Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming series Hunters immediately intrigued fans with an ambitious premise. creator David Weil teamed up with Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions to bring this show to fruition and, if the first episode is any indication, it’s going to be a brilliant mix of heartbreak, vengeance, humor, and mystery all wrapped up in one.
The plot follows Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman), a teenager who lives in Brooklyn with his Holocaust survivor grandmother Ruth in 1977. His life changes when Ruth’s murder introduces him to Meyer Offerman, a rich man who was in a concentration camp alongside Ruth. Jonah discovers that Ruth and Meyer started The Hunters, a group of skilled people who are on a mission to stop Nazis living in the United States from starting a Fourth Reich.
Hunters builds its foundation with a movie-length premiere that properly establishes a few main players. It kicks off with a chilling opening scene, then works on building the relationship between Jonah and Meyer, played by the incomparable Al Pacino.
The layers quickly begin to build as Jonah’s desperate investigation into Ruth’s life and death parallels FBI Agent Millie Malone (Jerrika Hinton) and an odd case that cracks the door to a harrowing discovery. The actors all slip into their roles with ease, establishing their motivations and shaping their engaging personalities. Will Jonah be a beloved protagonist? Probably not. But, his shortcomings leave room for reality checks and maturation.
Unlike many shows and films that attempt to rationalize or create empathy for Nazis, Hunters has no interest in a crafting a rosy narrative. The antagonists vary widely from those who are outwardly menacing and violent to others who have learned to put on a trustworthy persona to mask their true nature.
It’s incredibly unsettling and will have viewers wondering about full extent of this Nazi network. There are also disturbing looks to the past that dive into the psychological torture experienced by Jewish people and how it affects their current state of affairs 30 years later.
Jonah and Meyer’s conversations about life, the present, and what it means to seek justice strike an emotional chord and open the door for deeper conversations. And, as expected, there are an abundance of breadcrumbs, minute details, and themes established early in Hunters that beg to be dissected by eagle-eyed viewers. Hunters does a lot of work to quickly give several characters layers before it expands its world and it’s going to be thrilling to see how all the pieces mesh together.
Meyer’s words describe the show’s premise best: “This is not murder. This is mitzvah.” The Hunters are on a mission to stop mayhem before it unleashes on society and there’s nothing (or no one) who can prevent their revenge. Jonah has the motivation to join the hunt, but the premiere will leave viewers wondering if it will be enough to step across a bloody line.
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