Thursday, 25 October 2012

Hunted: Who is the mole, and is there even a mole? Are we sure it's not just lots of guns?

The impossibly moody action thriller Hunted is, if nothing else, a lesson in how to tire out your leading actor, and maybe even leave them covered in bruises with a bit of internal emotional distress thrown in.

Melissa George is not getting an easy ride in Hunted. She plays Sam Hunter, a tireless spy working for a private security firm called Byzantium. It seems to be a mysterious organisation based in a large, bare office in view of St Paul's Cathedral - all we know is that there's not always proper milk in the fridge and they have a large table in a meeting room that's like an enormous iPad but with no access to anything fun.

And the firm's boss Rupert Keel is a bit shady and there's also something important about an hourglass that is possibly to do with the traumatic death of Sam's mother in a petrol station when she was a child, but that's not clear yet so it could just be 'background'.

So far, Sam has spent much of the series running about, fighting big burly men to a pulp and trying to figure out who among her colleagues is the mole that betrayed her to an enemy. When she speaks it's in a sharp English accent that's probably been deliberately stripped of any warmth or personality as a reflection of her character and her inability to trust and so on.

Adam Rayner and Melissa George in Hunted. Note the gun. There's lots of guns.
At times it's slightly difficult to keep up, but at other times watching Sam in action - creeping about a dimly lit basement or brandishing a gun like she means it, and simultaneously navigating a great big garden maze having only picked up the corresponding leaflet with the map in it moments before - is so tense that any confusion or disbelief is suspended, as is any horror about quite how ruthlessly murderous she has to be to survive each episode.

Or the fear that her US accent she adopts for her undercover nannying job could be dropped at any second and therefore blowing her cover.

But no fear, because despite her inner vulnerability, Sam basically seems invincible - and also quite handy with a drill, given the fact she knocked up that partition in her one-room flat without much trouble, in order to create a secret lair.

For Melissa George, it was undoubtedly a complex but challenging part to play (as she explains here), and she's keen to do more (a second series is not yet commissioned but is being prepared, and would be set in Berlin) but one of the big questions - apart from when Sam gets to eat, and exactly how big her annual health insurance bill might be - is whether there even is a mole betraying her. 

It's unlikely to be the obvious choice - her untrustworthy former lover Aidan Marsh - and instead it's quite possibly the loud and oafish - and real-milk loving - Ian Fowkes.

Call it a hunch. An substantiated one, mind you, but a hunch all the same. What do you think?

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