Monday, September 26, 2016

The Hunters (2013)

Number Rolled: 53
Movie Name/Year: The Hunters (2013)
Tagline: For centuries, a secret organization has protected the world's greatest treasures. Meet the next generation.
Genre: Family, Action/Adventure
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: Content Media, Arc Entertainment, Raindance Entertainment, Eh-Okay Productions, The Canadian Film and Television Tax Credit, The Province of British Columbia Film Incentive
Producer: Ian Birkett, Nisha Ganatra, Janet M. Morrison, Jason Netter, Heather Puttock
Director: Nisha Ganatra
Writer: Matthew Huffman, Jeff Schechter, Joshua Williamson
Actors: Victor Garber, Michelle Forbes, Alexa PenaVega, Robbie Amell, Keenan Tracey, Kira Clavell, Darryl Quon, Eric Breker, Dan Payne, Alex Zahara, Dean McKenzie, Mark Ghanime

Blurb from Netflix: What if all mythical artifacts, from Jason’s Golden Fleece to Cinderella’s glass slippers, were real -- and protected by a secret society?

Selina’s Point of View:
When I first took note of this film, I thought it would be a watered down version of Warehouse 13 (2009-2013). Really the only thing the two had in common was the secret society dedicated to protecting relics. Instead, The Hunters was more like a PG rated version of Tomb Raider (2001), with an emphasis on family relations.

I’ll be the first to admit that the film followed a very specific recipe. If you’re playing trope bingo, every square will be filled by the end of the movie. Still, I wound up truly enjoying it.

I wasn’t fond of the actors that played the parents. Michelle Forbes (The Returned, The Killing, 24) and Dan Payne (Cabin in the Woods, Stranger in the House, Tower Prep) weren’t believable, they were stiff, and because the movie started off with them I figured the entire film would follow their lead.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Robbie Amell (ARQ, Code 8, The Tomorrow People) and Alexa PenaVega (Nashville, Spare Parts, Machete Kills) were great, but that was expected. I was really surprised, however, by how much I enjoyed Keenan Tracey’s (The Returned, Bates Motel, The 100) performance. This was my first time hearing about him and I’m looking forward to seeing more of his work in the future.

Altogether, I really enjoyed the film. I know I probably liked it more than I should have, but I don’t care. It was fun, entertaining, and easy to watch. It could easily be appealing for children without boring the hell out of their parents. The Hunters strikes that happy medium where a family might actually WANT to watch it together instead of just trying to accommodate the kids.

I’d watch it again and recommend it to any family with kids in the preteen, or young teen, ages.

Cat’s Point of View:
I have to admit that it was quite a relief to have something more light-hearted to watch this time around.

Several of the primary cast members of this film have a bit of a six-degrees connection going on through prior works. It makes for an interesting trivia hunt. I find it fascinating when that happens. One wonders if the casting was done purposefully because of such connections or if the former colleagues were assembled randomly by auditions.

That doesn’t tell you anything about the movie, though.

To sum up my reaction to this film: it was cute, well executed, and enjoyable. I just felt like I’d seen it before, for the most part. The action was good. I appreciated the fight choreography. There was a really good sense of adventure, it was clever, and I was invested in the characters. I can’t really fault any of that.

I just felt like was watching a more sophisticated version of Spy Kids (2001).

Funny enough, that’s one of the movies that Alexa PenaVega (Repo! The Genetic Opera, The Mine, The Tomorrow People) is best known for. She executed her role well, here.

Seasoned actors Victor Garber (Take Me Home, Argo, Self/less) and Michelle Forbes (True Blood, Highland Park, Powers) were a grounding force which helped anchor the plausibility of the story. If only there were more originality to it.

All in all, it was fun and a good movie to enjoy with the family. I wouldn’t have a problem watching it again or recommending it to others. I just don’t think it’s going to be at the top of anyone’s ‘must watch’ list.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 35%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

P.S. Based on the graphic novel Mirror Mirror by Joshua Williamson.

Movie Trailer:

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