(II) (2020)

Critic Reviews



Based on 43 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Zobel’s film grapples directly with the political spectrum and uses everything we love and hate about each other as fodder for humor and horror.
The Hunt stuffs a satire grenade down America’s pants, hoping the shrapnel spreads from sea to shining sea. The explosion is messy, but it sure is an explosion, with a brisk hour-and-half runtime full of violent twists and cackling turns.
Director Zobel and writers Lindelof and Cuse, peering through the lens of social media hijinks and polarized politics, paint a ridiculous picture of how we’re all eating ourselves alive. That they do so in such a fun and absurdly bloody way makes The Hunt worth a retweet at the very least.
Combining the droll self-satisfaction of a New Yorker cartoon with the wet gore of an Eli Roth movie, Zobel’s tense, well-crafted, and deviant grindhouse take on the national temperature has no trouble caricaturing what ails us, but even that fun combo lacks the killer instinct required to see us more clearly than we see each other.
This action-drenched roller-coaster of a film tries to have its cake and eat it too when it comes to generating a tidal wave of violence — but it undeniably delivers the goods when it comes to action and impudence.
The movie’s mock-jaundiced attitude toward social media is itself satirical, and there’s a germ of a funny idea about how principled liberals can get entangled in pointless social media battles and infighting. But it’s eclipsed by an unavoidably moneyed perspective that presumes privileged people are inherently liberal, rather than attacking the hypocrisy of rich liberals in particular.
The film was almost canceled for being too partisan, so it’s ironic to discover that it’s practically apolitical.
In making the worst stereotypes of America’s political poles as extreme as possible, and America’s divide as literal and violent as possible, The Hunt feigns a viewpoint rather than actually having one. It takes aim at everyone, redeeming no one. Which feels circular, and queasy, and right back where we started: some empty talk about a divided nation, and a film thats probably not worth this much conversation.
It’s a lame and weaselly thing, made strangely more frustrating by some excellent performers.
It’s the kind of escapist action film and politically-tinged revenge tale that could actually spark a discussion rather than the reaction one has after walking out of The Hunt: stunned silence at how filmmakers could so severely botch a satire in a moment when there is plenty of material to mine from. If nothing else, at least it is mercifully short.

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