1998 saw the home-video release of two movies starring Madchen Amick with nearly identical plotlines. WOUNDED (a 1996 cable premiere) and THE HUNTED both involve the former "Twin Peaks" star in mediocre reworkings of the oft-copied plot line of the action-adventure classic THE MOST
DANGEROUS GAME (1932). At least THE HUNTED gives her a leaner script and a more magnetic leading man than WOUNDED. Hunted or wounded, Amick runs for her life with lithesome appeal.
Workaholic insurance investigator Samantha "Sam" Clark (Madchen Amick) cancels a vacation with her artist boyfriend Jan (Hannes Jaenicke) to trek through the Pacific Northwest on a case involving Harry Augerman, a missing businessman who absconded with a $12 million company payroll. Despite the
warnings of a forest ranger, Sam races off to the wilderness and wrecks her ATV. She stumbles into the cabin of hermit Doc Kovac (Harry Hamlin), who tends her injuries and agrees to take her to the site where Augerman crashed his plane.
There, Sam sees Augerman's corpse hanging on an Indian totem pole like a trophy. He was killed by Doc, a lunatic sportsman. Planning to hunt her down just as he did Augerman, Doc offers Sam a head start and a gun. As she runs for her life, Doc wounds her with an arrow to her shoulder. Allowing him
to believe she's dead, Sam later doubles back to his cabin, retrieves the Augerman cash, awaits Doc's return, locks him in the cabin, sets it ablaze and shoots him through the closed, burning door.
Surviving nonetheless, Doc tracks Sam back to the city, where he torments her and Jan. After cornering them at the museum where Jan work, Doc pursues them to a lighthouse. Sam shoots Doc, who retaliates by wounding Jan with a knife. Finally, Sam fatally blows away Doc, who plunges into the sea.
Whipping up synthetic suspense, THE HUNTED quickly forgoes the sexual sparks that sizzle when Doc tends to wounded Sam. Uninterested in exploring character layering or psychological underpinnings, the picture soon settles into its true purpose: a sadistic aerobics work-out over hill, dale, and
concrete jungle. There have certainly been worse variations of this oft-adapted story, but this sprint-for-your-life thriller is scripted with marginal dexterity and directed in lazy short-hand technique. Attractive actors, a couple of jolts, and the thrill of the chase result in serviceable
escapism that's all about escaping. (Graphic violence, profanity, adult situations)
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: R
- Review: 1998 saw the home-video release of two movies starring Madchen Amick with nearly identical plotlines. WOUNDED (a 1996 cable premiere) and THE HUNTED both involve the former "Twin Peaks" star in mediocre reworkings of the oft-copied plot line of the action-… (more)