Hunt to Kill (2010) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
29Mar/110

Hunt to Kill (2010)

 

I have wept for the death of my beloved 80’s and 90’s action films that Hollywood does not make anymore.   My belief was in the PG-13-ified world of big budget, special effects extravaganzas, this is no room for a violent, explosion filled action film (that is unless your name is Jason Statham).  Yet, my mourning might have been premature because it might be true that these movies are a relic of time passed at the theatres, but are still alive and kicking with direct to video movies.

One such gem in the rough was 2010’s Hunt to Kill starring Steve Austin, who will always be Stone Cold to me. The movie revolves around Jim Rhodes (Austin), a border patrol guard living in Montana with his teenage daughter Kim (Marie Avgeropoulos), who is not happy with the accommodations.  Jim, being the teddy bear dad that he is, wants to spend some quality time with Kim, but she instead leaves and ultimately gets caught while shoplifting.  Halfway across the nation in Reno, a successful heist leads to a double cross by the leader of the group, Lawson (Battlestar Galatica’s Michael Hogan).  Lawson tries unsuccessfully to blow up the rest of his team and when he realizes the plan failed, he high -tails it to Montana in an attempt to cross the border into Canada.  How being in a different country would stop murderous criminals from hunting him down, I don’t know, but that was his plan. The rest of his posse, led by the never intimidating Banks (Gil Bellows), follows him to Montana where of course they cross paths with Jim and his daughter.  Banks and his merry gang kidnap Kim so Jim has to help track down Lawson.  Of course, Jim has other plans and much mayhem and breakage of bones occur.

Noogie!!!!!

Now I have no delusions; this movie was terrible, but it was terrible in a very fun way.  Much like many films in the 80s and 90s starring Arnold, Sly, Van Damme or Segal, not Oscar Caliber movies, Hunt to Kill wore its action roots proud and I liked it for that reason.  It reminded me of all of those movies I grew up watching and that was all I needed.  Some of the things that I loved in this film include:

  • A truly random cameo by Eric Roberts in the beginning of the movie.  Even though he was not the one retiring, it was still very evident that his character was not long for this movie, even more so when he pressures his partner Rhodes into storming a trailer without backup.
  • The drawn out explosion of the trailer after the first action sequence.  It is apparent that the special effects budget was small in this film, and they were going to get their money out of this explosion.
  • The fact that Jim Rhodes is unstoppable and unkillable.  Through the movie, he is shot, stabbed, beaten up and thrown off many sides of cliffs, but like Wylie E Coyote, he just bounces back up.
  • The movie brought back the old staple of after being shot; the hero patches himself up quickly (this time using a hot poker and fire) to show how tough the man is.
  • Jim Rhodes could not kill anyone off without a one-liner, most of them groan worthy.
  • The filmmakers not only get their hero to say the movie’s title over dramatically, but the scene also includes the first death by 4-wheeler I have seen in film.

Steve Austin= cool, Steve Austin+crossbow=Awesome Badass!

The movie could have been better (that is an understatement but hear me out) if the villain was at all intimidating.  Gil Bellows tries with all his might, but his Banks was never scary, threatening, or a match for Austin.  Not everyone can be up to the task of being as physically imposing as ex pro wrestlers.  Even though Austin has lost a lot of his physique since his WWE days and now looks eerily like my Uncle Norman, Bellows is a small man compared to him.  This is when the villain should go the intelligent angle and be the planner, always one step ahead of the white hat.  Instead, Bellows goes the crazy direction, trying to make Banks unstable and dangerous with a short fuse.  This was a horrible decision, because he doesn’t come off as anything but loud, annoying and kind of whiny.  I cringed every time he did has very bad Pacino impression.  In these types of movies, you are supposed to kind of like the bad guys, but between Banks and the computer guy who reminded me of a downtrodden Ethan Hawke, Austin couldn’t dispatch  them soon enough.

The other truly horrendous part of the movie was the daughter.  Let’s be honest. There are a lot of action films that revolve around a daughter being kidnapped and the hero having to rescue his little girl.  Give me 90 seconds and I could probably rattle off at least 10-15 off the top of my head.  Give me 5 minutes and IMDB and that number would go up through the stratosphere. In all these films the role of the daughter is played in one of two ways.

  1. The perfect little girl who loves her daddy and tells the bad guys that no one can stop him and puffs out her upper lip in defiance, no matter what the villain threatens.
  2. The daughter who is at odds with her father only to realize halfway through the movie that her dad is great.  She then loves her daddy and tells the bad guys that no one can stop him and puffs out her upper lip in defiance, no matter what the villain threatens.

 

 

Eric Roberts, king of direct to video films.

 

Hunt to Kill goes against the grain and makes the daughter annoying and a bitch through out the film.  The viewer never likes her, never roots for her, and wouldn’t have minded if the villain had killed her within the first five minutes of screen time.  When the whole reason the hero is battling is for a spoiled unlikable girl, the plot suffers a little bit.

So sure, I thought the movie was badly written, acted and the screenplay was the Frankenstein love child of Commando, Die Hard and Deliverance. Most of the cast was unwatchable and the movie screamed B picture.  Yet, I couldn’t help but enjoy myself immensely.  Sometimes you want to see a flick where a big tough dude dispatches a man with a sharp stick and tells him “sorry I can’t stick around”.  When you are in this mood, you can do much worse than Hunt to Kill.

Hunt  To Kill

Directed by Keoni Waxman

Written by Frank Hannah

Starring Steve Austin, Gil Bellows and Michael Hogan.

Posted by Ryan

Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.


Leave Your Thoughts!

No trackbacks yet.