Either way the pointless controversy over The Hunt is rendered even more inane since it’s a pretty shallow 90 minutes of inconsequential violence and occasional gore.
  • Hilary Swank embarrassed to be there. It’s not a bad performance, but clearly a paycheck one for the two-time Oscar Winner. You get the feeling Swank wishes the movie were never released at all. At least her stunt double looks like she’s having fun.
  • Director Craig Zobel’s attempt to satirize both sides of the political divide fizzles and burns since most the characters are broad caricatures and the violence belongs in last year’s Rambo Last Blood. If you want to watch something that hits you in the gut, Zobel’s Compliance was one of the best movies of 2012. Stream that instead of wasting your time on this Hunt.
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Overall

You were wise enough not to pay a ticket to The Hunt for health reasons. Go with that instinct and don’t waste the $20 rental fee to see this in your home.

In fact, you’d do some much better to see 2012’s Danish film The Hunt with Hannibal’s Mads Mikkelsen. Yes it has subtitles, but what else are you going to do?

2 Stars or 2 Rolls of Toilet Paper

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