The Hunter is a solid thriller about Martin, a skilled mercenary who is hired by a company to hunt down a rare
Tasmanian tiger wanted for it's genetic material. The film is decent but really struggles by inserting far too many thematic elements into the story structure
which in turn makes the film feel conflicted at to exactly what it's trying to say. Is it a film about
the Hunter's awakening and transformation into a paternal figure or a man vs. nature thriller, is it a film about corporate greed, or just a murder mystery involving the death of a father and husband to the family which Martin stays with while in Tasmania. I think it's more so about Dafoe's transformation but the film never goes deep enough into this cause of all the other plot lines. The film needed to be moodier, more reflective and atmospheric than it actually was, and while towards the end we do get more of that, it's too little too late. There are things to like about the film: Dafoe's great performance, per usual, or a few surprisingly charming/intimate scenes between the Dafoe and the children of the home where he stays, but I think it's a film which could have been much better if not for missed opportunities. Oh, and what a waste of Sam Neil's time really, he needed a bigger more intricate role!
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