"The Hunter (2011/Blu-ray/Magnolia Home Ent.)" Review

Review: Willem Dafoe stars as Martin David, a skilled and focused mercenary, is sent into the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for a tiger believed to be extinct. Hired by an anonymous company that wants the tiger's genetic material, Martin arrives in Tasmania posing as a scientist. He proceeds to set up base camp at a broken-down farmhouse, where he stays with a family whose father has gone missing. Usually a loner, Martin becomes increasingly close to the family. However, as his attachment to the family grows, he is led down a path of unforeseen dangers, complicating his deadly mission.

Since I first saw Willem Dafoe in Platoon so many years ago I have followed and loved his work no matter if the rest the film is crap, he seems to still always shine in any role. The one he does in The Hunter is one you can tell he was made for, he has the look and he pulls off the personality of the character even without a ton of dialogue. I think it's because he does know how to truly act and express the emotions of the character through expressions. The part I liked most about his character is that he is kinda outside of his comfort zone with no access to internet, outdoor plumbing, and having to use a generator to get electricity, but he is able to adapt to what he has.
Now as far as the rest of the cast goes you have Sam Neill (In The Mouth of Madness) who plays as a local who helps guide Martin to where he needs to go as well as he watches in on the family Martin is staying with.Also there is the beautiful Frances O'Connor who plays Lucy Armstrong, the wife of a missing scientist and the woman Martin stays with along with her 2 children. Really those are the main characters, the rest are a few locals of the small town and some activist trying to save the forest. Each person does have there part that works in the film and I would say none of them are throw away characters like you get from time to time in films.
Aside from the cast, the writing and the atmosphere of The Hunter are great. None of the dialogue seems to be stale or unnecessary. The atmosphere alot of the time feels very isolated and tense especially during a few scenes. Also there is a twist I didn't quite see coming until it did, basically because I did expect something to happen but it was not what I was expecting. The isolation feel takes over the scenes when you follow Martin on his journey into the wilderness to find the elusive beast. Overall this was a great film with a great cast, writing, atmosphere, and some damn good directing! A must see for fans of great thrillers!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Daniel Nettheim
Genre: Thriller/Drama/Suspense
Blu-ray Release Year: 2012
Theatrical Release Year: 2011
Time Length: 102 mins.
Company: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Website: www.magpictures.com

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