Forget the logics; the stars, premise, and thrills make the show dangerous.
I don’t watch much television thrillers, but when I’ve gotten word that “Hunters” is the first series to star Al Pacino, I just had to check it out for myself. I have an Amazon Prime account, so this was more than perfect timing.
The show introduces us to a variety of characters who are either Nazis hiding out in the 1970s or Jews and non-Jews fighting back against them. The reason is the war is not over. Only the dead know it’s over.
- Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman) is a young Jewish pot dealer, whose grandmother (Jeannie Berlin) gets murdered, and the police are no help in finding her killer. So, he decides to take matters in his own hands.
- Biff Simpson (Dylan Baker) is a Nazi, posing as an American politician.
- Meyer Offerman (Pacino) rescued Jonah’s grandmother during the Holocaust, and runs a secret organization that sends a message to the remaining Nazis in the world.
- Millie Morris (Jerrika Hinton) is an FBI agent, looking for her big break. She finally gets one, when an old NASA scientist is gassed in her own shower. Turns out she was a Nazi chemist.
- Travis Leich (Greg Austin) is a Nazi spy.
- The Colonel (Lena Olin) the Nazi mastermind, who plans to conquer America, in what she calls “The Fourth Reich.”
Now, we meet the Nazi hunters, all led by Offerman, and all of whom are given introductions in the style of a Quentin Tarantino masterwork.
- Black power activist Roxy Jones (Tiffany Boone)
- Master of disguise and washed-up actor Lonny Flash (Josh Radner)
- Former M16 Sister Harriet (Kate Mulvany)
- Vietnam soldier Joseph Mizushima (Louis Ozawa)
- Gadget experts and holocaust survivors Murray and Mindy Markowitz (Saul Rubinek and Carol Kane)
The emotional weight levels on Jonah, who keeps seeing images of a younger v ersion of his grandmother, struggles to overcome his senses, and is told he’s like her for all the strong reasons. It also applies for Meyer, who tells the lad his stories in Auschwitz, and the villains he has encountered, one of whom is referred to as “The Wolf.” Lerman and Pacino both deliver remarkable performances in the ways they consume the scripts, and ease into their tensions.
The weakness in the show, at least in my perspectives, is the tired chemistry between Jonah and Sister Harriet. I’ve gotten annoyed by her picking on him and being pushy. I guess it’s an unwritten rule that whenever young newbies join an organization, the other professionals have to mock him. And the same applies towards Joseph.
There are also moments I’m not completely sure would be possible. Jonah survives a bomb explosion in a subway, Lonny survives a stab wound in the gut, and appears to be fine in his next scene. Maybe it wasn’t that big of an explosion or his comrades managed to heel him. It’s difficult for me to tell. They sound silly.
“Hunters” has its flaws, but the premise, cast (with cameos from Judd Hirsch and William Sadler), and thrills make it entertaining. It reveals how the remaining monsters made it to the states, and it gives its characters their studies and temptations. David Weil (a new name) is the creator, and Jordan Peele is an executive producer. You may or may not anticipate the twists, but you can also tell you’re up for Season 2.
Available for streaming on Amazon Prime