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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14%
Worth A Look: 4%
Average: 24%
Pretty Bad: 18%
Total Crap40%

3 reviews, 32 user ratings

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Hunted, The (2003)
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by Slyder

"A lame excuse for an action movie"
1 stars

An interesting idea gets a lousy storyline and morphs into this pathetically stupid movie with more holes than your average cheese grater, and the worst thing of all is that this movie once again shows the need for the once great director William Friedkin to take a break from filmmaking in order to pause and reconsider what the hell is it that he’s doing wrong in order for him to stop choosing lame-ass scripts for his films. And I wish his wife Paramount CEO Sherry Lansing could help him and share a bit of the load as well instead of just dumping the pile on her husband's lap.

LT Bonner (Tommy Lee Jones) is a Jeremiah Johnson-like character living in the tundra borders of northern British Columbia. The FBI in the Portland division suddenly calls him in order to assist in finding a killer who has murdered two hunters. That’s when we realize that LT was once a trainer for professional killers in the US Army, and that the killer is actually one of his former students, Aaron Hallam (Benicio Del Toro). After catching Aaron, we realize he’s fucked in the head after what we saw ad the beginning with his experiences in the ethnic cleansing wars in Kosovo. After catching him with help of FBI agent Abby Durrell (Connie Nielsen), it doesn’t take long for the military to come and pick him up, and eventually for him to escape. So the chase begins again in finding Aaron before he decides to split from the country or whatever.

Note to TL Jones: Enough with the Sam Gerard bullshit Tommy, once was great, but we get tired of it when you typecast yourself in playing the role of the man that has to stop the fugitive. Can’t you play something else for once damn it?

Note to Friedkin: Hey Bill, next time try doing something more original rather than ripping off films like First Blood or The Fugitive (hell, he even ripped off Trautman's "body bag" line).

To try and understand this film is to not understand it at all; the plot reads like if the writers simply pasted a couple of sketches of dialogue and action scenes, which makes the storyline deeply atrocious. There’s little dialogue and whatever dialogue is spoken is comes off as hokey; just watch the laughable interrogation scenes with Aaron and the FBI and subsequently with the military boys. Interestingly enough the movie actually works better without any spoken dialogue, but that’s because there isn’t anything else to say since this is all about the master going after his student mano a mano, and the rest is just nothing but cliché-ridden bullshit, and when that crumbles, so does the rest.

LT supposedly has never killed anyone in his life yet he teaches people how to kill in man to man combat, how is this possible if he doesn’t know jackshit about how to kill a man? And of course, we get the prerequisite of the “you’re the only man that can stop him” cliché, which makes this movie oh-so predictable. Also, the more that this film progresses, the more you start rooting for Del Toro’s character Aaron, and when you start rooting for the bad guy, you know that you’re in for a bad movie. The whole background of Aaron going psycho doesn’t wash since it isn’t developed enough and even LT’s character comes off like a cardboard cutout since there’s no hints as to why these two are so motivated to cut each other into lamb chops. Later we realize what an asshole LT is because he never read Aaron’s letters begging him for help and just simply ignored them. And the subplot of Aaron’s family is thrown in for a ridiculous measure since it only makes us root and sympathize with Aaron even more.

But that’s not the end of it. The chase scenes are actually more laughable than what they are. We see Aaron having several opportunities to escape, yet LT manages still to track him down because it seems that Aaron is too stupid to cover his tracks. There was one scene where Aaron could’ve gotten away clean yet he somehow appears right in front of LT’s nose even though he could’ve easily gone the other way around. LT as you can see is old like almost reaching 60, yet he still can run and catch up and still fight off Aaron like he were 20. As for the knife fights, though they’re well choreographed, they also come off as laughable since we see these guys cutting each other several times yet they still fight it off as if nothing had happened. LT gets his leg cut off by Aaron’s knife, yet he still manages to walk straight, he then gets cut even more in the belly yet he still goes and fights off Aaron. You know how it ends in the end.

Jones as usual is on autopilot with his typecast role as well as Del Toro although Del Toro still manages to keep Aaron as watchable as possible. Connie Nielsen is a drone, going around following LT’s scent wherever he goes. Her character is pathetic, and I was hoping for her to get wasted by Aaron just as he wasted those two other FBI agents. At least that would've spared me from all that "he killed my partner and I'm going to get him" bullshit.

In the end, the only way to enjoy this film is to shut your brain cells out and suspend your disbelief and watch how a 60-year-old man take on a 30 year old man in the most predictable of ways. This First Blood/Fugitive wannabe in the end ends up being just that, a dumb and inept wannabe thriller that does nothing but waste your time with its utter stupidity. 1-5

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originally posted: 08/04/05 04:41:32
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User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell good action thats it 2 stars
4/16/14 Charles Tatum Violent, by-the-numbers actioner 3 stars
8/05/13 mr.mike Read Ebert's review. I agree with it 4 stars
11/02/12 Monday Morning All action, no story worth caring about. 2 stars
8/19/09 Jeff Wilder Good knife fight scenes. But weak script. 2 stars
11/11/05 Ivorbigun Just One Word CRAP ! 1 stars
10/19/05 R.W.Welch Predictable chase movie has only a few original touches. 2 stars
2/03/05 Jeff Anderson A THRILLING ACTION MASTERPIECE! Jones & Del Toro are great & Friedkin's an awesome director 5 stars
8/16/04 Dallas Moye Well, I loved this film 5 stars
2/08/04 ladeela yea its really gay 1 stars
12/20/03 john Friedkin can and should do better than this - still prety solid overall 3 stars
12/10/03 Joe Boring, predictable, and lots of lemming behavior 1 stars
11/04/03 Taylor Fladgate Boring and predictable. 2 stars
10/18/03 Jinnvisible First Blood was socio-political-romance,man betrayed by country,,,,,but this just SUCKS!!! 1 stars
9/04/03 eddie I deem it worthy, because i would love to kill all you m.f's - kali style,nigga. 5 stars
8/23/03 Chi-Fan Hu So So movie. 3 stars
6/14/03 Colin Selby SUCKS BIG TIME 1 stars
5/23/03 Stephanie Throckmorton Wow, what a romp! (and I never even much liked Tommy Lee Jones or Benicio del Toro before) 5 stars
5/13/03 Mr. Hatd (I'm Back, Mo'fos!!!) The concept of killing poachers & hunters, the cast, and the action are classic! 5 stars
4/03/03 Dr. Gonzo Not great but a nice evening of fun. Well made good actors. Cliche though. 3 stars
3/28/03 Rambo's a Faggot First Blood was the stupidest movie ever made. This has OOMPH, & good actors. Surprisingly 4 stars
3/26/03 Ken I liked it the first time...when it was called "First Blood." 2 stars
3/26/03 snowconehead I liked Del Toro better when I couldn't understand what he said 3 stars
3/25/03 Tinker An amazing movie-reviewed from the "WRONG perspective!-its not about a story...FOOLS. 5 stars
3/23/03 Winthrop J Applesmythe III meh. 2 stars
3/19/03 Mattt Clingerman Fugutive, US Marshalls, what movie am i watching? 1 stars
3/18/03 ^ZuLu^ Stereotypes, clichés and no message. Entertainment was ok but I expected more. 2 stars
3/18/03 Fenster Gimme the fuggin' knife, ya fuggin' cocksuckah! 2 stars
3/17/03 Peter Suddenly, crap doesn't seem so bad. 1 stars
3/15/03 Slice Bladework a bit dull. Expected better. 3 stars
3/13/03 mr. shhh del torro vs. jones+combat knife fighting=GARAUNTEED quality. 5 stars
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  14-Mar-2003 (R)



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