Star rating – 6/10
The Hunter captures the dramatic and hostile beauty of the Tasmanian wilderness fabulously. Willem Dafoe plays a classic loner who is a hit man on a dubious mission, but whose experiences in the depths of Tasmania fundamentally change him.
He has been sent by a very shady biotech corporation to track down and kill the elusive and near extinct Tasmanian Tiger. (Yes I know - this is now sounding a bit farfetched). But his mission is somewhat interrupted by the relationships he starts to form with the family with whom he has been sent to lodge.
It is a basic morality tale of good versus evil – which is fine, except that the morals of some of the key protagonists get a bit too blurred to hold the story line in a convincing enough fashion. Dafoe is his usual deep, brooding and brilliant self. But Sam Neil’s character, for example, is a bit too much of an archetypal baddie to be equally compelling.
It is an evocative and atmospheric piece, but ultimately the story line does not match the haunting landscape for drama and majesty.