The Hunted ★★★★★

97

On the mechanics of tracking trauma. Benicio del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones star as two men of few words. The former - a killing machine gone rogue. The latter - a teacher tasked to find him while struggling with the lethal knowledge he's provided to his student. What ensues is William Friedkin at his surgical best: pure elemental cinematic fury. A chase movie that rarely halts for a second of breathing room. The catharsis and brutality of the action is given a swift purpose in this minimalist narrative, right down to the editing, which empathizes impression and impact rather than strict cohesion in choreography. The Hunted veers towards abstraction on multiple occasions, and Friedkin is mostly interested in how to convey the movement of these two men, and the psychological relationship between them. Not to mention the gorgeous array of setting, which moves from mossy forests to complex cityscapes and rumbling waterfalls. Put this up there with Apocalypto, Fury Road, and Friedkin's own French Connection as an all-timer chase movie. Cinema as Motion.

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