Monday, December 15, 2008
2003 suspense drama by one of my favorite suspense directors William Friedkin who, in movies like The Exorcist and The French Connection, has a nack for scaring the crap out of you and, yet, making it to where you can't turn away. While The Hunted isn't as good as those two, it still falls in comfortably in their family and is really stinking good. The Hunted is about a man, Aaron, (Benicio Del Toro) whose identity was erased by the army so they could train him to be an ultimate assassin and yet he'd be perpetually classified (sort of a Jason Bourne kind of thing). Well, suddenly Aaron snaps and, as an Army guy says in the film, "can't tell the sharks from the guppies anymore" and starts killing people across the Pacific Northwest. Well, guess who else lives in the Pacific Northwest, the very dude that trained him to be this ultimate assassin, L.T. (played very well by Tommy Lee Jones). So they bring in L.T. to track him down and bring him to justice. L.T. is alot like Aaron, in that he's a master at what he does and he works best when he disappears. So, L.T. heads off into the wilderness outside Portland and looks for Aaron. The FBI has been looking for Aaron for some time now and wants to know if L.T. wants provisions, backup, weapons, etc. L.T. doesn't want any of it, not even a walkie talky, he's going in with what he's wearing and he says his only instructions are "if I'm not back in two days, I'm dead." Sound awesome yet? Well, it is. This movie is hella tense and just imagine being alone in the woods looking for a guy who L.T. describes as so good that "most of the people he's killed didn't know he was even in the room with him." Del Toro plays Aaron very very well and seems to simply disappear before your eyes on more than one occasion. And Jones doesn't play his normal character made famous in The Fugitive, instead, here, he's a quirky, eccentric who totally lacks confidence in the interpersonal department. This is one of those classic action movies (almost like an Eastwood western) where the 'good guy' and the 'bad guy' aren't that much apart and seem to really understand each other and yet also understand that the situation demands that they take each other down. Great stuff. Even though Jones is getting on in age, by action movie standards, he does very well in the intense fight scenes in this movie. This is a suspenseful, emotional, lean action flick that will keep you certainly engaged and keep your gut tense. Plus it shows off my home town and some of the beauty that surrounds it. If your looking for a good 'guy movie,' this is the one.