Thursday, October 20, 2022

Hunted (Yet More People Hunting People)

If the UK hadn’t banned fox hunting, it might have saved these working-class thieves a lot of trouble. Naturally, these upper crust hunters turn to hunting people as a way to keep their traditions alive. That might sound extreme, but the Manhattan DA wouldn’t even prosecute them for it, as long as they kept their hunt to the subway platform, forcing them down to the level of tacky proletariat killers. Indeed, the hunters find there is a lot of fight in their prey during the course of Tommy Boulding’s Hunted (a.k.a. Hounded, a more descriptive title), which opens tomorrow in Los Angeles.

Leon thought he was done burgling high-class estates after raising enough money for his brother Chaz’s uni tuition, but he agrees to one more job. They were supposed to pilfer a ceremonial hunting knife, but it was a set-up. Suddenly, they wake up in a field with a pack of hounds baying after them. Katherine Redwick, her distinguished father Remington, and her hot-blooded brother Hugo intend to introduce her twit nephew Mallory to the hunt, using them as a substitute for the fox.

It seems like just illegally hunting foxes would be easier and cheaper to cover-up than hunting people, but apparently this is a long-standing Redwick tradition. It keeps the uppity lower classes in their place, as the loaded, class-conscious dialogue makes ridiculously obvious. Listening to the Redwicks will make any reasonably grounded viewer roll their eyes, but the rest of the film is competently executed. It just lacks style, originality, and inspiration. Frankly, it deserves a non-descript title like

The charmless protagonists are hard to care about, but Samantha Bond (Pierce Brosnan’s Moneypenny) and James Lance (Trent Krimm in
Ted Lasso) chew plenty of scenery as Katherine and Hugo Redwick. At least they are not boring, unlike their prey—which might be the kindest thing we could say about them.

There are just so many films like this. Presumably, screenwriters Ray Bogdanovich and Dean Lines hoped to distinguish it with some crude class warfare, but it just makes it sound silly. Not recommended,
Hunted opens tomorrow (10/21) at the Laemmle Glendale.