Marshall’s got help in his (night) hunt for this villain… too much help. As mentioned, Night Hunter features supporting performances from Alexandra Daddario, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Fillion, and Ben Kingsley. This is an embarrassment of acting riches that goes to waste, as none of the characters in this movie get more to do than push the plot forward. Cooper (Ben Kinglsey) is arguably the most befuddling aspect of Night Hunter, to the point where his scenes feel like the protagonist from a different, darker movie has wandered in.An avenging vigilante who targets pedophiles with some decidedly draconian tactics, Cooper’s inclusion into Marshall’s investigation never makes a whole lot of sense. He brings insight the cops should already have and some bargain bin Dark Knight cell phone tracking tech, but little else. What makes far less sense is why Cooper isn’t arrested for his vigilantism in the first place – all of the police officials know what he does and no one bats an eye, or even really articulates why his methods are tolerable to them.
Then again, this movie’s really not concerned with its cops following the letter of the law. At one point, Tucci’s police commissioner commands Marshall to kill a pair of suspects rather than taking them alive, which seems way out of left field for someone who, up to that point, seemed like a fairly by-the-book guy.
Have a Look at Henry Cavill’s Next Project, The Witcher:
The Witcher Season 1 Gallery
As for Henry Cavill, he’s stuck in the middle of a very unforgiving role. Marshall isn’t an interesting enough character to give Cavill anything to sink his teeth into, and doesn’t get enough good action scenes to distract you from how bland of a character he is. Cavill’s best scenes end up being the tender ones with his tween daughter, which are the only rare instances where he gets to do anything outside of being a steely serious cop.
For a thriller, Night Hunter is not very thrilling at all. The central mystery of how Simon is able to keep perpetrating crimes from behind bars has only so many possible outcomes. There’s little chance you won’t puzzle it out for yourself before the reveal, so you may find yourself comparing the strategy of Night Hunter’s villain to more well-executed concepts from better movies. Though the circumstances surrounding Simon’s crimes are predictable, Brendan Fletcher’s performance itself gives Night Hunter spurts of energy when it needs it most. Simon proves to be far more complicated than he appears at the outset and Fletcher does a fine job navigating those tricky waters.
Night Hunter’s setup and impressive cast should have resulted in a more entertaining movie than this. It has more characters than it knows what to do with and a story that any fan of the last twenty or so years of thrillers will be able to stay ahead of at every turn. Though it features a solid performance from Brendan Fletcher’s villain, Night Hunter is far more suited to its current DirectTV home than it is to its theatrical release.