The previews looked like someone had re-tooled Hopkins and Baldwin’s 1997 thiller The Edge. Two elderly-ish men trying to survive, and possibly kill each other in the woods. But what we have here is something new. It is at once a simple action flick–kinda B-movie action at that–and a portrayal of one of the most challenging commandments Jesus of Nazareth issued.
The film begins with scenes of the not-so-familiar Bosnian war. We are shown images of genocide which would be striking if they weren’t nauseatingly familiar. Like Shutter Island before it, we are then shown that even the good guys sometimes commit atrocities. While in Bosnia we think we see Travolta killed. Moments later we are introduced to DeNiro’s character and discover he has taken to hunting in the woods…with a camera instead of a gun. Nothing surprising here.
The fact is nothing too surprising happens for the next hour or so of the film. There is a game of cat and mouse that seems to drag on and on with no point. But then something magical happens–the point appears.
Movies which improve with their run-time are few and far between. I grew up on the idea that most movies can be recognized for what they are in the first minute. This one is a rare exception to that rule.
Now Ma–before you think that you’re ready for this film, allow me to offer a word of caution. There are two surprisingly gruesome scenes that even caught me off-guard. So, just ask me about the movie next time you call and I’ll tell you what is so neat about it.
The rest of you, proceed at your own risk. It’s no Saw, but it still isn’t for the faint of heart. Too bad really, because it’s message is so full of heart.