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The Hunted
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  • 'First Blood', crossed with 'The Fugitive'
    It's not hard to see how this movie got made.. a director known for gritty streetwise thrillers (The French Connection), about a soldier who was trained to kill, but now can't turn it off due to battle scarring (First Blood, anyone?), starring Tommy lee Jones reprising his role in the Fugitive, but with a twist..
    Tommy Lee Jones is just the right casting for the role of the 'Tracker' - a man whose father was a soldier, but trained his son how to kill, and survive in the wilderness, be stealthy - in order that he would never have to kill. Now one of his proteges has gone rogue, and TLJ is brought out of retirement to track him down, meeting along the way the FBI agent played by Connie Nielsen.
    The concept is a good one, if unoriginal. The idea of the tracker is fascinating, and as the extras on the DVD show, not without basis in fact - but the execution is a mixed bag.
    On the plus side, the knife fighting scenes have a gritty fast moving realism to them that has rarely been seen. This is one of the movies big attractions. On the minus side, the movie feels like it has been chopped up, and pieces gone missing. Even the deleted scenes only give a hint to some of the directions the movie was going. There is a cynicism about Americas military here, similar to Friedkins last movie Rules of Engagement, but whatever message comes along with that has thinned out along the way. The roles the actors play do not leave the actors room to flesh out and inhabit their characters. Connie Nielsen does her best, which is pretty darn good, in a woefully underwritten role which seems in the end to serve little useful purpose.
    On the whole though this is an edge of the seat chase movie, set in breathtaking, if chilly, scenery in Oregon and British Columbia, and should not disappoint. Just dont expect to remember much about it in a month or two.
    3 and a half stars! I rounded up to 4 for the great fight choreagraphy.....more info
  • Action Packed Movie!
    Tommy Lee Jones plays the role of L.T. Bonham.Bonham was a
    trainer of Special Forces soldiers.He in effect turned these
    soldiers into klilling machines.Benicio Del Toro plays the
    character Aaron Hallam.Hallam was a former student of his teacher L.T. Bonham.Hallam has been killing hunters in the Northwest.The F.B.I. after investigating realizes that their
    killer is by no means normal.The F.B.I. is forced to turn to
    the one man who can bring in the killer L.T. Bonham.After he begins his tracking he immediately knows who he is hunting.He
    recognizes the tactics and techniques of Hallam.Remember,he trained Hallam.Bonham and Hallam begin a hunting adventure that
    will take them from the woods of Oregon to the big city.This
    movie turns into a thriller.If you are a die hard Tommy Lee Jones fan this is your movie....more info
  • Bloody horrible.
    The Hunted (William Friedkin, 2003)

    You're never sure what you're going to get with William Friedkin. You could get Cruising, or The Exorcist, or his remake of 12 Angry Men. Or, you could end up with Jade, The Guardian, or The Hunted. Yes, The Hunted definitely gets tossed on the pile of "films William Friedkin will disown later in life." If anyone else involved with the movie wants to be remembered fondly by the masses, they, too, will disown it.

    It's painful to watch Hollywood in action sometimes. The trailers for The Hunted made it seem like ninety minutes of Tommy Lee Jones chasing Benicio del Toro through the woods. That might well have made for a good movie. Instead, we get about five minutes of Tommy Lee Jones chasing Benicio del Toro through the woods, a bunch of minutes of him chasing Benicio del Toro through other places, and a whole lot of backstory, subplot, and exposition that is entirely unnecessary to the film.

    The basic plot (what the film should have been in its entirety) is that Aaron Hallam (del Toro), a very nasty government military type, has gone renegade after losing his mind during an assignment. He has become paranoid, and believes the government is now hunting him. (Whether he is correct is never truly exposed, one of the few plot elements where the film does refuse to capitulate to "we need this in a Hollywood movie.") The government brings in L. T. Bonham (Jones), a tracker for the Canadian forestry service who used to work for the government training people to become very nasty government military types. You can see where this is going.

    Obviously, you've got a rehash of David Morrell's fine novel (and, with the exception of the final five minutes, Ted Kocheff's equally fine film) First Blood, with del Toro as John Rambo and Jones as Col. Trautman. The trailers made this look like a different, and intriguing, take on the same material, with nothing but the two main characters hunting one another through the woods. But Hollywood doesn't like to do two-character movies, despite the breathtaking success of some memorable examples of the subgenre in the past (Closetland and My Dinner with Andre being the obvious examples). So somehow, somewhere, someone decided that Aaron Hallam needed a makeshift family, there needed to be a whole bunch of FBI agents, etc., and the movie ends up being more about the other stuff than about Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro chasing each other through the woods. Worse, when the obviouis showdown finally does occur, any semblance of realism the movie might have had goes flying out the window; it's the Grizzly Adams version of the scene where neither six-shooter ever runs out of bullets. Thoroughly stupid, and the movie gets knocked down half a point solely for its last ten minutes.

    There are many, many better films in William Friedkin's oeuvre. Do yourself a favor and watch those instead. * ?...more info
  • Good action movie for us die hard action fans
    I walked into The Hunted expecting a action movie and that's what I got. William Fredkin has made one of his best action movies since The French Connenction and To Live & Die In LA. Tommy Lee Jones is in his top form as usual but for me Benicno Del Toro made the movie as a ruthless crazed vet. The film is full of intense action sequences and is pretty violent but if you're a action movie buff then you'll like it. Forget the story just sit back and enjoy the ride. ...more info
  • Underrated
    Underrated thriller from William Friedkin, a taut, tense and even deep thriller about the human nature. Man is man's worst enemy....more info
  • Too boring for me
    I found this movie to be a clich¨¦ through and through. It was predictable and pretty boring. The cat and mouse was just tired and rehashed. Tommy Lee Jones is much older than Del Toro, so while he was believable as a teacher, it was beyond belief that he could hunt him down and fight him as if he was just a young athletic himself.

    There isn't much dialogue in the film, at least not much that matters much. There aren't any good twists or surprises. There are other cat and mouse movies, Cliffhanger and Shoot to Kill, two examples that are set in the woods, that are much more exciting and offer more plot twists and more developed characters.

    Not much of a recommendation here. Certainly one to rent if you need to see it, I can't imagine seeing this twice....more info

  • enjoyable
    I enjoyed this movie primarily because of the survival skills underscoring the plot. Tommy Lee Jones, in my opinion, always makes his characters interesting. Del Toro, too, was engaging in this role - given the limited confines of the script. The extra features included on the DVD edition made the whole experience richer and even caused me to want to read the books of Thomas H Brown Jr. who was a consultant for the film and the real life basis for Jones' character....more info
  • Another perspective outside the obvious action thirller
    While this film is surely an action/psycho drama, many of the reviewers are missing an aspect of this film which is worthwhile in my opinion. Like no other film before (or since) this film is a primer on wilderness survival skills and the philosophy of wilderness. It should be noted that Tom Brown (the Tracker) was the technical adviser on the films survival scenes.

    The character played by Tommy Lee Jones, is a wilderness survival mentor for US black ops types played by Del Torro. Many of the finer points of this film probably elude the average viewer, like the difference between "sweepers" and "hunters." Jones character enters the action by freeing a trapped wolf by "sweepers." After freeing the wolf Jones administers a medicinal plant poultice to the wound and sends the wolf on its way to freedom. In the next scene Jones is found entering a bar (trap in hand) to find the "sweepers" responsible. He asks around the bar who owns the trap, and when this is ascertained promptly drives the individual's head into a nearby table knocking him senseless. A demonstration of wilderness justice at its best.

    Jones and Del Torro share this linkage in this ancient philosophy of wilderness. Del Torro was trained by Jones in the way of the ancient Apache scouts to elude and blend into the wilderness and survive using only one's knowledge of plants, animals, and tracking. The film captures the base differences between modern hunters (sweepers) and truly authentic hunters based on ancient knowledge of respect for the natural world and the philosophy it asserts.

    I believe the film is worthwhile for the reasons noted above. But if your interest is action film genre, then you ought to get your moneys worth. Yet, for those with a deeper interest in the way indigenous peoples once lived (and in fact, some still do) this film may provide an entry point of an authentic wilderness philosophy long lost to contemporary viewers.
    ...more info
  • What happened to William Friedkin
    God! This movie sucked. I can just imagine the hack pitching this to a studio head.

    "Okay! It's Rambo-gone-bad meets Apocalypse Now and throw a little French Connection into it! It's gonna be awesome!"

    What a bunch of high school manure! No, really. Manure! Crap! Crusty skid marks in old underwear!

    What happened to William Friedkin? He hasn't made a decent film since To Live & Die in L.A. That was over 20 years ago! Did he burn out? Is it only about the paycheck for him now? Anyway...

    Though the movie's plot was a real nose-pincher, Friedkin hasn't lost his technical skills, and he can still direct actors well. He's still got edge, and for that I believe there's hope yet.

    I dream that someday the novel Roadwork (by Richard Bachman - aka Stephen King) will be made into a script. I think William Friedkin would be perfect to direct the film. I'd bet my savings that it would be a showcase movie for him.

    But I recommend you not waste your money on The Hunted. It's a real clunker. As for me, I'll just keep on dreamin'....more info
  • Great TLJ performance, so so movie
    Tommy Lee Jones can make any movie worth watching, even limp ones and this ones is so lame. Actually a waste of his powerhouse talents. Tommy Lee Jones is a trainer of assassins, and he trains Benicio Del Toro (The Usual Suspects) into the perfect killing machine. We have given reasons (VAGUE REASONS) why suddenly Del Toro cannot stomach being a killing machine any longer, so what does he do...goes rogue and kills. There is only one person who can catch him, Tommy Lee Jones, who is ageing.

    So starts a nice cat and mouse game - but who is the cat and mouse. Nice watch, but will soon fade. Doubt most people would want repeat views of this movie, is do, suggest getting a used copy. Tommy Lee is worth that. His performance is marvellous, just the rest of the film does not match his level....more info

    **** 2003. Directed by William Friedkin. Four years before Bug (Special Edition), his last film to date, Friedkin, in THE HUNTED, already took an interest in the case of a soldier suffering from a mental disorder. But when one knows that it was his teacher/father who had the duty to stop him, the movie acquires a very interesting dimension. Recommended....more info
  • An Old Story but Very Well Told.....
    Yes, we have seen this plotline before, but that didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying the movie. Tommy Lee is at his laconic best and Benicio definitely has the eyes of a cold blooded killer. The tracking and knife fighting scenes were as authentic as it gets, and the setting provided a beautiful backdrop to the cat and mouse hunt that takes up most of the movie. The action is relentless and exciting. I strongly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoyed Rambo when it first came out. The highly skilled loner evading both a mob of law enforcement officers and a highly skilled tracker makes for a good viewing experience, especially in the hands of a world-class director like William Friedkin. ...more info
  • Gory, Brutal Jones/Del Toro Film
    The Hunted is one of those films that might not be defensible. It might no practical, ethical, moral reason to exist. Except, of course, that it is thrilling, involving, brutal, gory, and highly entertaining.

    The Hunted involves a Special Forces assassin, played by Benicio Del Toro, who begins to kill people in the Oregon woods using his highly evolved knife fighting and tracking skills. The FBI calls a former Special Forces tracker/knife fighting trainer, played by Tommy Lee Jones to help find the assassin. He meets up with the assassin, and discovers that it's one of his old students.

    From here, the movies involves into a classic cat-and-house game between the two men with the FBI in the middle. The knife fighting is realistic and intense. Yes, this film is full of machismo and violence. But it's also full of heavy-duty emotions connected to issues of service, guilt, and betrayal.

    The Hunted is certainly not for everyone, but many will find it appealing and engrossing....more info
  • captivating
    this movie is one of my all time favorite action was a little bloody but it fits the story and the characters.Benicio Del Toro is riveting as the black ops soldier who is being hunted by his own men.Tommy Lee Jones is equally powerful as the civilian survivalist trainer who is forced to track one of "his boys".the movie is action packed from beginning to end and the girl who plays Benicio's girlfriend(sorry i couldnt remember her name) did and excellent job,the mannerisms and the dialect for the region were right on the mark....more info
  • Drive in movie for the noughties-boys and their ugly toys
    A huge amount of talent has gone into a pretty thin chase movie which has none of the panache of say The Fugitive. Undoubtedly, Mr Jones and Mr Del Toro are watchable (and bankable) actors. Because it is R rated - lots of knives and descriptions of how to carve up a man - it's audience I guess is lonely young men who fantasise about violence, or who have a thoroughly unhappy view of humans and relate better to dogs and squirrels than they do to their neighbours. Interesting to see Mr Maltin gave this an above average review whilst considering the director's earlier masterpiece - To Live and Die in LA - an unworthy film....more info
  • A Remake of 'First Blood', but truer to the original novel
    Sylvester Stallone made this same movie in the early 1980s, except with a more 'Hollywood' ending. This film is pretty much the same story, but truer to David Morell's original book. For copyright reasons they change names, but let's face facts, Benicio Del Toro is John Rambo, Tommy Lee Jones is Col. Trautman, and Connie Nielsen is the sherrif of Hicksville, Oregon. It's 'First Blood' for a 21st century audience - i.e. it's more realistic and more gory, but the original movie is still better in my book....more info
  • Utterly Stupid Movie
    At least Rambo had a reason he was causing so much ruckus. This guy is just, well pointless. Supposedly all he sees people as is targets, except for a little girl and her mom, and just about everyone else he meets.

    Buy Rambo instead, you'll be glad you did. This movie is not worth a rental fee, let alone a purchase. I'm glad I got it from the library for free, that way I'm only out the time I wasted watching it....more info
  • A Rambo Remake--With Knife Fighting to Boot!
    "The Hunted" is a nice action film that follows in the footsteps of "First Blood." It was filmed right here in Portland, Oregon, so Oregonians will get a kick out of seeing Portland become the battlefield for several chase scenes. The script of this film is quite bad. While I like Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro, their lines seem to be quite awkwardly delivered. I'm not quite sure about the reason for this. Jones seems to be playing a character he has played before and rushes his lines without giving us any sense of why he is doing so. Despite this setback, the film does achieve much in the action sequences and does a pretty good job when no one is speaking. Furthermore, I enjoyed the fact that I had a hard time taking sides in this film. It is unclear who the "bad guy" is, and the only real candidate for the slot is the government.

    I really enjoyed the knife fighting sequences in this film. They look exceptionally realistic and more down-to-earth than many other knife fighting scenes I have viewed over the years (think Segal). The survival and tracking aspects of this film will awaken any outdoor enthusiast and make him or her want to head out for the wild. I enjoyed all of these sequences and even wanted more of them. All in all, while I was entertained by this film, it drags in many sections and I would have liked to see the characters develop themselves more. As far as the special features are concerned, the documentaries are quite interesting-particularly the one on Tom Brown, the tracking and survival expert used to give the film a realistic feel....more info

  • Could'a Should'a Would'a
    This movie should have been great. I don't know what happened in the editing process. Friedken just blew it and it is obvious in so many parts. You can see his hands all over it, in a good way but then it looks like it is just thrown together and there are some big old plot holes. Another problem I have with it is Benicio Del Toro cast as a redneck backwoods guy from West Virginia. I think he does a good job but he is totally miscast. If you are going to have a hispanic guy play the part then change the characters back story and make him from somewhere else. He didn't fit the character at all... but he did a good job and he is a good actor. Tommy Lee Jones is just great in everything he does and was really good in this as was Connie Neilson.

    All in all I liked the movie and wanted to like it more but it had some big flaws for a movie that has so much talent top to bottom. ...more info
  • Short, Intense, Fun To Watch
    Three facts about this film help to make it highly-rated in my book: it's very entertaining, moves fast and lasts only 90 minutes.

    So, if in the mood for a combination Fugitive/Rambo story with two very intense lead actors, this is a convenient diversion to play numerous times.

    Tommy Lee Jones was the mentor who trained Benico Del Toro on the art of killing and now the ex-student has gone out of control and Jones must hunt him down, something the police can't seem to do. That's the story, simple as that. The only thing was a little implausible is that old man chasing down a kid for miles. Tommy Lee might be in shape, but he isn't young enough to do what he does here. However, both men are fun to watch and the action scenes are well done. You don't get bored watching this movie.

    No, the film isn't high-grade mentality but it isn't totally stupid, either. It doesn't get carried and is pretty believable until the final chase scene. Along the way, we are treated the Portland cityscape and Northwest woods, both of which are nicely filmed and look great on this DVD.
    ...more info
  • Two Acting Powerhouses!
    I love it when two of my favorite actors are in a movie together. When one's off screen, you have the other to keep you entertained. And when they're on screen together, it's movie-making at its best. The plot itself leaves a bit to be desired. The film's production was stop-and-go for so long, I heard that the director changed direction before it was finished. My guess is that some of what was lost was what was missing from the movie, particularly in regards to understanding Benicio's character properly. Nonetheless, Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro shine throughout.
    P.S. Being an animal lover, I love that two leads in a movie are pro-animal too....more info
  • Interesting Thriller
    From the first frames of this interesting and somewhat offbeat movie, I found myself fascinated by the setting in the snow-graced forests of the Pacific northwest, where retired government martial-arts and assassin training expert Tommy Lee Jones walks with both grace and purpose through the winter splendor of the chilly landscape. However unlikely the action as depicted in the scenes, it was a marvelous set of opening scenes, providing a key insight into the lead character's humanity and perspective. Little would I know that this was perhaps the most satisfying aspect of this taut suspense thriller. Lee is soon whisked away almost involuntarily to help solve a pair of horrific murders of seasoned and well-armed hunters in the area, only to discover the assailant was one of the expert assassins he helped train. From there the mystery begins to deepen, and Lee finds himself locked into a death struggle on a number of levels both with the assassin, played well by the charismatic Benico Del Toro.

    Del Toro's character is haunted by memories of atrocities he witnessed in Kosovo, and his former government handlers are trying to convince Lee that Del Toro has simply gone renegade. Yet there are signs that there may be some truth to Del Toro's suspicions, as told to Lee indicating that he had been set up, that the hunters he executed in the forest were in fact government assassins come to terminate him. The viewer is taken on a whirlwind ride through forest, suburb, and through a variety of cityscapes, and a few of the chase scenes are entertaining, amusing, and quite ingenuous. The plot sometimes suffers from more bullet holes than any of Del Toro's victims, but if you can suspend your critical faculties enough to enjoy the fireworks, you will likely enjoy this potboiler effort at government intrigue gone horribly wrong. Enjoy!...more info

  • Bare Bone Action
    The Hunted is one of William Friedkin most underated pictures.The Director who defined Film as an art with classics like French Connection or The Exorcist brings us the story of a burnt out soldier who starts a killing mission.His instructor is the one who is chosen to hunt him down.The film is a well structured action cracker full of violent knife- duels and very tight action pieces.It doesn't use wire-tricks or CGI.The DVD itself has a very informative commentary by Friedkin and short making of featurettes.Highly Recommended....more info
  • Bloody and Violent... but not a single thing more than that
    Okay so basically William Friedkin has resigned himself to producing B moving hookum with A list actors who think that Friedkin just might have that magic left in him. The truth is that the Friedkin of "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist" fame was abducted and departed this universe only to be replaced by a less than accurate decoy copy of himself a looooong time ago.

    Anyway down to the review. The Hunted is nothing more than a ludicrous story in order to set up various knife fight set pieces. The story is basically about a secret "Black Op" assassin (Del Toro) who has turned into a serial killer with a penchant for hacking up his victims with a knife. His old combat trainer (Jones) is sent to track him down and there is the usual cat and mouse type play so that Del Toro and Jones can go it at in a knife fight.

    Let the truth be told. If you go for this movie on the basis that it is a hand 2 hand combat action flick and nothing more then you will enjoy it immensely and probably try to make yourself a blade the next day given the details in this movie. However, if you think that you are in for a serial killer classic, with huge performances from Del Toro and Jones with the backing of an ace director, Friedkin - then you will only convert the DVD to a coffee cup holster in no time.

    **** stars for people who want to see lots of bloody knife fights only. All else, * star, who will probably end up using it as coffee mug accessory. However it must be noted that marines going on a rampage when they come home is nothing unique but the film never really develops that topic enough... however this is as close as you will get to it....more info
  • Hunting a Patriot
    This is the greatest movie ever shown on how the Government takes out one of its own. Makes you think twice about ever wanting to serve "your" country in a war. The military trains you to kill and refuses to acknowledge the damage it causes when you actually battle live enemies. It then sends cold-hearted killers to take you out as if you don't exist.

    A sad ending awaits all who serve the greater good. History is proof to this fact. The true patriot in the movie is the only one who could see things from a larger perspective of life, the rest were merely focused on their egos and short-sighted political correctness. You can be sure I ain't betting on Bonham (Tommy Lee Jones) as the good guy.

    Bravo for an excellent production! Can't wait for sequels to follow!

    ...more info
  • Much more layered than one would expect
    I only take a star away from this movie because the end of it is foreseeable very early. The rest is perfect. The acting is incredible, the plot is quite layered, and the fight scenes are in a league by themselves in terms of movie fights. Most fights in movies are standard standing-waiting-to-be-hit affairs, where the characters show no pain after taking blows that, in the real world, would have sent them crumbling to the ground. Granted, after taking a stake through the thigh Tommy Lee Jones' character would never have been able to stand and fight on it, but the scenes are impeccably choreographed and very real, with the martial arts angle adding further realism. It was an especially nice touch that Jones didn't hook up with the FBI agent at all during the movie; it was all about him and Del Toro, and their story together, which made it all the more realistic. At the end he goes back to being a lone wolf, and is perfectly satisfied, as is the audience. This film is definitely worth seeing, and if you like this kind of film worth buying. Be warned, though, the violence (especially the opening scene) is excessively graphic and bloody; in other words, real....more info
    I love it. I got the DVD three weeks ago along with TRAFFIC. I loved both. Great action and story. Dynamite performances and fighting sequences. Did you know TOMMY LEE JONES broke his arm in an intense fighting sequence with BENICIO DEL TORO ?
    Very interesting. Poor guy. Anyway, one of the best action films ever made. Buy this one. A TRUE MASTERPIECE ! ! ...more info