About forty minutes into the picture, my wife whispered, “I think I’m leaving.”“You are?” I asked with envy or admiration.“It’s ridiculous and revolting,” she said.“That’s being gentle,” I said.She reminded me that she is gentle and asked if I was coming too.“I can’t,” I hissed. “I’ve got to write about it.”“If only they knew, you’d be so much kinder if you didn’t have to see it.”
It's not an easy thing to balance jocular irony and geopolitical earnestness in a film, and it's harder still when it's a film about war. David O. Russell somehow managed the feat in his 1999 Three Kings; Andrew Niccol fell somewhat short in his 2005 Nicholas Cage vehicle Lord of War; and now Richard Shepard has missed the mark altogether in The Hunting Party. At the opening of the film onscreen text informs us that "Only the most ridiculous parts of this story are true." This playful boast is utter hogwash, as viewers will soon conclude themselves.