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"The Hunted"

Reviews 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. 8/10

...Oh, and the web site is pretty good too: www.huntedmovie.com/home.html

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 material.

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 :-)

-- KC

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...

-- DR

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 student. 

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 either.
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.

-- SP

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 discover.npr.org/features/feature.jhtml?wfId=1193447, 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.

-- BB

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.

-- TC

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.

-- RC

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 observation. 

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.

--Kevin Reeve

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