The series starring the veteran actor is available on Amazon Prime Video from 21st February
“This is bigger than anyone realizes. They are among us, they are communicating, and they have plans to attack. Welcome to the hunt.” With these words, Al Pacino invites the viewer to join the hunt for Nazis he heads up in “Hunters”, the latest jewel in the crown of Amazon Prime Video available this coming Friday 21st. The ten episodes of this thriller, set in the United States in the late 1970’s, mark the return of the Oscar-winning actor to serial fiction almost two decades after his leading role in “Angels in America.”
Al Pacino, who at almost 80 years of age is still in pretty excellent shape, walks in the shoes of Meyer Offerman, a millionaire Holocaust survivor who heads up a gang of multicultural hitmen (with reason, a priori) whose goal is to put a stop to a group of Nazis looking to create a Fourth Reich in the United States. His group of “hunters” includes a spy disguised as a nun (Kate Mulvany), an expert in locks (Roxy Jones), a mature couple specialized in the handling weapons (Saul Rubinek and Carol Kane), a soldier (Joe Torrance) and even a movie star living a double life (Josh Radnor). Then, add to this peculiar group of avengers Pacino’s protégé, Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman), who joins the group to avenge the murder of his grandmother, and also a survivor of the Nazi horror. Meanwhile, agent Millie Morris (Jerrika Hinton) has been commissioned to investigate the death of an elderly NASA scientist but who soon joins the search for genocidal maniacs ready to strike again thus representing the law.
The series grabs viewers’ attention with its impeccable billing, time travel, and screenwriting that is as historical as it is personal
But “Hunters” is much more than Al Pacino. From the ‘tarantinoesque’ barbecue in the opening episode, directed by Alfonso Gómez-Rejón (“American Horror Story”), the series grabs viewers’ attention with its impeccable billing, time travel, and screenwriting that is as historical as it is personal. Because, the story of Jonah is also that of series creator, David Weil, who grew up listening to tales of atrocities in concentration camps as told by his grandmother, a survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen and “the greatest superheroine” he ever met.
In addition to his family album, Weil was also inspired by historical figures including Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal and investigators from the US office of special operations. They also investigated the Machiavellian reality of the concentration camps (it’s hard not to glance away from the screen with scenes featuring human chess as torture) and Operation Paperclip, which brought hundreds of German scientists who had worked for the Nazi’s to the United States.
Although the hunters aren’t exactly ‘heroes’ per se, there is something of the genre in “Hunters,” beyond the odd reference to “Batman”. This is also an action-packed show with elements of denunciation, another hallmark of one of its producers, Jordan Peele (“Get Out”): If we mercilessly hunt monsters, don’t we run the risk of becoming one of them? How can you separate the savage from the civilized?, or revenge from justice?, good from evil?
In the current context where we are seeing a worrying resurgence of anti-Semitism, it helps to remind ourselves of the message Meyer Offerman’s team feel compelled to get out there: “Not again.” Although with “Hunters” you’ll find the opposite happening: you’ll be calling out for more.