by Tracker students
There was some question as to the degree to which Tom Brown had left his
stamp on this movie, but I do not feel that Tracker students will be
disappointed in any way. My opinion is that Tommy Lee Jones must have spent a
lot of time with Tom on the set as his portrayal is right on the mark. You can
see it in his mannerisms, the way he walks and talks, and even shows off a
little of the famous Tom Brown temper near the beginning. Of course its not 100%
Brown, but you wouldn’t expect it to be.
Tracker students will see a whole other dimension to this film. Tracking
sequences are excellently done with direction of attention through photography
so you can see the details of the tracking process. I’m sure the general
public won’t notice a lot of things that are in the images that flash on the
screen (and I can’t wait to get a DVD version so I can freeze frame some of
them). "Inner Vision" is dealt with subtly and respectfully (-again,
something the general audience will miss). Hand drill fire, flint knapping,
stalking techniques, fox walking, empathy for animals... -Tom’s mark is all
over this film. Much more so than I really expected. I found the fight scenes to
be very realistic, unlike so many martial arts scenes.
Definitely worth seeing -- worth seeing twice if you are Tracker trained.
...Oh, and the web site is pretty good too:
Review by Peter Wiinholt, Tracker student from Ontario
|Keep your eye open for some of
the traps that are set, and ask yourself, "where is the tension
that would cause the trap to spring?" "what is the trigger set
with?" I will have to watch again and see if I can spot this but I
missed it the first time out.
Other questions to ask yourself: How long does it take to flint nap a
knife? Why build a monster mammoth crushing trap when a leg breaker
would suffice? How do you heat iron hot enough to forge with a campfire
and no bellows in sight? I will have to look for a bellows next time I
see it. And if you're being hunted do you really want to be banging away
on a rock with iron and iron forging a knife? Makes lots of noise last
time I was in a smithy.
On a less technical note, I thought the movie would have been
strengthened by showing more background as the tracker taught his
students. The psycho student regarded Tommy Lee as a father...they could
have shown how that relationship developed. In doing that, they could
have added many more little tracker type scenes such as pressure
releases in tracking, how to track, become the animal, meditation, inner
vision. They could have shown the forging of the bond between the two
and perhaps explain why Tommy Lee tried to push it all behind him, even
when it came at the expense of a "son". I think the movie had
a chance to really delve into the characters and the relationship
between them, and in the process, show some more tracking/survival type
In doing so, it would have made other parts of the movie more
accessible to the average viewer. For example, people are wondering how
Tommy Lee managed to track his quarry on city streets and know when the
quarry had doubled back, all without leaving a track on concrete. If
they had had a 30 sec-60 sec clip on inner vision previously in the
movie, this would have explained how he knew. As it was, tracking was
just something you did and was not something you lived (which as Tom has
pointed out again and again, you live tracking, you don't just do it).
Still, I enjoyed the movie, and having taken 4 of Tom's courses,
there is a lot more you can see than the average viewer would. I thought
the brief clip of Tommy Lee talking to his new recruits in a flashback
was great as he was wearing a tom brown mustache, and he had Tom's
"attitude" (for better or for worse :-)
|I saw the movie last night and I
really commend Benicio and Tommy for their knife scenes...I didn't get
to see much stalking, though, which was a bit disappointing. I did like
the parts where they showed the two characters making their own knives;
keep your eyes open for Tom Brown's hands when he's making the stone
knife....I also liked the parts where Tommy was training Benicio...I
definitely recommend everyone go see this movie...
|I saw the movie Saturday
night........I thought it violent too, but I picked up alot more of the
spiritual, skills,and teachings of Grandfather. I especially liked it
when Tom's character (the good guy) used "spirit" tracking and
when you could actually feel his pain when he had to kill his
I also felt the pain of the "bad guy" when he suffered the
original trauma of the war and the confusion and
turmoil his mind went through as he tried to protect the animals he had
learned to be brothers with....and for anyone that has taken the Scout
Protector Course, there were palpable moments when you could really see
del Toro "let the animal run"....did I notice the "good
guy" let that animal out to run, that was when
he had to kill his student. I think Tommy Lee did a fair job of
portraying TB, but I have never seen TB be as figity as Tommy Lee
portrayed him........but then I have never seen TB when he was on a case
I do wish that the Tommy Lee character had done more with camoflage and
more "stalking". The fast pace
through the forest was a bit noisey (cant imagine TB being so noisey),
but, as you say, it was HOLLYWOOD.
I guess I was a bit disappointed that there wasnt MORE of TB in the
character.........I would LOVE to see a
movie about TB.....not just a hollywood film based on aspects of TB.
|I saw "The Hunted" last
nite. While I was not very impressed with the movie, that didn't
disappoint me, as I am not a big fan of Hollywood action movies with
their excessive violence & ridiculous plots, this film being no
exception. What I was disappointed with, though, was that primitive /
survival skills played a much smaller role in the film than I was
expecting, and with the exception of tracking, the skills were all used
by the "bad guy" & shown in an extremely sinister way. Tom
Brown is named very prominently in the credits, but I left the cinema
with a feeling that the film will not be a benefit to Tracker School or
getting Grandfather's skills "out there" to the public.
However, there was a very positive review of the movie today on
National Public Radio. They talked about Tom Brown's legacy and how he
provided expertise in making the skills look authentic on screen. The
movie reviewer even went to the length to go tracking with Tom and spoke
glowingly of him & his skills, recording a brief sound clip of Tom
pointing out a nearly-invisible deer track in dead leaves. Check it out,
you can hear the review by going to
and click on the icon that says "Listen to Weekend Edition -
Saturday Audio". The review left me feeling that even if the movie
was not that great, this kind of publicity could be very beneficial to
Tracker School & all it stands for.
|Just saw the movie and thought it
was awesome! The fight scenes were incredible. I thought TL's character
was pretty cool; I liked him more than I expected to.
I had high expectations and was not disappointed. I plan to see it
again soon now that I know what happens. I want to look for the details,
especially in the tracking scenes.
|Quite the movie!!
I would just state the obvious: there seemed to be a real tension
between down to earth traditional skills like tracking, fire, knive
making, love for animals---VERSUS---the violence of knife fights, combat
and lots of blood. The tension seemed most present within the hunted
person (his name--Erin?) as he had the gentleness of teaching a child to
track squirrels but also the quick reflex of killing anyone in his way
(otherwise nice guy in a bad circumstance and mental state). Definitely
worth seeing for those interested in the traditional skills--trackers
will pick-up on the little things others would miss -- although the
tracks were made obvious enough for the bigscreen.
I hope there are more movies in the future like this--of course, with
more emphasis on the traditional skills and tracking.
|I finally saw THE HUNTED tonight.
My overall impression, honestly, is that it was awesome. Yes, it was
extremely violent and Hollywood in the extreme, but the skills were
there on the silver screen for all to see and wonder about. The
paralells between the Tommy Lee Jones Character and TBJ were pretty
obvious to me, a Veteran Tracker Student, but I doubt that most of the
general public would have any way of knowing who or what the film was
really about (beneath the surface). The thing that struck me most about
the film was the portrayal of the skills. There they were, for what they
are--awesome tools of survival--whether in the hands of the good guys or
the bad. I don't know who would not be amazed by them. I'm so glad that
so many people will have access to at least a glimpse of what is
possible in this arena. Throughout the film I found myself thinking:
whoah! I know how to do that! That's a cool feeling. It made me feel
proud to a part of this amazing lineage. Cheers to all involved in the
making of a highly entertaining and educational film. I hope it serves
the school well.
|Lots of Tracker stuff, a lot of
subtle things that a Tracker student will pick up on, like how LT picks
apart tracks, looks for sign, that kind of thing. Also, just a note on
the Tracker knife used in the movie, the handle and knife looks more
like the Beck version than the TOPS version... just an
All in all, for Trackers, I liked the movie, but I feel the story was
just so-so. I also watched the credits, and yes, Tom Brown Jr. is
credited as the Tracking consultant, but no other mention of the school
was made in the credits as was once rumored.
|It was interesting knowing what
scenes were shot and ended up on the cutting room floor. For example,
the chase scene, IN MY OPINION, would have been better if it had been
edited as it was originally shot. It was not shot as a fast paced chase
scene (only till he goes off the bridge). Tommy Lee has to track him
slowly, and as he moves closer and closer, the tension builds between
hunter and hunted. You see the camouflage and traps. You see that the
time involved in the chase was several days, not mere hours. You see
Aaron having time to check his rear, make a knife, and set delaying
traps. I was disappointed that the editing focused on the chase rather
than the hunt. Also, when he is sitting in his girlfriend's bedroom,
Aaron says to JT, if you cross this line, be prepared to kill me. At
that point, he had killed only those trying to kill him or bring him
back in to keep him doing what he does best. He is done with that, and
does not want to kill anymore. He gives them a chance to back off, which
of course they cannot do. But he warns them that if they follow, there
will be hell to pay. After this point, he kills the FBI agents in the
tunnel and flees to the wilderness. The FBI takes a dim view of killing
their agents and now Hallam knows he has to kill Aaron, if for no other
reason than to get there before the FBI does. In the FBI office, Hallam
admits he has never had to kill anyone before, and you see in his eyes
the dread of having to face someone he trained. (true dread). He is not
looking forward to the confrontation, but kind of has to destroy the
monster he created. If he leaves it to others, they may get him
eventually, but many more will die. Another very interesting conundrum.
He knows he has to track and stop Aaron, but he knows that it is a
no-win situation for Aaron, who would rather just run away.
The story is really a great one, but Hollywood gets in the way.
This website has no official or
informal connection to the Tracker School or Tom Brown Jr. whatsoever