Nothing against vicarious revenge fantasy or middle-aged-newsguy wish fulfillment, but this hopelessly glamorized adaptation of a real-life potboiler from the pages of Esquire has cash-in written all over it. An erstwhile cable-news correspondent (Gere) and his cameraman (Howard) team up years after the Bosnian war—and the journo’s meltdown—to pursue a murderous Serbian military boss (Kerekes) who got off scot-free. A network exec’s son (Eisenberg) tags along for hipster appeal; the CIA and various double-agent types also join in the fun.
Director-screenwriter Richard Shepard uses the same snarkily earnest approach that made The Matador seem weightier than it was, and, as in that movie, our sympathies are nudged almost exclusively toward a once-dashing burnout. Worse, the West’s craven response to the Balkan conflict is pinned wholly on the U.N. (staffed, naturally, by bumbling, ponderously accented foreigners), making the film’s politics as dinosaurish as its blinkered identification with a whiny Yank lout. Indeed, with its globe-hopping biracial duo, sub–James Bond derring-do and exotic international locale, The Hunting Party resembles nothing so much as a lesser episode of the mid-’60s espionage series I Spy, only devoid of that show’s sly sense of where the indignation truly belongs.