Tuesday, March 9, 2010

“The Hunting Party”

Start with a war-torn countryside, add a dash of satire, a little action and a pinch of sermonizing and you’ll have “The Hunting Party.” This not quite fully-baked mixture stars Richard Gere as Simon Hunt, a burnt-out war correspondent banished to Bosnia after suffering an on-air meltdown. Five years later, Hunt’s ex-cameraman “Duck” (Terrance Howard), who’s traded in the war zone for a network job, is back in Bosnia to do a puff piece on the war’s end with Benjamin Strauss (Jesse Eisenberg), a young reporter (and son of the network’s V.P.). Hunt entices Duck by claiming he’s after an interview with a notorious war criminal known as the Fox (Ljubomir Kerekes). It’s not until the three of them are in the thick of it that Hunt reveals his true intention. My tweet pretty much sums it up: The Hunting Party-Reporter Richard Gere realizes it’ll take more than a story to restart his career & goes after a war criminal instead. 6.5 (out of 10) The producers of “The Hunting Party” make a point of telling you this is a true story. Which may be because they had a hard time conjuring up believable characters. Hunt is the beaten-down, yet eternal, idealist, Duck is the corporate sellout trying to convince himself he isn’t and Strauss is the nervous newbie who surprises everyone by having a backbone. The movie has its moments, like this exchange when Hunt meets Strauss for the first time: “Benjamin, you look young enough to be someone important’s son.” But there aren't enough of those moments to lift this movie. Bottom line: it’s an okay flick but you can do better.  

Another Richard Gere movie you might like: “The Hoax”

“The Hunting Party”

Released: 2007

Rating: R

Length: 104 minutes

Cast: Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Jesse Eisenberg

Director: Richard Shepard

Genre(s): Adaptation, Comedy, Action

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