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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Hunter - Tazmanina Tiger Movie Review

If you believe the movies, it seems there are dozens of shadowy organizations looking to destroy someone or something for a price. Along the way, these organizations always manage to betray their veteran assassin in the field leading to some cat and mouse betrayal and revenge. Think of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in "Mr and Mrs Smith", George Clooney in "The American", heck even John Cusack in "Grosse Point Blank".

The Hunter is that sort of film but it a bit more original. Willem Dafoe stars as Martin, an assassin of sorts sent by one of these covert companies to find what might be the last of the long thought-extinct Tasmanian tiger in Tasmania, Australia. He is to kill the animal and extract the DNA because, apparently, the Tasmanian tiger had some sort of paralysis venom this company wants to reproduce.

People of course get in the way of his plan and he has to come up with ways to get around those challenges. For lodging, he winds up living with the wife of a long missing zoologist who was also looking for the elusive Tasmanian Tiger. Along the way the cynical and world weary Martin begins to soften up and enjoy the families company. As with any thriller, you can imagine the rest. The family he cares about gets caught in the deceit and deception and competing 'business-interests' begin to get in his way.

Overall, I really enjoyed "The Hunter" Dafoe is just a great actor and is well suited for the part. He has the rugged outdoor hunter look down perfect and you can see the weight or the world on his face (as, I suppose, just like every other movie he's been in :-)

The plot I found was very refreshing and new. Violence is kept at a bare minimum so none of the action feels overdone or contrived. The scenery is simply gorgeous and the local suspicions of the newcomer Martin are generally not overplayed with the exception of perhaps one scene.

The pace of this flick is slow and I liked it that way. This is the sort of movie that you get wrapped up in the characters more by just being in their presence than by them talking out to you.

The film isn't perfect. I thought the idea of hunting the rarest tiger on Earth for the paralysis venom was a stupid waste of time in theory. I mean, aren't there tons of man made toxins out there that would do the job just fine? Even anesthesia I'm thinking would do the job, yet Martin goes halfway around the world to hunt something that may, or may not exist for this venom. C'mon.

One odd inconsistancy with Martin is that Martin seems to have a hang up with taking a cold bath or getting into a dirty bathtub, but his job requires him to spend days outdoors, completely exposed to rain, cold and mud. You'd think while writing a script you'd wonder about this.  I thought Indiana Jones being afraid of snake to be more realistic.

There's other issues I could take but I did like this film and would like to recommend it.

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