The Hunter [Blu-ray]
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The Hunter [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
Martin arrives in the remote area of Tasmania posing as a researcher from a University, where he is supposed to lodge with Lucy (Francis O’Connor – ‘Bedazzled’ and ‘A-I’). She is high on medication and her two young children, Sass and Bike are almost fending for themselves, with the ambiguous ‘help’ of local ranger, Jack played by the always brilliant Sam Neill. Martin soon realises that Lucy’s husband has been missing on the mountain for some time yet they are still holding out a forlorn hope that he will return, and little Bike seems to have lost the will to speak, and expresses himself through drawings. Pretty soon Martin realises that he may not have been told the whole picture and the locals are positively hostile to all ‘foreigners’ causing inevitable ructions.
The closer Martin gets to his elusive quarry the closer he gets to nature and to the family he is increasingly caring for. The problem is Red Leaf want delivery at any price and so things are going to come to a head.
This is an excellent film, both moving and gritty where it needs to be, there are scenes of animal butchery which I know can be upsetting for some.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Nevertheless, I was happy to see this film listed on Amazon's Instant Video, and the $7 rental was well worth it.
Willem Dafoe provides an excellent performance as Martin David, an introverted loner whose cultured tastes in music and finer accommodations seem to contrast with his ability to survive in the violent Tasmanian wilderness. But his technical proficiency and skill as a hunter made him a prime candidate for a dubious and impossible job - hunting down and killing an extinct species of tiger in the mountains of Tasmania.
As he sets out on this futile and illegal task he ends up in the middle of two feuding parties - a sadistic clan of testosterone-laden lumberjacks and the pot-smoking "Greens" trying to shut them down. When David is not hiking the mountains hunting for his prey, he holds up at the home of Lucy Armstrong and her two children. Lucy's husband - a Green himself - went missing several months earlier, and during his stay with the Armstrong family, Martin inadvertently takes on a subtle role as husband and father. As his interest in Lucy and the children grow, his faraway employer becomes concerned with Martin's loyalty.
This moving film dealt with several large themes ranging from people's impact on the environment to the environment's impact on people, but its most powerful and important aspect was its presentation of a standoffish and isolated man grizzled by time, work, and isolation, who is slowly transformed into a self-reflective and affectionate figure for a widowed wife and her two children. When tragedy strikes, the film fleshes out ever more complexity and humanity from David, as demonstrated by his ecologically profound decisions and his tenderness toward those in need.
This was a film - unlike so many others - worthy of the silver screen and I wish its theatrical distribution would have been far wider. Nonetheless, it is available through Amazon, and what better medium to proliferate great stories than the internet?
A powerful and emotional film I recommend highly.
In this atmospheric film, the always enjoyable Willem Dafoe plays Martin David - the current pseudonym for a private contractor who accepts any work as long as the job pays well. An acutely fussy person, his choice of employment is a odd contradiction given his desire for neat precision and harmonious balance. And his next job entails entering into a very imprecise and messy world.
Assignment: Locate and harvest the Tasmanian Tiger, a dog-like creature that was hunted into extinction by ignorant immigrants early in the twentieth-century. Secret reports have reached a global biotech firm that it still exists; a confirmed sighting, likely the very last of its kind, somewhere in the cold mountains of the island nation. He's been ordered to hunt the animal down and kill it, taking samples of its blood, flesh and organs for purposes unknown.
The difficulty of the mission is made clear from his arrival, under his cover as a university researcher, he is persona non grata. The local populace needs employment and that means strip logging the rainforest - so "greenies" like him aren't welcome. In fact, the locals are openly hostile to any perceived neo-hippie because they see them as job killers. Conversely, the huddled eco-warriors also don't trust newcomers - they've been battling to save the pristine woods and hunters have slipped past their ranks before.
He has to secretly complete his contract while shunted in between these two actively opposing forces.
Complicating matters - the broken family that houses his base of operations. Broken because the family's father and husband is missing, the near-catatonic wife obviously under the improper influence of a local guide, and their children left to fend for themselves. Questions surrounding the father's disappearance somehow being connected to his assignment only adds to the difficulty of accomplishing his job.
And as he shuttles in between hunting excursions, he discovers something strange - an echo to his mission. A personal extinction and rebirth of his own, as he finds himself connecting with the family. Despite the clear danger to his mission, it's becoming more than just a distraction; Martin begins to rediscover his own humanity. But it's a discovery that may compromise more than just his payday.
Again, a caution for animal lovers: The act of killing and butchering a small kangaroo-like animal - the wallaby - is accurately depicted in the film. Additionally, the hunter utilizes classic means of animal capture using various traps, including steel springs, the type with sharpened blades which clamp onto an animal's leg.