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The Hunting Party (R)





Release Date: September 7th, 2007 by The Weinstein Company.
The Cast: Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Kruger, Joy Bryant, James Brolin, Mark Ivanir, Ljubomir Kerekes.
Directed by Richard Shepard.

BASIC PREMISE: Simon (Gere) and Benjamin (Eisenberg), two reporters, along with their cameraman, Duck (Howard), hunt in Bosnia for a notorious war criminal only known as “The Fox”. Based on a true story.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: From the director of The Matador comes this provocative, suspenseful and timely thriller with a stellar cast. Richard Gere gives a very charismatic and appealing performance as Simon, a reporter TV news reporter who had covered the war in Bosnia along with his cameraman, Duck. Five years, later Benjamin, a young reporter fresh out of college, joins him and Duck on a mission with a clear goal: to capture notorious war criminal “The Fox” who has a $5 million bounty on him. As the plot progresses, the three men get into more and more dangerous situations which put their life on the line. Even though this might sound like a typical cat-and-mouse chase scenario, it always feels suspenseful and intense while becoming complicated and somewhat frightening. In one particularly frightening scene, the three men end up dangled in chains while being held hostage, which also seems like a scene you’d expect to see in Saw or Hostel. Fortunately, writer/director Richard Shepard expertly combines mystery, drama and even some much-needed comic relief. Most importantly, he does a great job of bringing Simon, Duck and Benjamin to life through their well-written dialogue and character development—there’s much more to Simon than meets the eye. The Hunting Party doesn’t have a single dull moment and keeps you thoroughly riveted from start to finish.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Without pointing any fingers at specific political leaders, The Hunting Party says a lot about the problems with the U.S.’s foreign policy and how—and why—the government doesn’t put enough of a strong effort to find notorious war criminals, such as Osama Bin Laden. This really makes you wonder how much—or how little, for that matter—you should really trust our government with promoting justice overseas.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0

IN A NUTSHELL: A powerful and gripping political thriller. One of the most provocative movies of the year.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater.


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