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Silent Hunter Reviews

Actor-turned-director Fred Williamson gleaned the basics of action moviemaking from his days as a blaxploitation star. But SILENT HUNTER, unfortunately, contains nothing more than primal motivations, cookie-cutter villains, and a wrap-up that echoes a number of other wilderness-set thrillers. Haunted by his policeman father's death, super-cop Jim Paradine (Miles O'Keeffe) often shortchanges his family. At one crucial moment, he's helpless when a trio of bank robbers commandeers his car after snuffing out several guards during a heist. Felons Bo (Peter Colvey), Anna (Lynne Adams), and Bo's crazed sibling Dewey (Jason Cavalier) slaughter Paradine's wife and daughter before shooting Paradine and leaving him for dead. Two years later, the remorse-wracked Paradine still finds he can't open up to his friend, wilderness cop Eli (Frank Fontaine), or to Eli's granddaughter Laura (Sabine Karsenti). Ironically, Bo's gang chooses the area of Eli's wilderness refuge to snap up a loggers' payroll, worth $2 million. Coincidentally, Paradine encounters the murderous trio at the local general store when they attempt to purchase illegal arms just prior to their payroll heist. They kill the proprietor, along with their inside man at the bank. Casually gunning down armored van guards and local cops to grease their getaway, the trio and their accomplices are prepared for every contingency except for trouble with their helicopter, which forces their crash-landing near Eli's cabin. Bo, Dewey, and Anna murder Eli, kidnap Laura, and in the process recognize Paradine, their old nemesis. Local lawman Sheriff Mantee (Fred Williamson) joins the fray, helping Jim out. While the thieves are busy slaying rangers for their vehicles, Jim snatches the payroll loot and makes possible Laura's escape. Tricking Dewey into a fatal snowmobile glide off a hill, Jim kills Anna and then attaches a live grenade to Bo as he dangles off a cliffside. Taciturn Miles O'Keeffe may well qualify as the dullest leading man currently flexing his muscles in the action movie arena. Groans may emanate from viewers as they endure this latest example of the DEATH WISH Orphaned Daddy plot line in which a law-abiding citizen turns vigilante after his wife and kiddies get popped. Equally cliched in genre terms is the flick's portrayal of the villains as barely literate jerks. Overlooking even these deficiencies, the audience may still cry foul at the pile-up of coincidences. How could the hero not immediately recognize the villains who wiped out his loved ones? Conceived by the chronically lazy, SILENT HUNTER only comes alive during the climactic mayhem, not because justice prevails but because our wilderness hero proves more homicidally creative than his three tormentors.(Graphic violence, extreme profanity, extensive nudity, adult situations.)