The Hunting Party - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hunting Party Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 10, 2013
Part of me wants to really like "The Hunting Party" and then part of me wants to dismiss it as the forgettable result of a lazy script. Personally, I think it's sort of a mixture of the two. Good chemistry between Richard Gere, Terrence Howard and Jesse Eisenberg and some clever scenarios give it the same kind of enjoyable 'feel' that Richard Shepard's "The Matador" has, but then it has areas that lag and feel uninspired and it closes on a hurried note. I won't say that I didn't find "The Hunting Party" fun and, at times, original, but it isn't nearly as ambitious as it could have been. Shepard should release a director's cut that tacks on about twenty minutes.
½ February 11, 2013
Not the party I was hoping for. A few more cocktails would've been nice. Crept into serious fare more often than the funnies, which I'd hoped could have balanced more. Great characters and a cool plot but it never delves into the "fun" territory it so desperately needs. The Matador was better.
½ January 22, 2013
not an exceedingly long movie, but it was so drawn out and slow that i couldn't make it through the whole thing. what i watched was 'meh' but the pacing was so detrimental that i said 'nope, time for some Phoenix Wright!'
½ January 15, 2013
Weak plot, writing and Gere was painful to watch at times. I attribute most of the problems to the directing, but gave it an extra half star for addressing the war criminals in Bosnia.
January 5, 2013
Clunky dialogue, odd directing, occasional outright silliness ... it's all a bit too much.
Super Reviewer
December 29, 2012
This film about journalists on the hunt for a Serbian war criminal suffers from being a bit undecided what exactly it wants to be. Sometimes it's a really dark commentary on the meaningless and brutality of war, the necessity to report about it as it is and then it tries to be some kind of satire, which just does not fit together that well. Whenever it concentrates on the ruined Bosnian houses, cities, and the lonely hills and forests, with the protagonists traveling through that hostile environment it has some really good moments. The humor seems out of place then, and the final info texts before the end credits try to make it look like a much quirkier film than it was or should have been, for that matter. Technically and as far as the acting is concerned, there is no reason to complain.For a film that is trying to portray reality the solution to the story comes a bit too easily and realistically. Entertaining but not entirely satisfying.
½ December 8, 2012
Interesting story and a rather enjoyable watch, however it didn't grip me too much and there are quite a few downfalls in the plot. Overall nothing special but worth a watch.
December 7, 2012
Richard Gere i like him so yes i will see it some time!
December 2, 2012
Interesting movie b.c i just learned about this situation 3 months before.
½ November 14, 2012
A great drama-comedy, can't say many bad things about it, it's a good cast even Richard Gere does a good job..
October 28, 2012
A Richard Gere movie that I truely liked besides Primal Fear. Yipee! Great casting, interesting true story and I enjoyed the directing. Well played.

2008 Movies: 15
October 28, 2012
Excellent thriller, with a good sense of humour, and a subject matter that Hollwood doesn't seem to touch as much as...9/11?
September 16, 2012
Good Muslims are the innocent victims, while the bad Serbs are the evil butchers? Sorry Hollywood but you got it all wrong.
August 8, 2012
Cool, Funny & Thrilling (sorta')
July 25, 2012
(aviso: essa mini-resenha contém palavrões típicos de uma pessoa que se exaltou ao assistir um bom filme.)

Humor inteligente e crítico sobre o mundo jornalístico. E ainda mete o pau na ONU. Resumindo: bom pra caralho.
July 21, 2012
The Hunting Party opens with narration, which can sometimes be seen as a troublesome sign. In the beginning scene, we learn that Duck (Terrence Howard) and Simon (Richard Gere) used to be a solid reporting team. They've covered wars, you know. Actually, that's pretty much all that they do, as they're kind of adrenaline junkies. They enjoy the thrills that come from background explosions and bullets whizzing by their faces.

Or, they did. Simon had a meltdown during a live telecast and was subsequently fired. Duck was promoted to a cozy New York City job, while Simon went through a dozen jobs before eventually disappearing completely. All of this is told to us by Duck, although we also see some of the scenes taking place. Our film kicks up a few years later, now that the Bosnaian war of the 90s has come to an end. Duck, and his new cameraman, Benjamin (Jesse Eisenberg), are covering the fifth year anniversary of the war's conclusion.

What a surprise it turns out to be when Simon shows up in Bosnia with a "hot story." He won't tell Duck what that story is until he agrees to cover it, even though Duck has a girlfriend (Joy Bryant) waiting for him in Greece. Because we wouldn't have a movie if Duck didn't agree to tag along, he does so. The story: A war criminal named "The Fox" (Ljubomir Kerekes) is currently hiding somewhere in the country. Simon has received a tip to his location, and is going to try to get an interview with him. Benjamin tags along, because he's a kid right out of Harvard and needs a big story to prove to his father that he's cut out for this business.

Of course, Simon has a hidden motive behind his journey. It's not spoiling to tell you what it is, as right after the characters get in the car, he spills the beans: He actually wants to capture The Fox, take him to the UN, and receive the $5 million reward for doing so. He'll keep $3 million, while the other two characters are free to split it however they please. There's more motivation than the money (a "tragic" back story between Simon and The Fox is introduced), but the money sounds good enough to me.

What follows is a journey through back roads, meeting some unwelcoming locals, and a lot of group bonding. The film seems to realize that the only points when it works is when the three lead actors are talking with one another, or getting into all sorts of shenanigans together. I know that some websites out there list this as either a thriller or action film, but to me, it was mostly a drama. There are only a couple of thrilling moments throughout, and they come mostly at the end. This isn't a film that wants to make you sit on the edge of your seat.

With that said, I'm not exactly sure what The Hunting Party wants to make you do. The opening title card tells us that "only the most ridiculous parts of this story are true." Okay, so it's going to be a comedy. The first few scenes of the film, including Howard's narration, reinforce this. But once the plot starts to get going, it loses that comedic nature and becomes a strict drama. There are also a couple of moments with some suspense, but they're few and far between and don't add up to much of the film's (overlong) runtime.

The film purports to be based on a true story, using an article in Esquire as its tie to reality. It is very loosely based on that article, and plays out much more like an act of fiction than something that could happen to real people. There's even a stupid deus ex machina element thrown in near the end, which didn't at all work even though it's supposed to help accentuate the critique of the United Nations. Throughout the film, various groups and organizations are criticized for not trying to catch The Fox, and the ending makes a point of forcing us to remember how much this movie dislikes that.

However, when it comes to the ending, The Hunting Party should have finished about ten minutes earlier than it did. It even sounds like it's going to end, as our narration -- which had been absent since the opening -- returns and even tells us that the film's going to end. And then the movie just keeps on playing, wrapping something up that we already knew was wrapped up because the voice-over told us. It's more frustrating than satisfying at this point, and I was wondering what the point was of having a freeze frame, giving us a couple of minutes of narration, and then continuing on.

Where The Hunting Party succeeds -- and pretty much the only reason that I could ever recommend watching it -- is in its actors. All three of the leads have a great chemistry together, even though the film doesn't really know what to do with them. They're all charismatic, and they seem like they would be fun to spend some time traveling the Bosnian countryside with. There are also two noteworthy supporting roles (given to James Brolin and Diane Kruger), which top off an already impressive cast.

This was a disappointing film kept alive and watchable only because of its actors. But there isn't a consistent tone, the story doesn't give the characters much to do, and I was never sure exactly what I was supposed to be feeling. The criticism of certain organizations and countries didn't quite work as we already knew or assumed it all -- although at least this movie wasn't afraid to tell us exactly what it felt -- and it's on the whole a waste of time.
½ July 8, 2012
A Good Thriller movie based on a good subject which is not so common to general public .
½ April 7, 2012
Something felt like it was missing. Whereas Ricchard Shephard's previous film, THE MATADOR, nailed it with strong and fun characters this movie felt miscast or something. It felt like drinking a bottle of flat soda or bread thats a few days past it's expiration date. Not bad, but not good at all.
April 4, 2012
Richard Gere on a hot streak!
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