Underrated Action Dramatic Film with a Tinge of Melanchoy
gobirds2 | New England | 01/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an interesting and highly entertaining film of an actual modern day bounty hunter "Pappy" Thorson played by Steve McQueen in one of his best roles. McQueen gives an excellent performance of the aging bounty hunter that has outlived his usefulness and is out of place in the modern concrete world. One poignant scene has McQueen and Ben Johnson exchanging dialogue between two old lawmen. This was Steve McQueen's last film and you can detect a sense of better days long gone by. Yet he went out in the vein as the cool man of action that he was best associated. This was probably Buzz Kulik's finest directorial achievement as well. Kulik never seemed to live up to his potential, but this is his best effort. Kulik was able to get great performances from the actors and develop a camaraderie that can be felt on the screen. The cast also included Eli Wallach, Kathryn Harrold and LeVar Burton. Composer Michel Legrand who scored "The Thomas Crown Affair" was brought in to score this last film for McQueen. This film was a critical failure. I beg to differ. Knowing a little about the type of man Steve McQueen was this film demonstrates his great ability as an actor and a real human being. He knew the end was near and he wanted to go out the same door he came in."
" My friends call me Papa- you can call me MR. THORSON..."
Matthew Romanchuk | Westwood, N.J. USA | 11/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was Steve McQueens' last film and is not generally held in high regard by critics and fans alike. However, it is an interesting mix of comedy and action with an array of memorable characters that the viewer will remember. McQueen plays Ralph "Papa" Thorson, a modern day bounty hunter that will employ practically any means to capture bail jumpers. ( The real Ralph Thorson has a cameo in the film as a bartender) Though McQueen was ill at the time of production,( he allegedly only found out of his terminal condition after checking into the hospital after filming was completed) he gives a multilayered performance which shows his high degree of skill as an actor. There are of course some excellent action sequences, but what is more interesting is the subtle/low key humour that McQueen employs to round out his character: he is shown to be a terrible driver in the movie, while in real life he was near professional level. Also his love of antiques shows his old school obsessions and distrust of the modern world. " Anything new is not good." he states rather ruefully. There is a sweet subplot where his girlfriend( Kathryn Harrold) is preparing to have their child which collides with the scary main plot where a former quarry turns the tables on McQueen and comes after him for revenge. Eli Wallach is very amusing in a supporting role as a bail bondsman, as Levar Burton is as a bail jumper who is befriended by McQueen and starts hanging around his house. Mixed in along the way are several other scenes which show the professionalism and determination of McQueens' character to carry out his job, but still remain an honest and decent man at the end of the day. One in particular is very disturbing where a cop friend of McQueens' gets into deep trouble and can only see a violent solution to his problem. In 1980, I was on a plane from New York to Chicago when Good Morning America showed a clip from this just released film. It was very interesting to me that when I observed the fellow passengers( practically all of them were businessmen in suits fiddling with reports and calculators) they were simply hypnotized by Steve McQueens' presense when with gun in hand, he confronts a would be escapee with grit and droll humuor. I kind of felt then that they were thinking: " Yeah, I wish I was doing something like that and was this guy." So in summary, " The Hunter" is a well made action film/character study which caps the great Steve McQueens' career. Audiences will also appreciate the subtle/sly comedy which is very deftly worked into the film. Thankyou Mr. McQueen. Your work will not be forgotten."
Fitting movie to end a career
Matthew Romanchuk | 05/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"McQueen is fantastic as Papa Thorson - a bounty hunter devoted to his family, friends and work. This is Steve McQueen's last film before he died, and rates as one of his best in my opinion, along with The Sand Pebbles, Papillon and The Great Escape. The Chicago chase scene is awesome, and McQueen's acting as the unlikely hunter is very believable. They don't make action flicks like this anymore, with the lead as a real person, not just a macho gun toting hero. Recommended."
McQueen's last movie still a good one
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 08/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Hunter is a very exciting movie based on the exploits of real life bounty hunter Ralph "Papa" Thorson. The movie follows his efforts to bring the bad guys in at all costs. One of the best scenes in the movie involves Thorson chasing his man through the streets of Chicago, the subway, and then up one of the towering parking garages that border the Chicago River. Needless to say, the chase ends with a bang. As well, there is a subplot involving a man named Mason, a speed freak bent on getting revenge on Thorson, the man who brought him in. Also, Thorson's girlfriend is pregnant causing him that much more problems. The story is very enjoyable. Even though it deals with a possibly dark subject, bounty hunting, the movie has a comedic edge in several scenes as McQueen repeatedly chases different criminals down. Although this may not be the best movie McQueen made it is still well worth a watch. Steve McQueen is at his best in this movie even though it is obvious he is struggling with lung cancer. You can tell he had fun with the role though as a man who refuses to let things go. As well, his character is a horrible driver constantly hitting parked cars, driving up on sidewalks, and even destroying a Trans Am. Considering the fact that McQueen was such a good driver makes this all that much more funny. The film also stars Eli Wallach, Kathryn Harold as his girlfriend Dotty, Lavar Burton as Tommy Prince, a teenager Papa takes in, and a small but enjoyable role for Ben Johnson as Sheriff Strong. The DVD contains the widescreen presentation of the movie as well as a theatrical trailer, both of which look very good. Fans of McQueen will love this movie! For an exciting movie with a good story, exciting action, and a great performance by Steve McQueen check out this movie!"
Old school action hero.
William Flynn | fredericksburg Va USA | 01/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Steve McQueens final film is always so refreshing to watch. It is all so very real, Steve comes through very genuine in the Hunter. I think this role fit him best, after all Steve wanted very much just to be a regular American guy. Steve always worked very hard to make his films as real as possible. I do not enjoy modern action films as much because the toughguy is usually as much as a jerk! as the villians. Steve always seemed to bring a sense of fairness and good will to his characters. His good sense of character shows through in "The Hunter". Steve as Papa Thorsen always reminded me of my Uncle. This was the very first film I watched with my Dad in the theatre. I was nine years old. Through the years other films have faded from my memory. I will never forget "The Hunter" nor will I ever forget Steve Mcqueen, he was a class act."