Sunday, April 5, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 5
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
1917
AD ASTRA
BINGABLE: ABANDONED (2016)
BINGABLE: DON’T F**K WITH CATS: HUNTING AN INTERNET KILLER (2019)
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARIES
BINGEABLE: OUTLANDER (2014-present)
BINGEABLE: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1995)
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: ROBOCOP
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BLOODSHOT
DOCTOR SLEEP
EMMA
FORD V FERRARI
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)
HATEWATCH: 92ND ACADEMY AWARDS (2020)
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HATEWATCH: THE WITCHER (2019)
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
I STILL BELIEVE
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
KNIVES OUT
LITTLE WOMEN
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
ONWARD
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE CALL OF THE WILD
THE GENTLEMEN
THE HUNT
THE INVISIBLE MAN
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
THE WAY BACK
TV REVIEW:
TV REVIEW: LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE
TV REVIEW: SELF MADE: INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF MADAM C.J. WALKER
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: WESTWORLD (Season 3 debut)
UNCUT GEMS
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: DOUBLE DRAGON (1994)
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

THE HUNT

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF BLUMHOUSE PRODUCTIONS

THE HUNT


Where is it playing?: Stadium 14

What's it rated?: R

What's it worth?: $Matinee (Kasey Bubnash)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

In this satirical horror, director Craig Zobel (Compliance, Z for Zachariah) and writers Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof explore modern political extremism through a group of liberal elites who decide to hunt and kill “deplorables” for sport. 

Polarized. It’s one of those buzzwords we hear all the time today in American political debates and on the news and during regular ol’ conversation. Americans are polarized—meaning those on the left and those on the right are done trying to get along and compromise. We’re done trying to see eye to eye. We’ve fled to our respective corners and would rather die arguing than get anything done that could benefit the other side.

The Hunt takes that polarization, injects it with several doses of murderous rage, and ties it all up into uncomplicated and stereotypical caricatures of the white liberal elite and the right-winged and red-necked.

This latest take on Richard Connell’s 1924 novel, The Most Dangerous Game, was shrouded by controversy even before its initial release date in September 2019. After mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, and considering The Hunt’s almost obnoxious use of violence, Universal Studios rescheduled the film’s release for spring 2020. 

Now here we are, after months of patiently waiting, ready to see what about this movie could be so contentious that even President Trump tweeted something snooty about it in 2019. Waiting, fingertips at the ready, to jump into an online argument about it ourselves. 

Well, my fellow polarized Americans, you might end up disappointed. Despite its premise—billionaire liberal elites kidnapping, drugging, gagging, hunting, and killing a handful of “deplorables”—The Hunt really isn’t that upsetting. If anything, it’s unbiased in a boring sort of way, cautiously pointing the finger at only the most extreme fractions of both sides of the aisle just about evenly. 

The liberals in this film aren’t your typical social-justice-minded, Trader Joe’s shopping neighbors. They’re CEOs and CFOs of major corporations. They eat caviar and fly on private jets. They’re the 1 percent. So when their leader, Athena (Hilary Swank) is forced to resign from her position at the top of the corporate ladder after an embarrassing text thread becomes public—one in which she jokes about murdering “deplorables,” igniting a conspiracy theory among right-wingers online—she decides to make the conspiracy theory a disturbing reality. 

Aside from Crystal (Betty Gilpin), a quiet Army vet with trust issues and impressive combat skills, Athena’s poor, chosen targets aren’t the average small-government-loving, tax-hating conservatives, either. They hunt rhinos. They’re white supremacists. They actively and purposely spread misinformation and hatred online.

So the people watching this movie probably aren’t the ones depicted and criticized in it, and in that sense, The Hunt fails to make a point or take a stance. But it also won’t feel like an affront to anyone watching. It’s approachable to both the red and the blue, something we can all watch and enjoy a little for what it’s worth. And maybe that is the point. (90 min.)

—Kasey Bubnash








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