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The Hunted is a 2003 film directed by William Friedkin and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro.
In the green woods of Silver Falls, Oregon, Aaron Hallam, a trained assassin AWOL from the Special Forces, keeps his own brand of wildlife vigil. After Hallam brutally slew four deer hunters in the area, FBI Special Agent Abby Durrell turns to L.T. Bonham-- the one man who may be able to stop him. At first L.T. resists the mission. Snug in retirement, he's closed off to his past, the years he spent in the Special Forces training soldiers to become skilled murderers. But when he realizes that these recent slaying is the work of a man he trained, he feels obligated to stop him. Accepting the assignment under the condition that he works alone, L.T. enters the woods, unarmed--plagued by memories of his best student and riddled with guilt for not responding to Aaron's tortured letters to him as he began to slip over the edge of sanity. Furious as he is with his former mentor for ignoring his pleas for help, Aaron knows that he and L.T. share a tragic bond that is unbreakable. And, even as they go into their final combat against each other, neither can say with certainty who is the hunted and who is the hunter.
The Hunted contains examples of:
- A Father to His Men: Played with. Those trained by L.T. do see him as a father figure. He does return the feeling (having kept all of Hallam's letters to him speaking of his difficulties) but finds himself failing the "Father's Dilemma": how to tell your child "I don't know the answer".
- Affably Evil: Hallam.
- Awesome Yet Practical: Hallam improvises a knife using some random metal and a forge he makes from stuff found in the woods. Not to be outdone, his mentor character makes a knife out of a rock.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The rock knife has a distinctive weak point, it's brittle and prone to break at the handle.
- Badass Grandpa: L.T. Bonham
- Beard of Sorrow: L.T.
- Book Ends: A stanza of Highway 61 Revisited is narrated by Johnny Cash at the beginning and at the end of the movie.
- Chekhov's Knife: There are extended sequences where Bonham teaches Hallam how to forge and knap knives. Just before the climactic fight, Hallam forges a steel knife and Bonham cooperates by chipping out a flint one at the same time in preparation for the duel.
- Chekhov's Skill: Their tracking and killing skills.
- Grim Up North: L.T. had retired to live in the wilderness up in British Columbia.
- A Handful for An Eye: Hallam uses his own blood to temporarily blind L.T.
- He Knows Too Much: It is implied that the government is after Hallam because he's cracking and has become a threat to national security.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Hallam.
- Ineffectual Loner: Bonham.
- Knife Nut: "Ode to Knife Nuts" -- The Movie.
- Knife Fight: All over the place, including the Climax.
- Large Ham: Hallam. Benicio del Toro is clearly enjoying it.
- Meaningful Echo: The same Highway 61 Revisited stanza referenced in Book Ends.
- Noodle Incident: played straight as Hallam can name all the covert black ops he'd been sent on by codename. See That Didn't Happen below.
- Retired Badass: L.T.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: Both Hallam and Bonham.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Both leads. Hallam is scarred from his years of in-your-face kills, Bonham is scarred from his years of teaching soldiers to make in-your-face kills.
- Takes One to Kill One: Lampshaded.
Bonham: I made him what he is, I can stop him.
- That Didn't Happen: Hallam's work. Lampshaded by Dale Hewitt, an SFOD-D agent when he tells Van Zandt that for all intents and purposes, Hallam doesn't exist.
- Training Montage: The flashback that details the origins and relationship between L.T. and Hallam.
- What the Hell, Hero?: L.T. Maybe if he wasn't so emotionally detached and helped Hallam when he asked him for his help and advice, Hallam wouldn't have cracked. This is referenced in the final shot of the film, where Bonham throws out dozens of letters from Hallam because he didn't have the answers to the questions he was being asked.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: L.T. suffers of motion sickness and is afraid of heights. It does not hamper him in his pursuit of Hallam.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: L.T. and the FBI capture Hallam in the first 20 minutes of the movie, this can't be it, right?