Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hunt To Kill (2010): Review

Directed by Keoni Waxman. Starring Steve Austin, Gil Bellows, Gary Daniels, and Marie Avgeropoulos.

WHAT?! Stone Cold Steve Austin has been on quite the roll lately, starring in a bunch of straight-to-DVD action movies that more or less showcase the former pro-wrestler as a leading man. What makes HUNT TO KILL stand out from the rest of the bunch is that it reunites three of the antagonists from THE EXPENDABLES: Austin, Eric Roberts, and Gary Daniels. Well, sort of. Roberts does his thing and collects his paycheck before the opening credits even roll, but with Austin as the leading man and Gary Daniels as the henchman of the film's villain, there's a reunion of sorts for at least two of the villains from Stallone's summer blockbuster, albeit on a much lesser scale.

Jim Rhodes (Austin) is a retired Border Patrol Agent turned full-time deer hunter. He's also an out-of-touch single father who's being visited by his teenage daughter Kim (Marie Avgeropoulos). She's at an age where she's starting to distance herself from her father and rebel against him. It's not clarified as to whether or not she has a reason to do so (Austin being a deadbeat dad, etc.), or if she's just doing it because of outside influences. Whatever the case, the tension is there and Kim is on the verge of turning heel on her father.

Long story short, a group of thieves are looking for a guy who doublecrossed them, and their search takes them to Austin's neck of the woods in Montana. Through coincidence and being in the wrong place at the wrong time, their paths cross (the criminals and Austin) and the crooks end up abducting his daughter. In exchange for her safety, Austin agrees to guide them through the mountains and assist them in finding the traitor who stole their loot. Meanwhile, Austin is forced to watch while young Kim is abused by the criminals and nearly raped at one point. Once the loot is retrieved, Austin is left for dead as the criminals flee with his daughter. Little do they know, they've just fucked with The Texas Rattlesnake.

Austin recovers and uses his skills as a survivalist and a hunter (and a former Border Patrol Agent!) to rescue his daughter from the bad guys, stomp a mudhole in their asses, and walk it dry! But, of course, it's not exactly a walk in the park for the Bionic Redneck, especially when one of the villains is legit badass Gary Daniels. However, to say that HUNT TO KILL is predictable would be an understatement. The cast is great for the type of movie it is, but there's nothing fun about the film, and it doesn't bring anything new to the table whatsoever. It simply goes through the motions of being a typical action film. It seems the sole purpose of the film is to showcase Steve Austin, which is fine, to a certain extent. A majority of the people who watch this are probably doing so just to see Austin, and in that case they won't be disappointed. But for anyone else, and especially anyone looking for an outstanding action movie, HUNT TO KILL doesn't have a whole lot to offer. Even the whole dad-rescuing-his-daughter scenario has been done to death. On a side note, Gary Daniels is the worst fake smoker I've ever seen.

Make or Break: Surprisingly, I'm gonna go with a "make" instead of a "break". The scene that makes the film, in my opinion, and totally lets people know that HUNT TO KILL has no aspirations of being anything other than a typical action movie is the scene where Austin recovers and prepares to rescue his daughter from the clutches of the criminals. It's like a montage of action movie conventions. He cauterizes a wound, makes his own arrows out of sticks, and uses shoe polish to paint his face. I half expected him to cover his entire body with mud for no apparent reason, but it never went that far. I'm also not sure why he had shoe polish in the first place.

MVT: I can't not be Austin. It's his movie and he's the main attraction. His movements during his fight scenes are a bit stiff, but he does pretty well considering he has two bad knees and has had numerous neck problems that stemmed from his wrestling career.

Score: 5.5/10

HUNT TO KILL isn't a good movie, even by action movie standards. Its flaws could have been at least masked with a little bit of style, but nope. Instead we get the same low-budget look and generic background music that seems to commonplace in these types of movies. However, this is the type of movie you already know what you're getting yourself into when you see it. There's nothing deceptive about it. It's made for a specific audience and it never really claims to be anything other than a cheesy action movie starring Stone Cole Steve Austin. It doesn't break any new ground, but it's watchable and fans of Austin will obviously enjoy it, and that's the bottom line!


  1. I didn't enjoy this film either. The whole "Country Values Rule and Cityfolk Drools" monolithic approach annoyed me, especially when the only African American character was depicted as a degenerate rapist that Austin had to protect his daughter from. Still, the Daniels/Austin fight was great, and Daniels choreographed it, so that was a bonus. As an aside, he said in the featurette that he only did the film as a favor to Austin, whom the befriended on the set of The Expendables.

  2. Yeah the Austin/Daniels brawl was a highlight. The totally obvious (and much smaller) double for Austin was a bit distracting, though, but other than that it was great. I also remember Daniels saying that in the featurette. I hope they do more films together in the future.

  3. Great review here Aaron. To be truthful, I can't say I have a ton of interest in any of Austin's previous films and you've all but confirmed my worst fears for this one. However, he has one that just wrapped which COULD be vantastic.

    Hangar 14 stars Michael Jai White, Austin, and Darren Shahlavi (from Bloodmoon w/ Gary Daniels and more recently, Ip Man 2.) Those guys alone are cause for interest, and it scares me that I'm looking forward to it every bit as much as Sucker Punch or the new Muppet movie.

  4. I enjoyed this quite a bit, it was stupid fun and way better than the previous stone Cold release THE STRANGER.

  5. Karl: Thanks! HANGAR 14 does sound promising, but the 4 million dollar budget (according to IMDB) kinda worries me.

    Louis: I haven't seen THE STRANGER yet, but I hear it's pretty terrible. I've been purposely avoiding that one but I'm sure I'll get around to it at some point, maybe if it ends up on cable.

  6. Anyone got thoughts on the Rock's Faster? That film is all over the shop. It can't decide if its a gory action pulp film or a sincere crime drama.

  7. I haven't seen that one. I can't remember the last Rock movie I've seen. GAME PLAN or SOUTHLAND TALES maybe?