William Friedkin’s The Hunted is lame on so many counts (its underdeveloped hunter-becomes-the-hunted story, its uneven pacing, its shoddy peripheral characters, perhaps the worst single-scene performance by Benicio Del Toro ever, in which he teaches a girl about the sacredness of animals) that it’s hard to believe there’s actually some worthwhile meat on its bruised and bloody carcass. Tommy Lee Jones plays a tracker (and once-special ops trainer) who comes out of retirement to stop a renegade former pupil (Del Toro). Johnny Cash’s august intro narration about Abraham killing his son lays out the story’s biblical underpinnings, and Friedkin’s visceral hand-to-hand combat scenes (shot with gritty beauty by Caleb Deschanel) vigorously express the nastiness of unhinged masculinity. The Hunted’s portrait of the murderous bestiality lurking beneath man’s civilized façade – and the responsibility fathers have for giving birth to such monstrousness – makes the film more than just another entry in the “Tommy Lee Jones chases a criminal” genre. But be prepared to endure pounds of painful preposterousness in return for the film’s pint-sized pleasures.