By Dave B.
In Amazon Prime’s Hunters, when his grandmother is murdered in 1970s New York, Jonah (Logan Lerman) discovers a vast conspiracy: there are Nazis living in the United States. Confronted with this reality, he’s recruited by Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino) an old family friend, to join a group dedicated to hunting and killing these monsters. But the Nazis have their own ideas: they haven’t given up their plans for world domination, and through their influence in the halls of American corporate and political power, they are determined to bring about a Fourth Reich.
Hunters…is a bit of a mixed bag. Criticisms that it trivializes the Holocaust feel a bit overdone to me, but the show tends to too often vacillate between grittiness and campiness in a somewhat off-putting way. The performances are generally solid, especially Lerman’s, who believably transforms from a naïve kid into a conflicted, but determined Nazi hunter throughout the course of the season. But while the show maintains a brisk pace and avoids being boring, Hunters is written in such a way as to feel very unfocused at times. It’s interspersed with random, fantastical sequences such as dancing, game shows and public service announcements. While they tend to serve a purpose that furthers the show’s message, they also interrupt the vibe of the show. These interludes seem like they’re designed to make the show feel edgy and creative, but instead end up making the audience feel pandered to.
I decided to watch Hunters because I wanted to watch Nazi’s be brutally killed. It’s the big selling point for me in movies like “Inglorious Basterds” and “Overlord”. And Hunters is satisfying in that regard. But beyond that, Hunters delivers a message that I find particularly appealing: There is no negotiating or compromising with Nazis and their sympathizers. Ultimately, there’s only one way to deal with them. If that’s a message that you’re not onboard with, then Hunters isn’t for you.
Ultimately, Hunters is a good, but not great show. It’s welcome, but too frequent levity when dealing with such a serious subject matter, too often devolves into silliness. In short, Hunters has an underlying lack of maturity at times, especially in the earlier episodes. The show serves an important purpose in reminding a new generation that the fight against Nazis and their ilk is eternal, but Hunters is a less effective messenger of that truth than it could be. It’s a good show and I’ll definitely check out the second season when it’s aired, but I for one hope that in the future, the show grows up a little bit.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.