Good god, where to begin? Ron Becks is Hunter, serene, Zen overseer of the LAPD’s International Sex Crimes Unit. He has a “sacred spot” in the foothills where he plays a trumpet (actually an overdubbed sax!) and has a “front door” to his home that actually opens into a hallway. How any of these blunders made it past the rough cut is a question best asked of the line producer (assuming there was one and we have our doubts).
Hunter is one set-piece after another that’ll make you lose your equilibrium and maybe your lunch — a cheap stinker of galactic proportions.
We meet the title character, who looks a Thin Blue Line Bo Diddley, at a crime scene that’s ripped right from the headlines — a girl’s body found in the water tank of the Cecil Hotel (you can read about the tragic real-life death of UBC student Elisa Lam). We then meet his captain, Goodwill, who brings a bit of Martha Stewart’s hair to her role as a do-gooder cop helping out runaways with sagely advice like “If you are being attacked, you yell, ‘I have a disease!”
She provides counsel to Kelly, a street kid who hails from the TENNESSEE BACKWOODS (that’s the actual caption), and when the camera shows her homestead, it’s basically somewhere in LA, pretty much around the corner from where they were shooting the rest of this. The captain’s lectures to Kelly also include this howler: “I wouldn’t expect a high school hillbilly dropout with a crime record to understand matriarchal culture!” (GOOD GOD, WHAT?????)
Soon, the captain cajoles Hunter into looking after the young stray and taking her in for a few days, interrupting the lieutenant’s drug dealer robbing, Makers Mark shot gunning ways.
Meanwhile, cops connected to Hunter are being found dead. Who is to blame?
Hunter babbles self-help speak as a kind of Robin Hood who robs hoods and goads criminals with “How are you gonna make your point if you’re dead?”
And then there’s his sidekick, Sergeant Baran, shown chatting on his phone in what might be Farsi or Pashto for an extended discussion sans subtitles. And the Persian music soundtrack frequently drowns out the dialogue (that’s not necessarily a bad thing, all things considered). For good measure, there’s also a fraternal duo of nun chuck-wielding methheads.
The cop killer’s MO is to shave down lollipop sticks and jab them into jugulars, and there are green screens to represent both the beach (weird, as this was filmed in Los Angeles), Tennessee and many other scenes. The CG blood is among the worst you’ll ever see. Oh and George Lazenby is in this! He of course was James Bond in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and he’d probably want to keep his work here on the down low.
None of the promotional materials indicate whether this film about a “mystical cop, deadly force and champion of people” is intended as a comedy. See for yourself.
**** (out of 5)
[CHECK OUT OUR PODCAST DISCUSSION OF HUNTER]