In his first major role since his compelling, Oscar winning performance in Traffic (2000), Benicio Del Toro plays Aaron Hallam, a member of an elite American military squad who witnessed scenes of unimaginable horror while on a tour of duty in Kosovo. A year down the road and our boy has completely lost his marbles. He's retreated to isolated woodlands and is carving up anyone who comes near him. In an attempt to put an end to this whole messy affair, L.T. Bonham (Lee Jones), the man who trained Hallam, is drafted in by the FBI.
Little more than a riff on the themes explored in First Blood (1982), The Hunted is a shocking waste of talent and time. Some of the action sequences, are handled in a business-like fashion, but there's very little else here to make The Hunted an attractive proposition. Certainly the director doesn't try to make an emotional connection between his characters and the audience - everything is recounted in a cold, passionless fashion. Friedkin has always been a brusque director, but here he seems almost reluctant to put any sort of defining shape on the movie. Quite simply, I expect more than this from the man who directed The Exorcist and The French Connection, while actors of the surety of Lee Jones and Del Toro deserve better. Much better.
Review by Garreth Murphy | 09:00 | Saturday 14th June 2003 | Movie Review
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