Hunted by Night (2010) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Hunted by Night is a straightforward action-er about a group of friends who stumble across millions of recently dropped bails of drugs while on a hunting trip. An argument ensues as to if the trio should take the drugs and run, or leave them as surely the people these bails were meant for will come looking for them. Two of the friends decide to secretly gather the bails, against the protests of the other. Unfortunately that decision brings on the wrath of a cartel that will stop at nothing to regain their property.

Hunted by Night is a low-budget action flick reminiscent of Robert Rodriguez’s El mariachi run and gun mode of shooting. The fight sequences are surprisingly well done, especially as most material in this budget range has a way of not fully delivering in this area. This is probably due to having a director, Juan C Bofill, who is also a stunt/fight coordinator (Charlie’s Angels, Reno 911: Miami, The Substitute). Bofill’s directorial style falls perfectly inline with smaller action movies of the nineties. This combined with leading man Jencarlos Canela’s (Mi Corazon Insiste) Lorenzo Lamas looks and acting tone makes for a fun and action packed romp into the Florida Everglades.

The group of bad guys is a cookie cutter assortment, perfect for this type of kill or be killed action flick. Director Juan C Bofill plays double duty as he fills the role of Paco, the leader of the cartel gang. Hunted by Night was cast beautifully in the regards to each character’s looks, with the heroes looking like heroes and the bad guys looking like bad guys. This is something that low-budget movies often get right, as the plot is usually lacking, especially dealing with character growth, which makes audience identification of character types immediately upon entering a scene so important. You’ll never find yourself questioning the motives of any character here.

This movie knows that it’s supposed to be a good time, and doesn’t try to get all that serious about the drugs, although the argument amongst the three main characters does carry on a tad too long. There are also a few moments when this picture shows its budget, one of which is right at the beginning when Jencarlos Canela’s character, Brandon, is saying goodbye to his wife and kids before heading out on his hunting excursion. The scene has a very cheap shot on video look and the framing seems incredibly rushed. There’s also a very odd twist at play, especially in the end, that has to do with Guardian Angels. If you can get past these few low and out of place moments, Hunted by Night is worth a watch.

Director: Juan C Bofill
Stars: Jencarlos Canela, Al Galvez, Seth Gordon, Juan C Bofill

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