I have to admit, I’ve grown fond of the action movies starring Steve Austin, the former wrestler once known as Stone Cold Steve Austin. The production values are usually good, the supporting casts are okay, and the scripts are usually decent. Austin himself has a ton of screen presence and does a good job with what the movies ask him to do. However, the most recent one I’ve seen, HUNT TO KILL, sort of strains that fondness.
The set-up isn’t bad. Austin plays Border Patrol agent Jim Rhodes (yes, I know, the same name as Tony Stark’s buddy who dons the War Machine armor) who not only is abandoned by his wife and left to raise their daughter alone but also suffers another loss during a shootout along the Texas-Mexico border. So he and his daughter (who’s college age, not the feisty little kid you might expect) move to Montana where Rhodes continues working for the Border Patrol, just along a different border now. It’s an idyllic life for him, although the girl doesn’t care for it.
Then they wind up in the middle of a feud between two factions of a bank robbery gang, and a lot of runnin’, fightin’, and shootin’ ensues. That’s all well and good, but where the movie falls short is in all the lapses in logic to be found in the script. I can’t go into detail without spoiling things for those of you who might yet watch this film, but if you watch it you’ll probably find yourself saying, “But . . . but why doesn’t he do such-and-such?” on numerous occasions, along with “Why are they doing this?” and my favorite (MINOR SPOILER) “Shouldn’t you check and make sure he’s actually dead?”
Despite all that, HUNT TO KILL is fairly entertaining if you’re an action movie fan. You can’t help but like Austin, and Gil Bellows makes a suitably slimy, despicable main bad guy. The fight scenes are well-staged for the most part. Just expect to be frustrated by some of the things that go on.
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