Simon (Richard Gere) and Duck (Terrence Howard) are hot-shit reporters in the hot zone, drinking and carousing their way through the graveyards of countless war-torn countries. Like all war correspondents inhabiting satirical, cynical movies about their flak-jacketed ilk, they’re having a blast, till Simon cracks up on camera during a live report from Bosnia. They go their separate ways: Duck to a cushy New York gig as cameraman, Simon to God knows where. They’re reunited in Bosnia on the fifth anniversary of reunification, and as the small talk turns to discussions of war crimes and the United Nations’ failure to bring to justice war criminals brazenly listing themselves in the phone book, Simon convinces his old pal Duck to join him on one last adventure: to find a Serbian war criminal hiding deep in the woods, where he now hunts animals instead of men. Also along for the ride is sweet, innocent Benjamin (Jesse Eisenberg), a network VP’s kid out to prove he’s more than just the sum of his pop’s paycheck. Like many of the best movies about war and its lingering echo, The Hunting Party is full of dark humor. Writer-director Richard Shepard, maker of 2005’s The Matador, is becoming a master at finding the right tone, balancing the seriousness of his characters’ purpose with the madness of their intentions. He’s also found his style—and it’s noisy and sentimental and crude and a total goddamned blast.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 28, 2007