The Hunted

      The Hunted
      Archived Review

      There's something about Tommy Lee Jones that reminds you of being a man. Perhaps it is his wrinkled face or his inviting tone of voice, or perhaps it is because the guy makes so many films that he is so recognized now that even David Letterman once joked about him being the "Hardest Working Man in Hollywood" because he starred in no fewer than 12 films in one year!

      In THE HUNTED, Tommy Lee Jones stars once again as an ordinary joe who proves to be not so ordinary after all. L.T. Bonham is an ex tracker and trainer for the military who many years ago trained young men to kill and survive. One of those young men was Aaron Hallam, a top-secret soldier, played by Benecio Del Toro. Hallam has basically lost it and he is now officially a danger to everyone.

      The film is a thriller suspense film and not really an action film, but except that there really is no mystery to anything. Our story begins in Yugoslavia, where we see Hallam execute a man, and witness his first flashbacks. The scene of a little girl in war is a little too familiar and overly used in most dramatic films of today, Schindler's List comes to mind as being a good example of this iconic scene, but there are others that are less well done, and THE HUNTED is among those films.

      We then flash forward to witness Hallam killing two men in the forest. And this is where the film starts to lose some of its character appeal. We're not really told to much about Hallam's victims or why they mattered to Hallam, and pretty soon LT is called in to track him and so begins a series of puzzling dramatic dialoques and rushed through action sequences.

      About the only thing that is remarkable about THE HUNTED is that the fighting scenes are hand to hand and less about guns and Matrix style martial arts. This is a bit refreshing but also points out the actual techniques military special forces use in combat.

      In the end you know it is going to come down to two men fighting it, but the failure to really illustrate why Hallam is who he is and maybe let the audience care more about him, would have helped to make this film better for many of us.

      Technically THE HUNTED looks pretty sharp on DVD and soundwise, the Dolby Digital track is okay, but there are no killer surround sounds or anything to get excited about. The film uses a song from Johnny Cash that details the story of Abraham and how God ask him to kill him a son. This reminded me of the poetry lines in GIJane, where poetry was used to contrast and add definition to the plot. It was interesting but it did not work too well I think.

      There is only one reason to watch this film and it is about Tommy Lee Jones, cause Del Toro's acting in this film is pretty bad.