Amazon's 'Hunters' is a magically violent fairy tale about killing Nazis | It may not be for everyone, but there's a very specific audience that's gonna have an awful lot of fun with this series.

Amazon's 'Hunters' is a magically violent fairy tale about killing Nazis

Amazon's 'Hunters' is a magically violent fairy tale about killing Nazis

Amazon's 'Hunters' is a magically violent fairy tale about killing Nazis

Amazon's 'Hunters' is a magically violent fairy tale about killing Nazis

Amazon's 'Hunters' is a magically violent fairy tale about killing Nazis

Amazon's 'Hunters' is a magically violent fairy tale about killing Nazis
Amazon's 'Hunters' is a magically violent fairy tale about killing Nazis
  • By: mashable.com
  • Views 3
0
Shared

We Jews have a word for the way I feel about Amazon's Hunters. It's dayenu, or translated, "it would have been enough."

Hunters exists to show us the myriad ways a Nazi can die horribly – alone, afraid, and cornered. There are Nazis screaming in pain. Nazis begging for their lives. Nazis fooled into thinking they'll live, only to face the horror of a long, slow, torturous death while a multicultural gang of Jews and Nazi hunters gathers around to bear witness.

Dayenu.

Hunters is cut, somewhat roughly, from the same fairy-tale cloth that Quentin Tarantino wove into Inglourious Basterds. It's not quite as polished as Q.T.'s World War II masterpiece, but they both turn gratuitous Jewish vengeance into a gleeful bloodsport. Hunters just does it a little more unevenly.

The story opens in 1977 New York City with a 90-minute premiere that introduces Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman), the star of our story. Jonah lives the simple life of an innocent city-bred teenager when we meet him, but his world is soon shattered by a violent event.

One evening, an assailant breaks into the home Jonah shares with his savta (grandmother) and murders the old woman in cold blood. Crippled by fear, Jonah fails to intervene – though it would have surely left him dead as well – and the life he once knew quickly starts to fall apart.

Without getting into the spoiler-y specifics, he soon falls in with a group of Nazi hunters led by one Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino). The group is dedicated to rooting out what is apparently a small army of Nazis who found a way to survive and forge new lives in the United States after the war. The hunters find these Nazis, stage a reading of their misdeeds, and then kill them – often in creative ways, inspired by the heinous acts each Nazi is guilty of committing.

Hunters is cut from the same cloth that Quentin Tarantino wove into Inglourious Basterds.

Nearly every episode in the first half of the season Amazon provided for review intercuts the present-day story with glimpses into the past. And so we spend a lot of time in Nazi death camps witnessing the horrors of the Holocaust. If you've never seen any photos or documentaries recounting those dark years, the sheer inhumanity of these sequences may be difficult to watch.

They serve a different purpose in Hunters, however. The series functions primarily as a work of "Jewsploitation," reclaiming the popular narratives around victimized Jews in film. The show's many sojourns into 1940s Europe fixate on uncovering the glimmers of hope in a hopeless situation, and on telling the untold stories of unlikely heroes finding ways to resist in the face of pure evil. 

So we do see Nazi soldiers and officers visiting horror after horror upon their captive Jews. But we also see how those despicable acts become a source of strength for the would-be victims, and a reason to fight. It may not be universally true. It doesn't have to be. In the grand tradition of exploitation cinema, Hunters feeds into the most gratuitous impulses of a Jewish audience.

If only it weren't so uneven. The premiere especially is quite a slog, delivering a feature-length story that feels fundamentally different in tone than everything that follows it. The cinematic flourishes and humorous interludes that those familiar with Inglourious Basterds might be imagining don't make an appearance until the full team of Nazi hunters is introduced in the second episode.

That speaks to another issue with Hunters: It unfolds at a glacial pace. Life lessons and character shifts that feel like they could be resolved in the space of a couple scenes take entire episodes. When Jonah, who for anything else that happens is still a teenager, has his inevitable moment of doubt, we linger on that for the better part of an hour, but the show fails to convincingly sell the pathos fueling those doubts.

It's more the fault of the writing than any one performance. Hunters sometimes seems to swing a little too wide, trying to cram so much into each hour-long episode that you're left dizzy and disoriented by the end. By the fifth episode, you're following two separate Nazi hunting subplots, as well as a thread about the Nazis themselves and another thread about an FBI agent (Jerrika Hinton) who's hot on the trail of everyone. It's a lot.

Amazon's 'Hunters' is a magically violent fairy tale about killing Nazis

Image: amazon prime video

The performances themselves are so enjoyable though. Pacino seems an odd fit at first for the role of Offerman. You just wouldn't think this Italian star of so many mafia movies could pull off that one Jewish uncle we all share. But Offerman is the kingpin in a gang of righteous killers. Pacino is perfectly cast.

This idea of an odd fit that turns out to be just right is emblematic of the entire Hunters crew. I could go on for whole paragraphs about Tiffany Boone's Roxy Jones, who feels like she fell right out of a Blaxploitation epic; or Josh Radnor's Lonny Flash, a "Tony award-winning" actor-slash-Nazi killer who immediately struck me as a more bloodthirsty take on Paul Rudd's Anchorman character.

We also have a pair of bona fide legends in Carol Kane and Saul Rubinek as Mindy and Murray Markowitz. They are simultaneously every Jewish aunt and uncle in New York City, genuine and warm and quick to fill up with shpilkas at the barest hint of good news. But they're also calculating investigators and masters of the deadly arts, in their own way.

For all the tonal and structural faults of Hunters, I couldn't stop watching. For a Gen X Jew who grew up in the Cold War era of New York, hearing horror stories about the Holocaust from Hebrew school and family alike, the show strikes an immediate chord. From the floral prints on a tablecloth in savta Heidelbaum's kitchen to a rabbi's meandering parable on the power of faith, I lived a lot of the show's quieter moments personally, and I think that probably rings true for a great many people.

Hunters is a defiantly Jewish revenge epic, dancing all over the primal, formative memories of its target audience with gleeful abandon. It's a show that asks, "What if you grew up hating Nazis and everything they wrought, and then found out it was your literal birthright to mete out justice?"

It's a fairy tale, a totally gratuitous work of fiction that roots itself in the grim true fact of Nazis having been invited to resettle in the U.S. after the war. What if you knew who they were, where they lived, and exactly what crimes they committed? What if someone handed you all that information and the camaraderie of a group of like-minded assassins? What would you do?

It may be a fantasy, but oh, what a delightful fantasy it is. Dayenu.

Ads Links by Easy Branches
https://www.passtechusa.com/q71qxv5kt2?key=fce98667b547cdec45c44114599b7d22
ADVERTISING
ADVERTISING WEBSITES - VISITORS

Easy Branches Worldwide Network provide the possibility and allows You to contribute Your Guest Post on different websites and languages, pointed to any City or Country

Place Guest Post
Banner advertising on easybranches network boatshowchina expolifestyle.com







Invitation to China VMF 2020
African Development Bank wins industry gong for pioneering 2019 social bond issue
African governments and the judiciary must protect workers and oil companies from ill-intent legal actions due to COVID-19
We offer a unique selection of collectibles Artifacts, Sculptures, Jewels and Paintings from World-Wide Artists to sell Global
Luxury Super Yacht for Charter in Phuket for a Day You Never more will Forget
Asia Recreational Water Sports Expo 2020 (ARWSE 2020)
Asia-Pacific Boating and China Boating magazines
SEA Yachting is one of Southeast Asia’s leading leisure marine publications. SEA Yachting strives to keep people in the leisure marine industry throughout Southeast Asia up-to-date on technology, events, products and processes that have an impact on their
Agency Sign-up Fill in the form and our consultants will contact you as soon as possible in order to give you all the information you need to sale, rent Your real estate, property
immediate for delivery new exclusive hypercars, megacars and super sportcars so as luxury classic sports cars for sale and purchasing