War is no party. Not even a hunting one. Neither are consequences of war, or trying to make justice and catch war criminals. The Hunting Party written and directed by Richard Shephard whose Matador I have seen a few weeks ago (and liked much more) is good action entertainment, but if you know nothing about the Balkans and the Balkan wars and you rely on this movie in order to get an idea about the tragedies and atrocities that happened 20 years ago in that part of Europe, you can get a distorted image about the region and the history.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt0455782/

 

Simon Hunt (Richard Gere) is a TV reporter who was once famous. While covering the war in Bosnia he had a nervous breakdown during a live coverage of the war atrocities, which cost him his job. A few years later he will be back in the country apparently healing from the wounds of war, trying together with his ex-cameraman (Terrence Howard) and the young apprentice in journalism (Jessee Eisenberg) who happens to be the son of one of the VPs of the TV network they used to work for, to find one of the most famous war criminals who escapes international justice, UN forces and all the spying agencies. No need to say, they will succeed in a few days where all the big fellows failed for years.

 

(video source jesseeisenbergfan)

 

Judged only as an action movie The Hunting Party is not a bad movie at all. Richard Shephard has a sure hand, and Richard Gere is more than credible in the role of the journalist whose life is turned upside down by war and becomes a war criminals hunter. He actually is the only character that has a motivation to do it in the script, why the other two get attracted into the mortal game is a mystery. There is a big problem with describing such a complex conflict as the Balkan wars through the simplistic simplistic perspective of an action movie, not only because the script takes parts on national lines, but also because many better films have already been made by Serbian, Croat, Bosnian directors about this complex conflict. Films with real dramas, true humans, good guys and villains, not vaudeville ones. In a tentative to distance the story from the action B-movies the heroes see on TV screens on a couple of instances Chuck Norris jumping out of the water to kill the bad guys in one of the flicks of the genre. Unfortunately, this is not enough. The Hunting Party is just by a bit better than the Chuck Norris movies.