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A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word
Analysis Date: March 14, 2003
CAP Score: 47
CAP Influence Density: 1.35
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Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Alphaville Films, Lakeshore Entertainment
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): William Friedkin
Producer(s): Sean Daniel, David Griffiths, Peter Griffiths, James Jacks, Ricardo Mestres, Art Monterastelli, Marcus Viscidi
Written by/Screenplay: Written by: David Griffiths, Peter Griffiths, Art Monterastelli
Cinematography/Camera: Caleb Deschanel
Music: Brian Tyler
Film Editing: Augie Hess
Casting: Denise Chamian
Production Design: William Cruse
Art Direction: Beatriz Kerti
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6, Granbury, Texas
The move opens with some of the most brutal and vile carnage I have ever seen onscreen. In Kosovo during the Bosnian war, a Serbian commander is killing every non-Serb thing that breathes. Men. Women. Children. It didn't matter. I wonder if this movie is telling the truth about the fighting in Bosnia. If so, there is no honor or mercy among the Serb aggressors.
US Special Services Operations specialist, Aaron Hallam (Benicio Del Toro) is assigned to kill the Serbian commander. With skill and cunning, Hallam dispatches the Serb commander in a bloodbath in the commander's own blood. That is what he was trained to do. As an assassin.
Hallam was trained by L. T. Bonham (Tommy Lee Jones), a survivalist tracker and woodsman detached from any form of feelings when performing the service he provides. He is sickened by his service but does it better than anyone else in the world. He trained Hallam so well that if an offensive were launched against Hallam, the only concern the offensive command must have is what is an acceptable body count.
Hallam survives the offensive and the mission is accomplished. But there is one very big problem. Hallam does not know how to "shut it off." Once back stateside, Hallam finds his skills surface without him having any control over them. His skills heap on two deer hunters in the woods of Silver Falls, Oregon. After taunting and teasing the hunters, Hallam proceeds to pick them apart. They both have high powered rifles with magnascopes on them, but the armament does the hunters no good at all. Soon, the hunters are killed and mutilated with only a knife. If there is a narcotic effect in spilling blood for a cause, Hallam got another fix that day in the hills of Silver Falls, Oregon.
Realizing there is no one available on their forces and staffs to match the skills and cunning of this walking death machine, the authorities enlist the aid of his trainer - L. T. Bonham to track him down and capture Hallam. Or at least try to capture him.
There is something a little deeper here that should be noted. It is not so much violence the impressionable crave in movies like these. It is the power and control associated with violence, even if in fantasy, whether noble or not. Everyone wants power. Teens and other adolescents especially. And the portrayal of power with violence as a necessary element of it is undeniable in entertainment such as *The Hunted*. The act of violence does not wield as much influence as the desire for the power in it. And when Hollywood strongly portrays coldness and steely distance from the act the power is the focus, making the actual act of violence merely consequential. Though I am not a trained psychologist or psychiatrist, it is my observation that even when consequences or regret are portrayed with an act of violence, by the time any such "message" gets to the brain through the various social, emotional and other filters that there is little or nothing left of the "message" and almost all that makes it to the brain is the imagery of power and control. A indelible image almost certainly. And since many teens *want* to be thought of as dangerous, whether noble or not, this film is perfect feed for that desire and perfect example-setting for expressing that desire. A direct violation of Prov. 3:31-32 for which the filmmakers are culpable, even if only morally [Ps. 12:8].
I can just hear it now. "That's that way it is in the real world, man. Gotta tell it like it is, y'know!" The sins of the world do not excuse teaching and/or causing others to sin [Luke 17:2], even if only in thought. I can just hear even others say "It's rated R, man. Teens are not allowed." Since when does "adult" excuse sin? And since when did "R" keep the teens out? By the way, 17 is "teen." So is 18 and 19. "We're old enough to handle that stuff!" Handle what? Sin? And being 17 does not protect the viewer, Neither does 70.
Harvard educated child developmental expert, Developmental Psychologist and Professor of Psychology, Dr. Karen Nelson agrees with me that entertainment violence can plant aberrant behavioral templates. The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry have agreed that violence in movies can and does beget aggression in youth. And God says so [1 Co. 15:33]. Professor Nelson also agrees with me also that other negative behavioral expressions such as arrogance, rebellion, hatred in entertainment can plant behavioral templates as well. Further, Dr. Nelson agrees with me that *any* behavioral expression can be shaped by observation of behavior in entertainment, good or bad, and that aberrant behavior or change in attitude or coping skills caused or catalyzed by the influence of entertainment may manifest as an entirely different expression than that observed.
You must understand that an implanted behavioral template can be and often is indelible and, to remind you of the above information, does not have to manifest as the same behavior by which it was planted. The manifestation may surface as something entirely different than the observed behavior which implanted it. Want more? Professional counselor Doctor Larry Gilliam *and* Dr. Nelson agree with me that it would be unusual for even a 16 year old to be able to fully comprehend the consequences of his/her actions or to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality: that such capabilities do not typically plateau until the early 20s. How much more proof of the influence of aberrant presences in and as entertainment do we need? Think of the issue this way. Did you *ever* get misty-eyed at anything you saw/heard in the movies? Have you *ever* gotten mad or happy or sad or "energized" at *anything* you saw and heard on the big screen -- ever? And do you remember it/them down to the level of remembering the colors? What color was old Yeller? Was he really yellow or was he blonde? What color was Bambi? What color was Kate Winslow's hair in *Titanic*? Was she sitting or standing when DiCaprio drew her? Or did he paint her? If you watched these movies I'll bet you can answer every question. To this day, years later. [1 Co. 15:33]
Clearly, the largest point losses in *The Hunted* are in Wanton Violence/Crime with 25.5 examples per hour, in Impudence/Hate with 12.1 examples per hour and Murder/Suicide with 6.4 examples per hour. Raging murderous obsession is the drive behind the plot. Foul language (Impudence/Hate) [Col. 3:8] drained an equal number of points as the murderous heart of this show. Note, however, there was absolutely no sexual programming noted, not even an adult in underwear or sexual innuendo. Two instances of drinking were noted and one instance of the use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive was noted and none without the four letter expletive.
Please read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before you chose whether to take your kids with you to see this movie or whether even to go yourself.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Offense to God (O)
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Christian Media News
|NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|