A politically charged movie like The Hunt was almost certain to get noticed, but the fact that the film's particular politically charged violence led to the film being pulled from release once, with questions as to whether or not we'd ever see it, certainly increased the volume of the conversations around it. After a delay of several months, The Hunt is about to be released, and perhaps unsurprisingly given the content, there are some divisions regarding what people think, though those distinctions don't necessarily fall down political lines. And also most people agree Bettly Gilpin is awesome.
While The Hunt is a movie about liberal "elites" hunting down conservatives, as the initial premise was revealed, as recent trailers have hinted, that's not all the movie is about, and, in fact, the movie doesn't necessarily pick a side, deciding instead to skewer both sides of the political divide. This works for CinemaBlend's Eric Eisenberg, who gave the film four stars, saying...
[N]ot only is the film a smart, even-handed satire that plays no favorites when poking fun, the way that the narrative surrounding the release ultimately lines up with one of the core messages of the story is so deeply ironic that it is essentially meta.
Any movie that uses politics so openly is sure to be controversial, especially in an era like today where people seem as divided as ever. At the same time, a movie should also be entertaining, and The Hunt is certainly that, according to USA Today. The review also praises the film's ability to make both sides of the political divide the butt of the joke, but in the end, The Hunt is an entertaining action movie, largely thanks to a strong turn from Betty Gilpin, and hopefully we can all agree that's awesome.
It will also tick off those with a thin skin and without an open mind. But if rooting for an awesome female buttkicker with a Southern accent can unite us for the better part of an hour and a half, then we might not be a lost cause after all.
However, while The Hunt may be a bloody good time that points the finger at everybody in an increasingly partisan society, Not everybody thinks that's enough. Collider is critical of The Hunt because, while the film may think everybody on both sides is being terrible, it has nothing to say beyond that fact.
Despite a great lead performance from Betty Gilpin, The Hunt looks at our political moment and thinks we’re all being ridiculous without offering anything of substance as an alternative
Certainly, a film that is trying to balance the entertainment of an over-the-top violent action film with some real satire about current politics has a difficult road to travel, and while some think the movie does a decent enough job with all that, THR, thinks that ultimately, the movie falls a bit flat. While it calls the movie "guiltily engaging," it also thinks that, in the end, the issues become too much for an otherwise simple movie to handle.
If these issues seem a bit too weighty to be resolved by a knock-down, drag-out fight between two women in a hi-tech mansion, it’s also true that, toward the end, the filmmakers’ attitude becomes overly glib and pranky; there’s a notably serious gap between the gravity of the subject and the horror/action manner in which it’s presented.
Similarly, Empire, believes that The Hunt simply isn't as smart as it thinks it is, ultimately ruining what might have been a perfectly serviceable distraction otherwise.
But if any on-screen crime is committed, it’s one of being both glib and boring, weighing down a perfectly trashy concept with half-smart, self-satisfied zingers.
It seems that, whatever your political stripes, The Hunt is going to take aim at you, and so clearly one's willingness to be the target may influence their opinion of the film. If you can handle that, you're probably ready for what will, at the very least, be an over the top, bloody, violent experience, and a strong performance by Betty Gilpin. Whether The Hunt's statements on politics will resonate beyond that, is probably something new we can all fight about.