Amazon Prime Review: Hunters

Wow, remember when I said “I basically have [all the] time [in the world] to catch up on delayed streaming reviews”? If not, it’s okay because I do…I said/implied that, thinking that I would be writing everyday and then staggering the releases of my review posts to gather a steady stream of views for weeks and months on end. That was the dream. Now I turn to Plan B: Actually work from home for three weeks and fill my extra time doing other things, then realize I haven’t reviewed anything since I said I would and frantically work on anything to appease readers. Truth. (I don’t like Plan B). But hey, I’m here and you’re here so let’s just do this thing.
The year is 1977, but the biggest news in America isn’t President Jimmy Carter inauguration, nor is it the space adventure film Star Wars: A New Hope opening in theatres to reviews like “the most elaborate, most expensive, most beautiful movie serial ever made” (New York Times) and, “The magic of Star Wars is only dramatized by the special effects; the movie’s heart is in its endearingly human (and non-human) people” (Roger Ebert, giving a perfect 4 star review). Not even Arnold Schwarzenegger’s docudrama Pumping Iron is on the front page. No, according to newcomer creator David Weil, the biggest story is Operation Paperclip. Following WWII, the U.S. government recruited over over 1,500 German scientists for the purpose of harnessing their scientific research to keep it from falling into the hands of the Soviet Union. President Truman forbade the government from bringing any Nazi members or supporters, but this only lead to many war crimes being eliminated from records without punishment. And for Weil’s debut series Hunters, that is where history ends and fiction begins. Because now some of the Nazi regime’s highest ranking officials have successfully assimilated into American life, all the while plotting a weaponized comeback as the superior race…that is, unless the Hunters can stop them. Get ready for a Nazi-slaying good time, filled with secret bunkers and hidden treasure, swinging bookshelves, German codes and puzzles, and all the fake identities one can muster. Hunters is a show that I quite enjoyed, with it’s unique spin on historical events and a great supporting cast.
19-year-old Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Fury) lives with his aging grandma, doing his best to help pay rent and provide them with a comfortable lower-class life. But when his grandma, a holocaust survivor, is murdered in cold blood, Jonah’s world is broken. Disconnected from his Jewish heritage, the only people left in his life are friends. That is, until Meyer Offerman shows up. Offerman (Al Pacino) not only acts as a father-figure, but also presents him with a new option: find revenge by joining the Hunters. Jonah’s thirst for vengeance is a stark contradiction to his grandma’s desire for him to be an upright, moral Jew. As the season progresses and the Hunters stumble upon the Nazi’s plot to start the Fourth Reich, the dissonance follows Jonah in every choice he makes, right up to the very end.
The bank, the fixer, the weapons specialist, the muscle, the pretty boy, the spy, the level-headed one, and the kid. It sounds like an Ocean’s Eleven cast, or even an extension of The Breakfast Club. I already mentioned the cast as one of my favorite parts of this new series, but honestly c’mon. Pacino and Lerman are fantastic and play off each other very well. While Logan’s leadership character starts to grow throughout the first season, there are a lot of questions raised about Offerman as the leader of the group and the decisions he makes. Also in the group are Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother), Carol Kane (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), and Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13), among other up-and-coming actors. In addition to the Hunters, Jerrika Hinton (Grey’s Anatomy) plays an FBI agent hot on their trail, who adds a consistent lawful center to the show’s plot, seeking justice at all costs. She’s both tough and sensitive, and isn’t above bending the rules to achieve her ends. And even her character is starkly contrasted by the neo-Nazi psychopathic hit-man Travis Leich, played by Greg Austin, who although in the youth of his acting career appears almost a veteran. Leich plays by his own rules, adhering to the demands of others only to serve his own end and only when he deems necessary. His character is one of the more interesting to watch unfold throughout the season.
The first season ends on a seriously big cliffhanger that I won’t divulge, but I’m sure will lend a huge hand into the central plot of season two. With great writing, this show is further evidence for declaring Amazon the front-runner in original content. And speaking of, two of my next five streaming series reviews belong to that growing vault of content. I have to go all the way back to December releases in order to manage reviewing the ones I’ve missed, but it’s worth it. One thing I haven’t mentioned in a while is the scoreboard, so I went back and tallied reviews; this review puts Amazon Prime…behind Netflix 7-12. Bummer. If you’re interested, right now I’m working on watching both the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (1 episode/week…bleh) and Better Call Saul (1-2 episodes/day…lol). I still have at least three weeks of time away from traveling to work, so I’ll attempt to better manage a regular release schedule until our state quarantine ends. If you’ve already seen Hunters, let me know what you thought in the comments! Thanks for reading, cheers!

2 thoughts on “Amazon Prime Review: Hunters

    1. I can honor that, three episodes is a decent amount for any show to gauge interest and this one did start off rather slower – a lot of character intrigue. I think it’s right after that though that you really start to see the group dynamics and some good backstories.

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