The Hunter had a lot of potential but it tries to do too much and the movie just gets kind of lost, doing little of what it set out to do. Simplicity was the way to go, folks.
old, hard pro Martin David (Dafoe) is employed by a faceless company to hunt the last Tasmanian Tiger, thought extinct since the 30s. Using Lucy Armstrong's (O'Connor) house as a base camp, David, with help from guide Jack (Neill), trudges into the wilderness in search of something that may not exist. When the hunt proves fruitless, David reckons Lucy's little boy, Bike (Woodlock), silent since his father went missing searching for the same tiger, knows more than he's letting on.
f you're calling your movie The Hunter and it's about a hunter hunting an animal everyone thinks is extinct, you can expect long stretches of silence. Isolation. Loneliness. Meticulous tracking. Stitching deep gashes on the move. Beard growing. A Jeremiah Johnson vibe, a man verses nature theme. Grrrrr, etc. There would be plenty of tension to get stuck into – there are the angry locals from the village below who don't take too kindly to strangers in these here parts, and Sam Neill seems to be up to something and of course there is the tiger that may or may not be lurking about. There should be enough there to be getting on with.
afoe's great, though. He's got a wonderful face that's perfect for the role – as jagged and imposing as the inhospitable terrain and his surly monosyllabic performance is a winner. Neill is fine, as is O'Connnor, Woodlock and Morgana Davies, playing Bike's foul-mouthed older sister, but this is a one-man show.