Dept. of Inglorious Basterds


I think we can all agree that Nazis are bad. If you’re one of those that don’t, then maybe this new Jordan Peele produced series starring Al Pacino is not for you. Also, get out of here. Just leave.

Because if there’s one thing you need to know about Amazon Prime’s latest original series Hunters: it’s about hunting Nazis. Sure there are some flashback scenes where Jews are murdered violently in holocaust camps (I’m assuming that if you are going to side with the Nazis, then you probably dislike Jews). But in this series, the Nazis are the villains (as well they should be) and they get taken out pretty brutally too.

Created by David Weil, Hunters tells the story of Pacino’s Meyer Offerman, who rounds up a vigilante crew, to hunt and kill runaway Nazis in New York City in the 1970s. I’ve only seen a handful of episodes, but from what I’ve seen, this series is definitely something I’m going to enjoy.

For one thing, there’s the crew. A teenage mathematics whiz, a sweet middle-aged Jewish couple (who are the electronics experts), an actor and master of disguise (because, of course) played by Josh Radnor, a Foxy Brown-esque afro-slinging-bell-bottoms-wearing fighter named Roxy Jones, a Japanese Vietnam War vet, and Sister Harriet, a former MI6 operative, who is now a nun. All of whom kill Nazis.

And then there’s the Nazi killing bit. If it wasn’t already clear, I am not a fan of Nazis, so watching them get viciously and brutally murdered brings me comfort and joy. Yes, I know it isn’t a true story (although the series was inspired by real life Nazi hunters, which is about the coolest thing you can have on your resume), but as a piece of fiction, this revenge fantasy is pretty damn fun.

And what’s more, Hunters “feels” fun. The way the series is shot and plays out, it almost feels like a comic book movie about a rag tag group of individuals brought together by an eccentric billionaire to be judge, jury, and executioner in bringing Nazis to justice.

Hunters isn’t, however, an easy watch. Remember the holocaust camp flashbacks I mentioned earlier? Well, those are really quite graphic. Those scenes are played out painfully. If you’ve read anything about the series, there is one particular flashback involving chess that will burrow its way into your mind like a bad ear worm of a song. (This is something that has caused issues with some.) Hunters makes no bones about the fact Nazis were terrible and that we should kill them all before they multiply and bring about the fourth reich. There is no “deeper” metaphor about the horrors of war driving normal men to do unspeakable things to each other. There is no investigation into the psyche of the atrocities of war and the inhumane things men are driven to do to each other. In this series the math is simple: Nazi bad. Nazi monster.

The opening scene of the series really sets the tone and frames your expectations. In it you are introduced to an idyllic scene of a 70s backyard barbecue, with kids in the pool, and friends enjoying the nice sunny day. The scene is an almost perfect impression of the American Dream, lush green gardens, a cool azure blue swimming pool, without a cloud in the sky.

As two late arrivals show up, one of them slowly starts to lose her damn mind as she recognises a Nazi amongst the small gathering. Then, just as slowly as tensions rise, there is a snap of violence that relieves the tension, leaving me with my jaw on the floor. This was the ride that I had signed up for, and by golly, I was all in.

Amazon Prime, Season 1, 10 Episodes
Showrunner: David Weil
Writers: David Weil, Nikki Toscano, Mark Bianculli, David J. Rosen, Zakiyyah Alexander, Eduardo Javier Canto, Ryan Maldonado, and Charley Casler
Cast: Al Pacino, Logan Lerman, Jerrika Hinton, Lena Olin, Saul Rubinek, Carol Kane, Josh Radnor, Greg Austin, Tiffany Boone, Louis Ozawa, Kate Mulvany, and Dylan Baker

Bahir likes to review movies because he can watch them at special screenings and not have to interact with large groups of people who may not agree with his idea of what a movie going experience is. Bahir likes jazz, documentaries, Ken Burns, and summer blockbuster movies. He really hopes that the HBO MAX Green Lantern series will help the character be cool again. Also don’t get him started on Jason Momoa’s Aquaman (#NotMyArthurCurry).

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