by Sean Gangol
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Warning: Contains Spoilers
About three years ago, a movie titled The Hunt (2020) was set to be released into theaters, but was delayed when people feared that it would cause an escalation of political violence. The movie centers around a group of Deplorables who are kidnapped by rich leftists and taken to the countryside to be hunted like wild animals. At the time we had conservative commentators such as Laura Ingraham who said that this movie would incite more violence between those on the left and right. As much as I have enjoyed The Ingraham Angle, I believe that the fears generated by this movie were way overblown.
I have never believed that movies make people do anything. If somebody has enough anger or hatred for his fellow man to commit murder then he is going to do it, no matter what is playing at the local cinema.
The film would later get a quiet release in theaters before quickly making its way to Video on Demand and DVD. It was then that I saw reviews of the movie by conservative and libertarian YouTubers. One of the most notable was a review done by a conservative who goes by the name of John Doyle. He said that the movie glorified violence against conservatives. The other review was by libertarian YouTuber, Sean Fitzgerald who actually goes by the name of Actual Justice Warrior, who said that while the movie did make fun of conservatives, the people who got the worst portrayal were the leftists. He also said that the movie while far from being high art, was still entertaining. After seeing the movie for myself, I would have to say that I am more inclined to agree with Fitzgerald’s take on it.
When I got the opportunity to rent the movie from the Red Box machine, I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. Granted, the plot was far from original, since the concept of hunting humans goes all the way back to The Most Dangerous Game (1924) and has been portrayed in more modern movies such as Hard Target and Surviving the Game. Though I will certainly give the makers of this movie props for doing everything in their ability to keep this movie from becoming generic and predictable. The movie begins when a group of “Deplorables” who find themselves slaughtered left and right by some of the most gruesome means. What is really unique about the movie’s beginning is the way that it fools you several times into thinking that you know who the heroes are going to be. At first you see some handsome guy and a pretty woman that seem to be the top contenders for heroes of the movie, up until they are killed-off in the first five minutes. Well, maybe it’s that guy with a take charge attitude that is trying to lead a group of rednecks to safety. Nope.
The real game changer comes when Crystal (Betty Gilpin), our actual protagonist shows up to kick ass and take names. She represents everything a good female protagonist should be. Besides her ability to kick ass, she is also smart, no-nonsense and quite attractive. To all the SJW’s out there who want to create a strong female protagonist, watch this movie and take notes.
Going back to what John Doyle said about the movie glorifying violence against conservatives, I am actually baffled at how anyone could come to that conclusion. It was like reading a review of a movie and wondering if that critic saw a completely different version than everyone else. What Doyle failed to understand was that The Hunt was actually a parody of the direction that political discourse has gone in this country. The review by Sean Fitzgerald correctly pointed out that the movie pokes fun at both sides of the political spectrum, though the left actually comes off looking far worse. If you want to make a movie that sympathizes with the left and glorifies the brutal deaths of conservatives, then why would the left be the villains in the movie? The leftists in the movie weren’t the likeable Harley Quinn-like anti-heroes. They were murderers who got some sick joy from hunting people with different political views.
It’s also worth mentioning that the antagonists in the movie were given all the worst traits that we see in the radical left. We have fanatical environmentalists, SJW’s and even a crazy animal activist who got more upset about the death of a pig than an actual human being. You even see the snobby elitism that the left often shows towards the “unwashed masses”, while also claiming to be the little guy’s champion.
It is also interesting that the audience for the most part isn’t told how these people being hunted earned the title of Deplorables. We learn that one of the characters that is killed in the first five minutes was a big game hunter. Then there is Gary (Wayne Devall), a podcaster who is targeted for his Alex Jones-like conspiracy theories. We also see stereotypical rednecks, who are also killed in the first five minutes. We don’t even know that much about Crystal, our main protagonist, except that she has a military background.
The problem with John Doyle’s analysis about the movie glorifying the murder of conservatives is that it really makes little sense. The leftists seemed to have the worst qualities of anybody else in the movie. Even the trashiest of the conservatives come off much better than the arrogant psychopaths that represents the left in the movie’s storyline. Doyle even mentioned the confrontation between Crystal and the ringleader, Athena (Hillary Swank), where the reason behind this so-called hunt is revealed. It all happened because Athena and several of her friends were fired because of a leaked email where they talked about hunting “Deplorables” on a piece of land that she owned out in the country. Of course, Athena claimed that it was all a joke, but the email caused so much controversy that the company she worked for decided to fire her and anyone involved. Therefore, Athena and her friends felt they were justified in murdering conservatives, since they were wrong in believing that she and her merry band of leftist were capable of doing such a thing. Doyle believed that this was used as a justification for murdering right-wingers, though I think it was used to show how illogical those people were in their motives. The very fact that Crystal stares at Athena blankly before saying “But you are hunting people” pretty much drives this point home.
Despite the bad press that this movie has gotten from conservative commentators, I actually enjoyed the movie. The movie not only had enough action and suspense to drive it forward, but the tongue-in-cheek approach made it even more fun to watch. Sometimes it’s nice to watch a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
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