Directed by William Friedkin.
Written by David Griffiths, Peter Griffiths and Art
Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Benicio Del Toro and Connie Nielsen.
Release Year: 2003
Review Date: 3/17/03
Interesting note on
“The Matrix Reloaded”,
now about eight weeks from opening: I see two or three movies a
week, and watch a number of major sporting events...but, I STILL
have not seen a trailer for the sequels in theaters. Not the
teaser, not the first trailer aired during the Super Bowl, not even
a new poster since the teaser posters started appearing around
Christmas last year. I am very, very happy about this. I have seen
trailers for almost every major film opening this summer between
Memorial Day and Labor Day, and not a single one for what might end
up as one of the highest grossing films of the year. Keep hiding
stuff from me...I love it!
So, after a nice breakfast of French toast,
sausage and fruit on Sunday morning, I rolled over to the theater
for a morning show of “The Hunted”, the new action film starring
Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro. I came into it only hoping to
be mildly entertained, since my buddy Chi called me the day prior to
tell me how average the film was. Instead, I was pleasantly
surprised. “The Hunted” is basically a chase film, as a guy named
LT (Jones) chases after a former protégé named Aaron (Del Toro) in
Portland. Why? Well, Aaron has special training as an assassin,
and he got his training from LT, a tracker that has no military
experience but apparently is the ONLY GUY IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY that
can be called upon to take out Aaron. Whatever. We spend the film
not really going through any kind of a plot, we just watch one guy
chase after the other...
...and, I liked it! Sometimes with these
mano-y-mano films, you get too watered down with story; the great
thing about movies like “Demolition Man” is that the filmmakers know
that the story blows but we can just watch two people go at it with
their special skills and have some kind of fight-to-the-death
sequence take place at the end of the film. It would also be
helpful if the film was, oh, about 90 minutes long, have no love
story or attempts at broad humor. “The Hunted”, then, is perfect
for this! It’s pure popcorn. While the film is
entertaining-yet-forgettable (as any good Matinee would be), this
film gets bonus points because the action scenes are suspenseful,
the character development is scarce, and the end fight scene is
That brings “The Hunted” up a notch. The
film lost points for me in one major area, which will give part of
an important scene away. Okay, so you have been warned...
In a sequence where the FBI and Portland
police are chasing after Aaron, the feds send in agents to search an
underground facility. Now, if the feds have, say, 50 agents at
their disposal, why would they ever send in their FBI Director--uh,
FUCKING ALONE, WITH NO FUCKING BACKUP--to assist tracking down a
military career assassin? I was about to stand up and protest in my
theater. Of course the lead fed gets offed, and as I watched him
die, I said to myself, would the Chief of Police be the first one in
to a drug bust with Colombian cartel members? Would you ever send
the President over to Iraq for negotiations without any Secret
Service agents? This was straight ridiculous.
Save for that one moment, “The Hunted” was
pretty solid entertainment for me, even if I wouldn’t watch it again
for any reason.
Rating: $9.50 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard