A pure aesthetic experience that's as chiseled as the hand crafted knives its two leads make from scratch to stalk and kill each other. A frenzied inverse of a Hitchcock film, where the hero is pressured by the authorities to annihilate the wrong man, who, ironically, isn't so innocent. The ending is one of the starkest, strongest I've ever seen; worthy of Peckinpah in its stern, brusque poetry. Friedkin's best film?
Friedkin is one of the half dozen or so of the greatest action scene directors of all time.... but The Hunted is Friedkin lite. Largely underwritten in character and underdeveloped in both plot and story, it's one of the auteur’s rare missteps. Badly paced without an entrancing rhythm, the film is a generic chase-thriller that’s intriguing PTSD themes are favored for talky scenes and mostly tepidly-staged action.
I thought this would be some stupid movie about bad knife fighting but I was very surprised to be so very wrong. Wrestling with themes of guilt, innocence, authority, law and order, American Empire, veteran ptsd, secret government actions/crimes Freidkin strikes widely yet with pinpoint accuracy in surprisingly austere film regarding everything previously said. Great acting by the leads, more than just "knifing".