The Hunting Party Reviews
It's a dark comedy with complex nuances not appreciated by casual viewers. In fact, if you want to watch this while surfing the Web or doing something else forget about it. You will miss vital moments and then think the movie wasn't that good. Or, maybe you'll watch it all and still think that but that is why reviews are subjective.
Tale focuses on a man nicknamed Duck (Terence Howard) who is in a high position for a network but secretly misses his days as a camera man when he and his former buddy, Simon (Richard Gere), went through dangerous areas of the world to report to the world. But it all fell apart in the middle of the Bosnian War when Simon lost it during a live report and after that debacle was removed from the Big Leagues. We never find out until the end of the film why Simon lost it and it's a pretty good reason once you hear it from the perspective of Duck.
And speaking Duck it's his story as he is the one choosing when to narrate and when to not do so.
It's years later and Duck returns to Bosnia after the war has ended yet various leading criminals have yet to be caught and the question is raised as to whether the United Nations is really trying that hard to get them. Along with Duck is a young intern just out of Harvard (played by Jesse Eisenberg), who got the position because his father is an important executive.
What then follows is Simon linking up with the two and convincing them both to travel into the heart of Bosnia to find one of the most vile criminals, nicknamed The Fox. At first you think they're doing it for the five million dollar reward but not surprisingly you find out other factors are involved in the equation.
As this is a dark comedy it toes the line from dark humor to utter seriousness. Sometimes it does a fine job of doing it well and other times, well, it's open to opinion.
That said, this picture is an interesting buddy picture which focuses on a dark part of our History and makes some valid points we should be thinking over.
The acting by the three people mentioned is absolutely awesome. Their interplay from serious to comedic lines flows well and you truly feel Duck and Simon care about one another even though their paths have differed later on.
This film had mixed reviews and a low Box Office turnout (even in Bosnia) which doesn't surprise me based on the depressing subject matter. The budget was about $60M and it made just under $1M at the Box Office. As I've said in previous reviews Americans don't like to watch the serious stuff. To be fair I didn't care to see this film until somebody told me about it, too.
The End Credits show what truly existed from this tale and you discover that some of the more "ridiculous" elements actually happened.
Loosely based on an Esquire article by Scott Anderson in which a group of journalists decide to try and find a war criminal, Radovan Karadi?, "The Butcher of Bosnia". Cameos by some of those people in this picture.
STORY/PLOTTING/EDITING: B plus; CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: A minus to A; CINEMATOGRAPHY/CGI: A minus; SOUND/MUSIC: A minus; BOSNIAN FOCUSES: B plus to A minus; DARK HUMOR: B to B plus; OVERALL GRADE: A minus; WHEN WATCHED: late June 2013 (streamed) (second viewing).
SPOILERS: as stated above it's Duck's story and it's a nice touch after they're all rescued and he decides to go back into a dangerous area to capture the fictional war criminal, "The Fox".