Hunters, Amazon Prime
- Brian Donaldson
- 21 February 2020
Comic-book style vigilante caper with Al Pacino fails to find its tone
When Al Pacino comes to consider his late-era work, his portrayal of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa in The Irishman is likely to give him more pleasure than this depiction of a vengeful Nazi hunter. As always Pacino gives it his all, this time as Meyer Offerman, a concentration camp survivor who decides to head up a diverse crew to eliminate the lead members of a new Fourth Reich which is being gathered up in 1970s America. But the tone of Hunters shifts around too wildly in a series which isn't sure whether to go for a flashy superhero comic vibe or to treat its subject with the gravitas it might deserve (the scenes of Auschwitz in particular are a bit too glossy for comfort).
Among the baddies are old-schoolers played by Lena Olin and Dylan Baker while Greg Austin is a cold-blooded alt-fascist whose eyes fill up at the very mention of the Führer. Meanwhile, the good guys rely on badasses such as a wisecrackin' medallion man (Josh Radnor), a Foxy Brown-alike (Tiffany Boone), a no-nonsense nun (Kate Mulvany) and a married couple of codebreakers (Saul Rubinek and Carol Kane). Over in the middle ground (for now) is cop Millie Malone (Jerrika Hinton) who closes in on both groups as the bodies start to pile up, not realising that she has also become a prime target for the Nazis.
Attempting to underpin this narrative is young Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman) whose grandmother's murder is the trigger for these cartoon capers, but he's not certain whether he wants to hang out with his pals discussing Batman while smoking improbably massive joints in very public places or becoming the hero of the piece with his ultra-intelligence, boyish good looks and growing thirst for vengeance.
It seems unlikely that over its ten parts Hunters will become anything other than flashy entertainment which tries to hint at broad themes of the morality behind revenge and a growing right-wing threat in today's USA. While Pacino does his brilliant best and seems to be having a degree of fun, you wonder whether he will watch this back with anything other than a twinge of regret.
Episodes watched: 4 of 10
Hunters is available on Amazon Prime, Friday 21 February.