Hunters season 2: review that exhausted Nazi puns on Amazon

“We can have a second chance”

What a funny series Hunters, stuck between a postulate of pure mindless Nazisploitation (a group of Jews embarks on the hunt for Nazis who have found refuge in the United States after the war, to finally dismantle a network of ex-SS preparing the advent of the 4th Reich) and inclinations, whether political or less historical. Rather than choosing between the uninhibited bis and a respectful seriousness, David Weill and its clique of screenwriters sabotaged both approachesfrustrated moviegoers and (rightly) scandalized the Auschwitz memorial with frankly inappropriate flashbacks.

Would season 2 have finally managed to find its tone? It benefits in any case largely from the improbable twists of the end of season 1 that got him back on the paths of humble entertainment : Meyer, or Pluto “The Wolf”, general-in-chief of the vengeful militia and undercover Nazi torturer, is no longer, unlike Adolf Hitler himself, alive and well in an Argentine villa. Bleeding icing on the cake of anything: the dictator in exile is camped by the essential Udo Kiera past master in the art of the raised arm salute (it’s the fourth time he’s sported his mustache!) and legend of exploitation cinema.

Hunters: photo, Udo KierBest mine Kier

The mission of the title Hunters? Hunt down and draw from his retirement no more and no less than the Führer himself. A regressive program, which rids us in good faith for all of the visions of the camps… but not of the bombastic flashbacks. Because Al Pacino and his mumbling accent are still on the bill in this season 2, in fact regularly disturbed by countless sequences detailing the life of the undercover monster and the formation of his secret squad. It was enough to weigh down a story that finally tended towards a saving simplicity.

Indeed, the rest of the time is devoted to a slightly outdated spy plot, far from original, but provided enough twists and histrionics to make you forget the lengths of the first eight episodes. Logan Lerman gains 100 charisma points by letting the toupee grow, as well as the command of the small team, which finds a new ally and sets out year after year on Adolf’s trail. Without the pervasive attention paid to the false Meyer, the pulp dimension of the adventure would finally appear.

Hunters: photo, Al PacinoHe is Al

Trial of intentions

Then come the last two episodes, which crystallize the paradox of the series. The first takes the form of a fake flashback written on the model of the tale, recounting the survival of Jewish families in an architect’s house. From the principle to the staging, he assumes his artificiality, breaks the fourth wall, then literally rebuilds it, multiplies the references to children’s stories (The three SS are three dangerous wolves), almost has an eye on the supernatural (the traps), not without black humour. An exercise in style a bit wobbly, but whose very nature betrays a fanciful interpretation of history, which is what the series should have claimed from its pilot.

The second radically changes gear to tell, very seriously, the trial of Hitler. Interesting concept and exercise of thought if ever there was one, moreover sometimes organized in reality by troupes of artists and history enthusiasts. Still it would have been necessary that the scenario not be based on coarse processes (the young Jewish lawyer who constitutes great defender of the penal method, the jury with dubious origins, the false suspense on the verdict) and the usual archetypes for establish its demonstration, even when certain ideas are relevant (negationism as a facade of anti-Semitic radicalization)?

Hunters: pictureOh yeah, there’s that too…

Of course, the defenders of the series will deduce from this improbable sequence an ambivalence of the themes treated. Hard not to see a gloubi-boulga of noble intentions and pop delusions which immediately discredits its major conclusions on the rise of fascism in Western societies and spoils the regressive pleasure it would like to arouse. Whatever the first episodes suggest, Hunters has not yet decided on its approach. This second season, however, has for her to make her indecision much more spectacular.

Hunters is available in full on Amazon Prime Video since January 13, 2023

Hunters: Poster

Hunters season 2: review that exhausted Nazi puns on Amazon