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Amazon TV: Hunters


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Warning: Some spoilers follow.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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After watching some of the previews for Amazon's much ballyhooed new show "Hunters", I approached with some dread and low expectations.

 

I am pleased to report that I was not disappointed as I watched about 2/3rds of the premier episode before I turned it off in disgust. It was even worse than expected.

 

Perhaps I should have read the shows's premise to begin with and saved myself an hour of my remaining lifetime:

 

"Hunters follows a diverse band of Nazi hunters living in 1977 New York City. “The hunters, as they're known, have discovered that hundreds of high-ranking Nazi officials are living among us and conspiring to create a Fourth Reich in the U.S. The eclectic team of hunters will set out on a bloody quest to bring the Nazis to justice and thwart their new genocidal plans.""

 

Really? If you were going to transplant the Nazi regime to the postwar United States, would New York City really be your first choice?

 

Even if you suspended your disbelief in the absurd to give the show a chance, it still falls short.

 

The plot is filled with 1970's stereotypes that would have been a stretch even during the times. I was there, alive and breathing, and I can say that. There is the downtrodden Jewish kid, his girlfriend with the Afro, the black NYC female police officer who can't get justice for her victims, a very unlikely gun toting nun ... and a backdrop of a city described as hopelessly out of control with drugs, pimps and violence. The way they describe it, one would be shocked anyone got out of NYC alive!

 

Convening this group of diverse "Hunters" is Al Pacino, the inevitable ridiculously rich and all knowing patriarch who knows the real score and brings the others on board. Having viewed the first episode, I don't think this is going to be a plus for his career.

 

The plot is also replete with gratuitous violence that might even make Quentin Tarantino wince as far as wasted screen time.

 

The "Nazis" are not only trying to return to power, they are systematically combing America and assassinating people who might bear witness against them! Ergo, the fight is on!

 

SPOILER:

 

This show opened with a discovered high profile Nazi, who is now a high profile member of the American government, gunning down not only his guests at a garden party but also his wife and children so that he will not be unmasked.

 

Obviously such scenes fit the unfortunate pattern of some on-line series of using extreme shock to get the viewer to stay tuned to wait for more. But saying it was over the top would be an understatement. The character could have killed off one other person who had the misfortune to recognize him, and in the hands of a skilled director it could have been just as effective. But no, in order to sell the show, blood and bullets abound without restraint.

 

The final straw was an absurd scene designed to show the horrors and barbarism of the concentration camps by having the inmates play a fatal game of human chess. This visual outrage has already lit up commentary on the internet. https://www.thewrap.com/hunters-did-nazis-really-play-murderous-human-chess-in-concentration-camps/

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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So, what is my real objection here?

 

There is a difference between taking artistic license with historical events for dramatic purposes and twisting history beyond recognition.

 

This show and others like it actually depreciates the understanding and drama of events that actually occurred.

 

There were Nazis who found safe haven in the United States. Some were sponsored (and heavily monitored) by the US Government for intelligence or technical research purposes. Others snuck in under the radar. If they were smart, they lived quiet lives and hoped to remain unnoticed. Some of these made it till the last few decades undetected.

 

An organized underground bent on overthrowing the United States and shooting down people around the country? It did not happen. You have to look elsewhere for that in countries like Argentina.

 

If nothing else, this show cheapens the story of real Nazi hunters, and how their quarries were brought to justice. A better use of time would be spent watching Operation Finale

(the capture of Adolph Eichman), or either version of Judgement at Nuremberg (although I prefer the 1961 version).

 

An excellent pair of resistance movies, which involve getting back at Nazi's include Defiance (Polish and Jewish Resistance fighters in the woodlands) and the somewhat unevenly paced but ultimately satisfying Anthropoid (assassination of Reinhard Heydrich).

 

If you really want to take a deep dive into old school Nazi's trying to take over or at least unbalance the world, go to The Boys from Brazil, or Tom Clancy's The Sum of All Fears.

 

If you really, really, really want shameless violence in wiping out Nazis, you always have Inglorious Bastards by the man who is the master of the genre, Tarantino.

 

Any of these would be better than Hunters. Amazon bought 10 episodes of this visual horror... one can only hope it goes away without renewal.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Trailers screamed boogie nights and I promptly forgot all about it.

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Saw the add banners on Amazon, but didn't plan on watching it at all. Your comment about blood and bullets and "shock" levels is totally true about newer films/shows. If there is a really good actor, they don't need you to see the "blood" or the "shock". A good actor can totally move you with their own reaction like a lot of outright gore or violence will never do.

 

Thanks for the review! I though you wrote a really entertaining and insightful look at it! I appreciate anyone who does reviews like this and saves my hours of remaining ife. :)

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Oh, tarry and be strong; Tell God in prayer. What is thy hidden grief; Thy secret care.

Yet, if no answer come; Pray on and wait: God's time is always best; Never too late.

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