TV Review: Hunters

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

TV Review, Prime, Amazon Prime, Hunters, Logan Lerman, Nazis, Jordan Peele, Al Pacino, Drama, War

Plot: 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 United States. The eclectic team of Hunters will set out on a bloody quest to bring the Nazis to justice and thwart their new genocidal plans.

TV Review, Prime, Amazon Prime, Hunters, Logan Lerman, Nazis, Jordan Peele, Al Pacino, Drama, War

Review: Ever since GET OUT earned him critical acclam and an Academy Award, every project Jordan Peele has been involved with has been highly anticipated. From his sophomore directorial effort US to the CBS All Access reboot of The Twilight Zone, Peele has yet to have a significant creative misfire. Amazon Prime's Hunters, which emblazons Peele's name every chance it gets, is another win and an astonishingly good series that blends exploitation films, revenge movies, a brilliant cast, and a killer soundtrack. Created by David Weil, Hunters is a brutal series that is unlike anything else currently airing on any network or streaming platform. It is also not a show for everyone, especially those who slink from on screen violence.

Hunters follows a group of disparate characters brought together to track down and kill Nazis hiding in the United States. Led by Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino), the team is made up of movie star Lonny Flash (Josh Radnor), weapons makers Mindy and Murray Markowitz (Carol Kane and Saul Rubinek, Vietnam veteran Joe Torrance (Louis Ozawa Changchien), nun Sister Harriet (Kate Mulvany), and Black Panther Roxy Jones (Tiffany Boone). The newcomer to the group is Logan Lerman as Jonah Heidelbaum, an orphan who lives with his grandmother and deals weed to make ends meet. In the premiere episode, Jonah comes face to face with a Nazi that has a connection to his family which sets him to join the title group of mercenaries.

The feature length premiere is an impressive work, especially considering this is the first writing project from actor and creator David Weil. It is also easy to see what drew Jordan Peele to the project as it is dark and brilliant and takes some liberties with the legacy of post-World War II Jewish hunts for Nazi war criminals. On the villain side, we have Dylan Baker as Biff Simpson, a high ranking US Government official who is secretly a Nazi. In fact, the first five minutes of this series may be one of the craziest and darkest sequences I have ever seen on the small screen. Baker is a great bad guy and is joined by Greg Austin as Nazi fixer Travis Leich and Lena Olin as one of the leaders of the underground Nazis.

The tone of Hunters starts out like a very serious thriller that at times feels like it was inspired by a comic book and other times as the most badass portrayal of Jewish characters ever put to film. If you really think about it, the only movies about badass Jews are MUNICH, CASINO, and THE TEN COMMANDMENTS but Hunters takes things to a new level. But, things shift a bit after the premiere (helmed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon of American Horrory Story and ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL fame). The second episode, directed by veteran TV helmer Wayne Yip, trades in the seriousness of the first chapter for a more dark comedy vibe. Lots of 1970s style grindhouse sequences introduce the various characters who spew lots of Jewish-themed puns.

TV Review, Prime, Amazon Prime, Hunters, Logan Lerman, Nazis, Jordan Peele, Al Pacino, Drama, War

The series also never shies away from some truly vicious violence on screen. There is a good deal of torture on display, both in flashbacks to each of the Hunters' targets as they perpetrated their crimes during the Holocaust but also to the way these characters take their revenge on their prey. You will never look at darts, bowling balls, or showers quite the same way after seeing this show. But this is not just torture porn even though it is quite enjoyable seeing Nazis get what they deserve. Rather, the story also includes FBI agent Millie Malone as she begins to unravel not only the hidden Nazis in her midst but the crew taking them out one by one.

Hunters is a powerful show that takes a similar enjoyment in killing Nazis as Quentin Tarantino did with INGLORIOUS BASTERDS and serves as a very distinct period piece. Al Pacino is really good as the Professor X of this story even if his thick Jewish accent can sometimes come off a bit comical. With a cast full of original characters who each get time for their backstory as the series unfolds, there are plenty of stories to keep this show on the air for seasons to come. Each hour is chock full of tense moments and wonderfully shot sequences that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Some of the references may go over your head unless you grew up in a Jewish household (like me) but you will no doubt still get a great time watching this story unfold. Even though some of the humor bordered on taking this story away from MUNICH and closer to THE HEBREW HAMMER, it manages to straddle that line well. Hunters is a story that should not be as funny as it is nor should it be as shocking, but it works in both ways. Definitely add this to your watch list.

Hunters premieres February 21st on Amazon Prime.

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Source: JoBlo.com

About the Author

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Alex Maidy has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been JoBlo.com's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.