Amazon’s Hunters Goes Down a Dark Path Toward More Darkness
Amazon’s Hunters. I was in. The Karate Kid of Nazi hunter movies. I was hoping that was the pitch. The young orphaned Padawan, recently deprived of his grandmother’s love, taken in by a mysterious man who happens to be in the business of exacting revenge on the very people who murdered the grandmother. A few complications and revelations, but in the end triumph over evil, maturation of the youngling and full acceptance into the order of the hunters.
But that wasn’t the show. It was almost the show, but then the conspiracies caught up with the strong initial story. I’m sure the writers knew where they were going at the onset, but they held off what they thought was going to be a surprise of “awe, really?” To which I reacted, “ah, really?”
OK, now for the big spoiler so stop reading right here if you want to know how the show takes a dramatic shift into the land of I don’t care anymore.
The central character, The General, the mastermind behind murder and the threat of the rise of the 4th Reich, turns out to be…wait for it…Eva Braun. And this is no jilted, grieving Eva Braun out for retaliation over the loss of national ambition and Fuhrer love. Nope, it turns out Adolf is behind the entire thing and the hunters are a coopted ruse with little purpose beyond distraction.
Hunters had a real chance to be a meaningful Jewish morality tale that set into clear contrast a secret Nazi infiltration of America and those who see through the deep state secrets to the rotting underbelly of democracy in need of redemption.
What we got was a promise of a Jewish morality tale that ended up becoming another cinematic bait and switch where allegiances and character loyalty get crushed by plots that deteriorate into cliche.
Not every alternative future (or past) that offers a story about a post World War II world where the Nazi’s remain strong enough to mount a counter-culture attack needs Hitler. Yes, he was the godhead of the movement, but the ideology would likely live on as it did in Man in the High Castle. Creatives may well imagine all future Nazi worlds lie on the edge of a sword of failure brought there by the evil ambitions, hatred for Jews and Gypsies, Catholics, and Gays. But that hatred, unfortunately, shows itself all too often in the “civilized” world today without any clear leader, just a memory of a movement separated by so much time they have no actual memory of the movement’s inspiration.
In Amazon’s Hunters, the targets remain contemporary. They are the perpetrators, not impersonators. But again, the remnants of the movement are enough. The mythology continuing forward without its inventor is actually scarier than one in which the leader survives.
I wanted Hunters to not just seek retribution on the remnants of the Nazi world, but on all the ideas it represented. Putting Hitler in place, and making the advocate or the hunt a sycophant rather than a rebel, deflates the buoyancy from the entire endeavor like a hole ripped in the side of the Hindenburg. Oh, the humanity!
For more reviews from Daniel W. Rasmus click here.
- Free w/ subscription