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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

The Hunter

Beyond the Reach (2014) on IMDb

Plot Overview

music practiceBack in the day, a boy grew up to hunt in order to take a man's place in the world. All the men in his family hunted. Not so much any more, and the hunting business has taken a hit for it. S&R Deputy Ben (Jeremy Irvine) despite his youth is the best tracker in Borasca County (“It's a family business”), perhaps in all of New Mexico (“My parents were guides.”) His long-time live-in girl­friend Laina (Hanna Mangan Lawrence) has left his ram­shackle trailer to attend college in Denver on a music scholarship.

money bagsSeasoned entrepreneur John Madec (Michael Douglas) has breezed into town this August offering Ben $1K/day to take him beyond the reach to hunt (off season) big­horn. Unfortunately, he's a little trigger happy and kills a locally known hermit Charlie by mistake (“Where'd he come from.”) There are but two candidates for the killer out there: Ben and Madec. Madec's bullet is the one in the corpse, electing him the offender. While Ben goes to get the car to trans­port the body, Madec fires a round from Ben's gun into the corpse, as well, the two different bullets insuring there will be an investigation … with­out any witnesses and Ben unable to afford a lawyer. How­ever, if Ben concedes to bury the body, nobody will be any the wiser, and Madec will make it worth his while.

star burst SOSInstead Ben attempts to activate his emergency beacon to bring the cavalry. Madec crushes the beacon saying, “Boy, did you blow this.” He forces Ben at gun­point to disrobe down to his skivvies and sends him off to wander the harsh desert until he expires, making it look like he's a mad gun­man who lost it when his girl­friend left him. Action/adventure novelist Mark Greaney advises:

When the opposition attacked, it expected you to play your role; to run, to cover. But turning the tables, attacking into a threat, was often the most useful way of defending one­self. ¶Court's principal trainer at CIA … used to say a mantra over and over— “You can run, but if you can't run any­more, then you can hide. You can hide, but if you can't hide any­more, then you can fight. There is nothing after the fight, so you fight until there is nothing.” (67)


hermitThe preacher in the Bible tells us, (Eccl. 4:9-12) “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall with­stand him; and a three­fold cord is not quickly broken.” Ben at one point had the option of joining Laina at college, perhaps for a better life, i.e. “a good reward for their labour.” At any rate he'd known Charlie all his life, so perhaps he knew where Charlie's digs were out in the desert, and he could have gotten a lift now from that association. With­out any help Ben is screwed.

If against all odds he survives the first day, then we'll see him shivering some­thing fierce in the cold desert night. There's also footage of him with Laina under the covers, snug as a bug in a rug. If he some­how receives help from both Charlie and Laina, then that three­some makes him golden.

Production Values

” (2015) was directed by Jean-Baptiste Léonetti. Its screen­play was Written by Stephen Susco based on the novel, Deathwatch by Robb White. The film boasts talented actors and a well chosen cast. The four actors with speaking parts were Michael Douglas, Jeremy Irvine, Hanna Mangan Lawrence, and Ronnie Cox. Patricia Bethune who played the secretary also had one line. These were all taciturn parts, and they spoke even less out in the desert. This film is not big on dialogue, excepting money that talks. There are grand vistas inter­spersed with closeups to break the monotony. Interesting angles and reflections get thrown in, too. Kudos to the cameraman.

MPAA rated it R for some violence. The rich man's SUV was parked side­ways to the curb, crossing the diagonal (//) parking lines, but inside the sheriff's office the secretary had her computer solitaire game cards lined up neatly in rows; an impending culture clash was indicated. Ben also had a dream premonition. We are set up with edgy expectations from the very start, and the pace moved right along.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

If you're looking for a picture that pits a “civilized” rich man against a poor bloke who lives in harmony with nature, here's one for you. The plot never strays far from that line, so don't expect embellish­ments. It does a good job at what it does, though.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action.. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture was cited from the King James Version, Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Greaney, Mark. Back Blast. Copyright © 2016 by Mark Strode Greaney. New York: Berkley, 2016. Print.