Review: “Hunters” succeeds on showcasing great stories and characters

Courtesy+of+Amazon

Courtesy of Amazon

Cody Downey

Though movies and television shows about Nazi hunters have been done before, “Hunters” keeps things interesting by providing excellent performances and an emotional story.

After his grandmother is murdered, Jonah Heidelbaum, played by Logan Lerman, joins an undercover group of Nazi hunters led by his grandmother’s former friend and fellow Holocaust survivor Meyer Offerman, played by Al Pacino. Jonah discovers that there are Nazis living in the United States and must help the group stop a plot to start a Fourth Reich. The story also follows FBI agent Millie Morris, played by Jerrika Hinton, who like Jonah begins to find out about the Nazis and their plot.

“Hunters” is probably one of the best television series available on Amazon Prime. The series finds a way to mix drama, action and comedy together in a way that not only makes sense but is respectful of the topic of the series. The tone of the series is even perfectly established by its first scene in episode one.

In this scene, it shows politician Biff Simpson, played by Dylan Baker, hosting a barbecue in his backyard. As he barbecues, a young employee and his wife come to the party. However, the mood changes when the employee’s wife remembers Biff as a Nazi officer from the concentration camp she was held in. With his cover being blown, Biff pulls out a gun and shoots everyone in his backyard, from guests to his wife and children. From this one scene, it sets up the premise of how these Nazi war criminals have set up new lives for themselves in the United States and are using them to continue their work from the war.

This show is full of great performances from every actor. Though some lines may come off as a bit awkward, each actor does a great job of portraying their character and making them feel real. Lerman is one big standout showing that he is more than just the guy from “Hoot” and “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.” From scene to scene, he can transform from being a shy and nervous teen to a fierce and deadly man. Pacino and Hinton also provide great characters serving as both the devil and angel, respectively, on Jonah’s shoulders.

Along with the main group of Hunters, the actors portraying Nazis in this show also do a great job. Baker’s performance as Biff Simpson somehow manages to be both comical and threatening at the same time. As the show continues, he can sometimes serve as a comedic relief but also can be a dominating and even scary force. Another standout performance is Greg Austin’s performance as American Nazi Travis Leich. Austin as Leich is a character that you will absolutely love to hate. Though he still plays a Nazi, you will find yourself wanting to see more of him as he works his way up the ranks of the new Nazi regime.

“Hunters” also thrives on presenting some very depressing moments that will definitely bring a tear to the most hardened. In the midst of all the action and Nazi killing, there are scenes of what happened during the Holocaust to cause these people to deserve to be hunted. For some, these scenes may be too much but they provide a realistic though gruesome look at how the Jewish people suffered during this time and shows why what the Hunters are doing is necessary.

However, this show is more than just a 10 episode long version of “Schindler’s List.” When it needs to be, “Hunters” can really bring the comedy. This is mostly done through sequences that almost break the fourth wall and talk about the absurdity of the situations the characters are forced into. But, these scenes can also work as a way to discuss social messages.

In one of these scenes, it switches over to a game show entitled “Why Does Everyone Hate Jews?” The scene then shows contestants providing the average stereotypical, anti-semitic answers to the question. However, as the scene comes to an end, the host of the fictional game show looks into the camera and questions the viewer on how often people they know play this game. The satirical theme of the scene goes away and begins to get in the viewer’s face and question if they themselves think this and still consider Jewish not to be one of “them.” Though the scene at first took a silly tone, it ultimately used this as a way to discuss anti-semitism and how some people still believe in that way of thinking.

All in all, “Hunters” is an amazing show and a must-watch for anyone who has Amazon Prime. Everything from the performances to the story to the emotions provided will hook anyone in.

Illustration by Ariel Landry

Illustration by Ariel Landry