The Hunter (2011) starring Willem Dafoe, Frances O'Connor, Sam Neill, Morgana Davies directed by Daniel Nettheim Movie Review

The Hunter (2011)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Willem Dafoe in The Hunter (2011)

The Tasmanian Tiger Hunter

Expert hunter Martin David (Willem Dafoe) is hired by a company called Red Leaf to travel to Tasmania to hunt down the thought to be extinct Tasmanian tiger. Under the pretence of being an environmentalist he stays at the home of Lucy (Frances O'Connor) and her two children Katie (Morgana Davies) and Jamie (Finn Woodlock) in between his extended treks into the nearby wilderness to set traps. But Martin through the help of local Jack Mindy (Sam Neill) becomes aware that environmentalists are not welcome in the area by the loggers and there is suspicion over what happened to Lucy's environmentalist husband who disappeared a year earlier.

I've sat through and reviewed a lot of ordinary movies but there are a few movies which when the credits role I am both impressed with and frustrated by which is the case of this Australian movie "The Hunter". The irony is that "The Hunter" frustrates me for the most ridiculous of reasons and that is because I hadn't got a clue where this movie was going and whilst I like surprises the fact that I couldn't second guess any of it actually annoyed me. Although the astonishingly beautiful scenery certainly eases any annoyance I have from not being able to work out where it is heading.

Sam Neill in The Hunter (2011)

Because "The Hunter" is not one of those movies which you can second guess it actually makes it incredibly difficult to review because it would be wrong to give too much away. But there is this interesting set up which sees Martin heading to Tasmania on this job to kill a Tasmanian tiger whilst harvesting organs and DNA but ending up becoming involved in the lives of the woman and children who he stays with whilst dealing with the locals who dislike environmentalists. It actually sounds pretty straight forwards when written like that but this is a movie full of nuances and a storyline which keeps you on your toes as it is no hurry to spoon feed the audience with answers to their questions.

"The Hunter" also features one of the best performances from Willem Dafoe who makes Martin such a fascinating man. On one side he is a mercenary, hired to kill a seemingly extinct animal and seems very proficient in what he does with careful methods behind his setting of traps. But then there is the cold kindness as when he is in Lucy's home he tries to help them out especially with Lucy in a drugged state ever since her husband vanished. It is impossible to work out Martin's motivation and with not being able to fathom out where the movie is heading adds to the mystery but also the frustration for those like me who like to second guess what is going to happen.

What this all boils down to is that whilst "The Hunter" frustrated me it was only for a silly reason and in truth it is a very good movie with plenty of originality and mystery which keeps you watching. On top of that there is not only the fantastic scenery but also Willem Dafoe who is at his best in this movie.