The Hunting Party, written and directed by Richard Shephard tells the story of television war correspondent Simon Hunt, played by Richard Gere, and his friend/cameraman Ducky, played by Terrence Howard as they search for Bosnia’s most wanted war criminal. Both men were at the top of their fields covering the war in Bosnia when Simon had an on-air meltdown that relegated him to freelance work for smaller stations around the world while Ducky was given a promotion to the comforts of working in the networks studio.
The movie picks up five years after the end of the Bosnian war where the two are reunited during an anniversary celebration in Sarajevo. Ducky’s in town to film the ceremonies for the network and he’s brought along with him a naive, wet behind the ears producer that just happens to be one of the networks executives son. Benjamin, played by Jesse Eisenberg, is anxious to prove his worth and will do anything to show that it he’s his own man and doesn’t need to rely on daddy getting him a job.
Hunt has convinced Ducky to help him track down the Fox, played by Ljobomir Kerekes, a Serbian warlord who’s wanted from crimes against humanity. With Benjamin tagging along, the trio have a number of close calls with death, but they ultimately find their man, who just so happens to have a $5 million bounty on his head. It’s interesting to see how the movie portrays the ineffective U.N. and the U.S.’s involvement in the region. Putting up wanted posters for a man and then having an 800 number that’s only accessible in the U.S. shows how committed we are to the region.
The acting was top notch, Gere manages to take a character who is, undoubtedly, self-absorbed on a certain level and turn him into a character with a surprising degree of vulnerability in the midst of all that ego-driven bravado. Terrence Howard does a good job as Ducky as well, portraying the man that got comfortable at home and how part of him still longed for the days of covering wars and getting shot at. Eisenberg does an excellent job filling out the threesome nicely.The Hunting Party was filmed on location so it lent an absolute sense of authenticity to the movie and gave you a sense of how grave it was in the Balkans. Shepard does a good job with the directing duties as well, making you care about the characters and the story. It’s interesting to note that the movie is based on a real life incident. Overall, The Hunting Party is an excellent movie that makes you actually think of how our inactions effect those for the worse.