"The Hunting Party"
Directed by Richard Shepard.
Written by Richard Shepard. Based on an article from
Starring Terrence Howard, Richard Gere and Jesse Eisenberg.
Release Year: 2007
Review Date: 9/24/07
Although the entire story might be complete
bullshit, "The Hunting Party" (which actually goes with "only the
most ridiculous parts of this story are true" instead of "based on a
true story" in the opening credits) tells an interesting story of
how three guys might discover a internationally-infamous war
criminal by purely dumb luck.
Terrence Howard and Richard Gere star as
Duck and Hunt (I know), a cameraman and a reporter who have been
covering wars in various countries around the world for almost ten
years. After Hunt gets fired from the network they report for,
Duck takes a comfy corporate job back in New York and Hunt goes
rogue, trying to cover stories for the highest bidder in some truly
awful places. In 2000, Duck is tasked with a story in
Sarajevo, where he meets up again with Hunt...and, Hunt thinks he
has a lead that ultimately forces Duck and his new assistant (Jesse
Eisenberg) to travel to the Bosnian borders to track down The Fox,
the worst offender of ethnic cleansing Bosnia has ever known.
So, these three reporters spend two days
trying to find The Fox, all the while nearly getting killed trying
to track him down. It's a great idea, and much of this film
might be based in fact, but so much of it is not explained at the
conclusion of the film that it's tough to say what is really what.
But, getting caught up in fact or fiction is the film's only major
downside; otherwise, it's a fun ride, thanks to a great performance
by Richard Gere and another solid turn by Howard, who just gets
better and better in lead roles after an eternity as a bit player.
The wildcard here is Eisenberg; his character is not a lovable one
when we first meet him but he slowly warms on you as the film rolls
along. Match this threesome with some tough scenes around some
of the things that pepper Duck & Hunt's past lives in reporting war
atrocities, and you have a good film here; director Richard Shepard
also did one of my favorite movies from '05,
"The Matador" (with
Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear), and he shows promise once again
with "The Hunting Party."
This one is a small release and it doesn't
look like it's going to make much money, so to see this one in
theaters you're gonna have to hurry. But, I think that you'll
like what you see here...
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