TV Series Review Vol. 4 No. 9: Hunters

The Amazon Prime series about a group of hunters killing Nazis is disturbingly satisfying.

Jonah Heidelbaum is no superhero. But he’s good at cracking codes. When his grandmother, a Jewish survivor of World War II, was killed by a Nazi, he wanted to exact revenge. So he joins the “hunters” to track down not only the killer of his safta, but also the other Nazis who managed to escape justice.

In the opening scene, Jonah Heidelbaum, a young Jew in Brooklyn, has this to say about Darth Vader during the showing of Empire Strikes Back: “Vader doesn’t get up every day looking to destroy the galaxy…he gets up every morning believing he needs to save it.” The series Hunters explores that idea. Who really are the bad guys? The surviving Nazis and their fourth Reich fantasy or the Jews who are hunting them for vengeance?

I’ll delve into it right now. Hunters has been clear about the Nazis being the bad guys, compared to Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit. What the show examines is whether the idea of exacting vengeance will make one a villain. With the rise of white supremacists, this question is timely.

Hunters is a drama series about a band of Nazi hunters who specializes in tracking and killing surviving Nazis recruited in America thanks to Operation Paperclip (true story). Some white critics say that the writers badly fantasized the horrors of the holocaust with this series. But historical records tell us that what those Nazis did inside those death camps were much worst. In fact, the series shines best in its death camps scenes: the chess game, the choir broadcast, and the scene of a couple plotting their escape.

Despite its aim for intense 70’s drama blended with a comics treatment, I don’t feel like Hunters stand out. We have watched tons of shows like this before, and this series failed to offer us anything different. The amount of screen time given to the characters was ample. But the problem is, there’s something lacking on the way the show was written that took away their opportunity to shine. Well, except Al Pacino as Meyer Offerman. I am biased when it comes to Logan Lerman. (who, like Daniel Radcliffe, is in the hero status in my books because of Percy Jackson). His portrayal of the lead character Jonah Heidelbaum was superb. His acting in this series was outstanding.

Geek Rate

helios-256Sun god Worthy (4 out of 5 stars). F*ck it. Don’t listen to what the critics, Hunters, despite its flaws, is quite a series. While it is a fiction, there’s something uniquely harrowing in watching imagined scenes in the death camps. It is different compared to documentaries. Equally, there’s something satisfying in watching those Nazi bastards be killed. I am disturbed by it, but I am telling it as it is.

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