When and adventure and fantasy collide, you get a kind of hybrid fairytale. So when I see those two genres synonymously join the same film, you can bet it’s one I’m going to watch.
The Hunters (2013) TV Film Review
The Flynn brothers haven’t had the most normal childhood. Eldest Paxton (Robbie Amell) is about to take a trip around the world on his yacht and then there is Tripp (Keenan Tracey), the troublemaker. He’s been kicked out of boarding schools one too many times and Paxton is tired of cleaning up his brother’s mess. Their parents are rarely around; as archeologists they travel often for their work. Sibling fights are about to be the least of Paxton and Tripp’s worries when mysterious things begin to happen. One being their parent’s go missing and their mother’s assistant, Dylan (Alexa Vega), telling the brothers that their parents aren’t archaeologists.
They’re actually Hunters; people who search for and protect ancient, historical artifacts. Now, it’s up to the three of them to uncover the secrets of the Flynn family past and reach mom Jordyn (Michele Forbes) before it’s too late.
Once upon a time, anyone who values family entertainment may remember NBC and Walmart would team up to bring family films to television. Now they find a home on Hallmark and already there have been some memorable movies from the new partnership. This is one of their newest titles and when first seeing the cast (which also includes Victor Garber), I thought it would prove to be a fun diversion. The script is clever merging both history and contemporary subcultures. There’s a lot of respect paid to the artifacts which plays against the cool gadgetry and “sleekness” of the script.
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Surprisingly, the movie sets a slow pace and doesn’t really bother to play up its “adventure” aspects. Sure, there is some excitement; however it takes its sweet time threading its way through the end. On the plus side, this is easily the sort of movie that has nothing but a happy ending, so despite the promise of more trouble, things turn out well.
Writers may have also had hopes of turning this into a series franchise which would explain why they didn’t box anything in. Beyond the pace, the story is engrossing and of course, the cast quite good. Amell (Picture Perfect) and Tracey play off each other well as typical brothers. Naturally Alexa Vega plays the love-hate romance up with Amell’s character, something that’s pretty cute.
This is The Hunters in a nutshell. There’s some excitement and clever throwbacks to popular fairytales. Locales add atmosphere to each scene and it’s nice to watch a movie in which the “adventure” is more about smarts than force. All that’s left to say is kudos to the studios who put out family-friendly entertainment that actually knows what that label means. It’s a refreshing thing to watch something without wondering when the next tactless event will arrive.
Content: There are a few “intense” moments – a man disintegrates after reciting a chant. Two men are shot, a couple falls off a zip line. There may be a minor innuendo or profanity. The film is PG.