Watch Hunt

  • NR
  • 2022
  • 2 hr 5 min
  • 6.7  (5,120)
  • 55

Hunt (2022) is a gripping South Korean espionage action thriller, dipping its narrative roots into the complex and frenetic world of spies, double agents, and political maneuvers during a particularly tumultuous period in modern Korean history. Directed by, and starring Lee Jung-jae in his directorial debut, the film presents an intricate tale of intrigue and suspense that expertly navigates the murky waters of intelligence and counterintelligence.

The plot unfolds amidst the backdrop of the 1980s South Korea under an authoritarian regime, a time when the nation was grappling with political upheaval, and tensions with North Korea were reaching a fever pitch. The narrative centers around two high-ranking National Intelligence Service (NIS) officers, played by Lee Jung-jae and Kim Nam-gil. Lee, in his role, is a veteran agent with a wealth of experience, while Kim portrays a talented and determined officer. Despite their common goal of protecting South Korea from external threats, they find themselves entangled in a labyrinth of mistrust and rivalry. Their relationship is taut with suspicion, as both are tasked with uncovering a hidden North Korean spy, known as Donglim, who has infiltrated the South Korean government.

The story kicks off with a tense and highly charged atmosphere, as both protagonists are instructed to lead a top-secret investigation within their own agency. This internal hunt sets them on a collision course that leads to a wider and more dangerous game involving international espionage, political assassinations, and covert operations. As the two agents delve deeper into their mission, the lines between friend and foe blur, ensnaring them in an existential struggle not only against the external enemy but within the ranks of their own organization.

Lee Jung-jae’s directorial prowess is evident in the way Hunt artfully balances intimate character study with broader political commentary. The film achieves a tense and immersive viewing experience by employing pulsating action sequences, masterful suspense-building, and a visually arresting aesthetic. Using tight close-ups and swift camera work, the movie crafts a sense of claustrophobia and paranoia that mirrors the psychological state of the characters, while the action scenes are executed with a brutal efficiency that reinforces the high stakes of their mission.

Adding to the atmospheric tension is the film's rich depiction of the era. The production design, costumes, and music all contribute to an authentic representation of 1980s South Korea, offering audiences not only a compelling thriller but a vibrant time capsule of a nation under intense strain. It portrays a society on the brink where every citizen, regardless of their allegiance, must navigate a web of lies and deceit.

Furthermore, Hunt delves deep into its characters’ psyches, elevating it beyond a standard espionage romp. The agents, played with consummate skill and depth by the leads, are complex and flawed individuals, whose personal demons and moral dilemmas add layers to the already dense narrative. The supporting cast, including Go Yoon-Jung in a pivotal role, contributes to the film’s intricate web of relationships, each character adding a new piece to the jigsaw puzzle of loyalty and betrayal at the heart of the story.

One of the film's most salient themes is the nature of loyalty in a world where personal convictions and national allegiances are in constant flux. Both main characters must wrestle with their own ideals and suspicions, balancing the priorities of their mission with a personal search for truth. This internal battle is paralleled by the external threats they face, including palpable tensions with the North, adding a geopolitical dimension to the already layered narrative.

The journey of these characters throughout Hunt is not just a chase after an enigmatic spy but a broader exploration of identity and ideology. The characters’ struggles are symbolic of a nation’s striving for self-definition in the face of external pressure and internal discord. The movie does not shy away from nuanced discourse, pondering questions about the essence of patriotism and the cost of unwavering duty. These quandaries resonate through the explosive action and suspenseful intrigue to create a film that is both emotionally potent and intellectually stimulating.

As a complete package, Hunt stands as a compelling entry into the pantheon of spy thrillers. With Lee Jung-jae at the helm, both behind the camera and in front of it, the movie exhibits a sophistication in its storytelling and realization that speaks to the actor-director's vision and craftsmanship. It is an adrenaline-fueled yet thought-provoking ride that draws its audience into a shadowy world of espionage, where no one can be trusted, and every truth is susceptible to be a facade. For fans of the genre and newcomers alike, Hunt promises to be a cinematic venture rich with action, suspense, and dramatic intricacies that leave a lasting impression.

Hunt is a 2022 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 5 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 55.

Where to Watch Hunt
Hunt is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Hunt for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 5 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (5,120)
  • Metascore