The Hunt Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

A group of people chatting about this and that, scolding Trump, sending each other a funny video, and then mentioning the hunt for “a dozen scum” in a certain mansion. After some time, the same company flies on a private jet, they drink champagne, seizing it with caviar, and have a great time. Suddenly, from one of the premises of the aircraft, an uncomprehending man of an obviously Redneck-like appearance tumbles into the cabin. The man is quickly and brutally killed.

After some time, a group of very different, obviously unfamiliar people come to their senses in a forest clearing. They have gags in their mouths, and in the clearing there is a hefty wooden box with a wide variety of weapons. People begin to dismantle these weapons, and at this moment the hunt begins for them.

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A very sensational and incredibly scandalous film, about which a huge number of people spoke in the format “I have not read Pasternak, but I strongly condemn it.” The creators of the film on one of the posters even wrote “The most discussed film of 2019, which no one has even seen yet”, and this was true.

All that was known about the film was that in it a group of ultra-liberals – ardent opponents of Trump, terribly tolerant, fighting against global warming, and so on – are hunting with weapons in their hands a group of ultra-conservatives – Trump fans, racists, opponents of immigrants who do not believe in global warming and allowing themselves to hunt animals and catch unfortunate fish.

There was such a fuss about this film that even Trump himself on Twitter said that these damn filmmakers first create violence, and then they try to blame others for this violence, and that such films incite passions and cause chaos. Directly, of course, he did not mention this film, but he had not seen it at that time.

The film was supposed to be released in the fall of 2019, but the August massacres in Dayton and El Paso forced Universal Studios to postpone the film’s premiere until March 2020. It was released, in the first week it grossed $5.3 million, but after that all sorts of quarantines began, so the film was rushed to be sold to streaming services and most viewers saw this film online.

The Hunt script written by Nick Cuse (TV series The Leftovers, Maniac and Watchmen) and Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers, Watchmen and many other films and TV shows) is based on the old – 1924 – Richard Connell’s short story “The Most Dangerous Game”. The film was directed by Craig Zobel, director of The Leftovers, Westworld and American Gods.

I only heard about this film that it was sensational and scandalous, I tried to watch it, I got to the episode where this group of potential victims disassembles weapons and they begin to shoot them very quickly and very cruelly, I looked at the deliberate blood-guts-dismemberment and then , with what ease the creators of the picture within a few seconds kill characters played by more or less famous actors (Emma Roberts from “We are the Millers”, Justin Hartley from “This is Us”), decided that there would continue to be only solid bloody trash, after which the film turned off.

But after that I began to receive questions from people whose opinion about cinema is interesting to me: “Alex, well, did you watch it? Well, how do you like it?!! You should have watched it !!!” I answered that I turned off conditional rednecks after the start of shooting (they are far from all rednecks there), and everyone told me that I definitely need to look further and that I would just like it a hundred percent.

Interested. I went to look further. And, without looking up, I watched it to the very end, in the finale, even crying with feelings for a couple with the cat Bagel, and I must admit that my friends turned out to be absolutely right: this film, of course, deserves viewing, and how! I have not seen such a wild, so coolly filmed and so sharply social black humor action movie for a long time, it’s just brilliant!

And here everything is in very reasonable proportions. A bloody action movie, no doubt. But here there is excessive naturalism and completely cartoonish dismemberment – only in the opening episode of the hunt, and it’s not very clear to me why this was done, because further in the film, bloodiness and naturalism quite fit into the corresponding level of a good film, which I recently mentioned in a review of “Police sedan – “Bloody Thursday”.

The idea of ​​ultra-liberals (ultra-leftists) shooting down ultra-conservatives (ultra-right-wingers) is absolutely gorgeous, hats off. Do the opposite – there will be no such effect, because a redneck with a gun – well, it seems that this damned dregs of society will shoot the quivering bearers of modern civilization, Trump in his drawbar, but in this case it turned out much more interesting! And there, with this idea, purely by script, it was even more interesting to implement than I originally expected, it’s just cool!

I will speak very, very carefully about the characters acting in the film, because in this case I don’t want to spoil at all: everything is very unexpected and action-packed, which is why the film is valuable, and I don’t want to spoil the impression for those millions of viewers who immediately want to watch this movie after my review.

I can only say that representatives of ultra-liberals are very diverse, and if some of them command deep respect for the fact that they try to cope with their problems, like all normal people, with the help of alcohol and drugs, then others show completely inappropriate frivolity during the hunt, because they hunt on rednecks, and rednecks – don’t put your finger in these guys’ mouths, and where is the leftist who put his finger in the redneck’s mouth some time ago.

Hilary Swank, and this is shown at the very beginning of the film, plays Athena, the leader of this whole shobla-fucking group of beautiful people filled with left-liberal ideas. She played perfectly, the character turned out to be very interesting, having certain ideals, in the name of which she is ready to shoot all this conservative bastard from the Internet. Well, not all, but at least twelve people – at least something. And her final conversation about literature with the main protagonist was both informative and quite energetic. It is clear that the director was inspired by the corresponding conversation between the Bride and Vernita Green, but the inspiration really came to him, I assure you.

I will mention the protagonist very carefully, but I will say that she struck me. And not only by the way she acted – quickly, clearly, very effectively – but also by the way she behaved: she seemed to give the impression of a kind of brake simpleton, but her demeanor is clearly feigned, and she will still let many people clear their throats, especially when talking about literature. In one of the reviews I met the definition of “a completely Tarantino character” – no, I do not agree. In terms of combat training, yes, but in terms of how she behaves, this is a completely different character, very interesting, and Betty Gilpin played her just brilliantly!

Great movie, just great! The creators of the film coolly pulled everyone – both the fucked-up leftists and the stoned right-wingers. “Hunting” was supposed to offend absolutely everyone – it did, and that’s great! The accents are very precisely chosen, the dramaturgy is very clearly built (if the rednecks were hunting for rich leftists, it would not be so cool), the script is really great, especially in the finale, where a lot of things are explained, because in this film not everything is so simple and straightforward .

There is a lot of cool satire here – the conversations of the old men at the gas station about the use of the words “blacks” and “you drink poison”, the conversations of Athena’s group before the ambush and in the ambush, and the already mentioned literary conversation of Athena with the protagonist – the fighting is filmed cool and realistic, with trash was slightly overdone only at the beginning of the hunt, and then everything was neat, really cool and crazy.

I’m absolutely delighted. It’s good that I have friends who nevertheless demanded from me to watch this film, and I did not miss it. And I’m sure everyone should see this movie, because it will definitely make us become at least a little better. After all, the idea of ​​taking a gun and blowing out the brains of a person who thinks differently than you is still slightly vicious in some ways, which is shown in this film, which has a serious humanistic message, right where it needs to be!

PS The “basket of deplorables” at the beginning of the film is clearly a reference to Hillary Clinton’s phrase “basket of deplorables”, which she used to describe the supporters of her rival Donald Trump. It is possible, by the way, that it cost her the presidency.

 

Hunting / The Hunt movie review

Director: Craig Zobel Cast: Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz, Wayne Duvall, Ethan Suplee, Emma Roberts, Christopher Berry, Sturgill Simpson, Kate Nowlin, Amy Madigan, Justin Hartley

Budget: $14 million

Black humor thriller, USA, 2020, 90 min.

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