Guest Author - Jamise Grace Liddell
The Hunting Party
Starring: Richard Gere, Terrance Howard, James Brolin,
Written and Directed by: Richard Shepard
Rated: R for strong language and some violent content.
Run Time: 96 min
War themed films aren't doing well at the box office lately, and you do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out why. Evidently, the movie goers have their hands and hearts full of "real- time" Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, and do not find the subject of war "entertaining." Which is probably the reason so few people gave The Hunting Party a chance when it was first released. The Weinstein studio, however, was determined to make audiences notice this film which will be re-released, this time a "wide-release" meaning it will open in more mainstream theatres as a opposed to just a few art houses.
The Fox, Bosnia's number one war criminal, is being sought after by Simon Hunt (Gere), a disgraced, but overly confident, daredevil reporter and Duck (Howard), his loyal cameraman. Once an award winning team, the fearless journalists put their lives on the line to bring viewers combat action. But in the midst of one too many combat atrocities, Hunt has a meltdown on live television, and loses his career. Duck is promoted. Five years later the duo reunite, and along with a third musketeer named Benjamin, an aspiring young journalist, they search for The Fox. Along the way, they are mistaken for CIA operatives, and then The Fox begins to hunt them.
Writer and Director Richard Shepard is no stranger to unusual hits, he breathed new life into Pierce Brosnan's career when Shepard cast him in his 2005 hit film The Matador.
By the year's end Howard will have starred in eight films. Where this might be looked upon as overexposure for some actors, fans seem to enjoy and not tire of the versatility and style that he brings to each role.
In all the The Hunting Party is basically lighthearted and interesting. The movie is based on the Esquire article 'What I Did On My Summer Vacation' by Scott Anderson. And while, war is the thematic backdrop, humor and wit carry this tale about career, love, second chances, and "til death do us part" friendship (no, that was not a spoiler).