Director William Friedkin has a great track record for examining his characters' inner turmoil as they battle the forces of good and evil. Friedkin is best known for pitting a mother, a detective, and a priest against the devil inside the little body of Linda Blair in The Exorcist. But some of Friedkin's best work can be seen in the action thriller The French Connection, where he transcends the raw power of the action film genre into something highly sophisticated and thought provoking. Thematically, The Hunted is comparable to Connection. However, those expecting Friedkin to deliver another quality action picture like Connection will be sorely disappointed.
The film opens during the war in Kosovo as highly trained hand-to-hand combat assassin (or "tracker") Aaron Hallam (Benicio Del Toro) carries out his military assignment to murder a high-ranking official. He receives a silver star for his valor, but he is scarred and haunted by the widespread images of genocide. Like Rambo, his adjustment to civilian life is difficult as he finds himself unable to turn off his instinctual killing machine. He ends up hunting the forest outside Portland, Oregon looking for and killing in cold blood anyone betraying the credo of PETA.
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