Hunters on Amazon Prime Video starts like it means business. It grabs you by the short and curlies, and within 120 seconds, screams into your face, “Watch me!” In this binger’s opinion, it has the best opening to a show in recent memory.
Two things to know about this Amazon Prime Video Hunters review:
- We aim to be 100% spoiler-free, so this is all opinion.
- We watched the whole series, not just an episode like other websites.
A feature-length first episode
The first episode is jam-packed with impeccable character development, action, and twists that not even Al Pacino’s weird-ass accent could stop from being engrossing.
Here’s a quick Hunters synopsis:
“In 1977 New York City […] the Hunters, as they’re known, have discovered that hundreds of high ranking Nazi officials are living among us and conspiring to create a Fourth Reich in the U.S. The eclectic team of Hunters will set out on a bloody quest to bring the Nazis to justice and thwart their new genocidal plans.”Deadline
It sounds bold, and the first episode, where Pacino and Logan Lerman come together, doesn’t let us down. Simply put, Jordan Peele (Get Out) and the unknown David Weil give us one of the best first episodes of 2020.
It’s a 90-minute work of art. It’s an episode that shows, not tells. It has a breakneck pace and a depth of character that every show creator should aspire to. This is how you set up a series. Sadly, the rest of the series isn’t the one promised in the first episode.
What happened next
Episode 2 of Hunters feels like a broken hodgepodge. A Frankenstein monster released by a chop shop studio for TV shows. It’s a massive disappointment, going from a Tarantino-styled, character-driven conspiracy investigation to a shallow comic book show of heroes vs. Nazis.
Those who made the first episode get an A+. The rest of the crew get a timeout like naughty boys and girls. The biggest issue is that David Weil, the show creator gave us 90 minutes to become emotionally involved with Pacino and Lerman. He then throws several more characters at us to digest in an hour. It changes the show dynamic, and there is no recovery from there.
Too many characters spoil the broth
If these characters are important enough to be included, some of them should have been in the first episode. Instead, we get a disjointed second episode where bits and pieces of backstory poorly pitch strangers to us. It’s boring, and by the end we’re in a repetitive loop, because this format goes on to be the norm.
By the end, it felt like two different productions: A 90-minute movie and a comic book-style series. One is great, the other is unoriginal, and together it’s a mashup that’s not worth your time. Save yourself nine hours and just watch the first episode.
A big problem with the series is that it just feels watered down. It doesn’t have the depth or dialogue of the opening episode. There are too many Hunters who need to be showcased, and we end up suffering for it. From waffling exposition, to comic book-like cliche sequences, the longer the show goes on, the worse it gets. It’s not bad acting, it’s just shallow, predictable, and loses its menace.
What’s bizarre is how it manages to go from being one show to another so quickly. There is no evolution, it just happens. Like they swapped out the creative A-Team for the D-Squad. If they focused on Pacino and Lerman’s war criminal hunt, and introduced new characters gradually, it could have worked.
In the end, the quality of the initial episode becomes a distant memory. Nine hours of weak cliches, stereotypes, and predictability will do that.
Hunters on Amazon Prime Video looks fantastic in 4K with HDR. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support Dolby Atmos.
Hunters verdict: Kill
- Streaming on Amazon Prime Video
- Created by David Weil
- Starring Logan Lerman, Al Pacino and Lena Olin
A show gets greenlighted based on the strength of its pilot episode. So, perhaps Mr Weil came up with a killer first episode, and then Amazon Prime Video decided Hunters needed a dumbed down comic book twist? That’s my theory, and I’m sticking by it.
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