Willem Dafoe plays a hunter who is hired by a biotech company called Red Leaf to find, kill, and take tissue samples of the Tasmanian Tiger, an animal thought to be extinct, like an honest politician.  Why does Red Leaf want the Tasmanian Tiger so badly?   Because it is believed that the TT has a venom that paralyzes its prey, and Red Leaf wants to synthesize it and create a new drug that will be worth a fortune.

And so, Dafoe is sent solo to the wilderness to find this creature that looks like a medium-sized dog that has stripes over the top of its body.  He is given a base camp which is basically a cabin out in the woods that is inhabited by a woman and her young son and daughter.   Dafoe is all business, barely giving the family a thought as he meticulously plans out how he will track his prey using the limited clues given to him by Red Leaf and the locals.  But as time goes by, Dafoe begins to care for the children and their mother; and he wonders of the effect of his killing the Tasmanian Tiger should he come upon it, because it may be the last of its kind.  All this slows down his progress, leading Red Leaf to doubt Dafoe’s commitment to his task.  Drastic measures are taken by the biotech company to ensure that it gets what it wants.

My most memorable, movie moment is what Dafoe does to the Tasmanian Tiger when he does find it.  It’s a powerful, emotional moment that some will understand, and some won’t.

“The Hunter” is a solid, drama/thriller/suspense that has many quiet moments of the hunter who undergoes an unplanned spiritual and emotional journey.   Keep in mind that this is a foreign movie, so don’t expect it to follow typical, Hollywood movie norms and conventions.  Do expect a movie that will stay with you long after the end credits roll.

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