Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter Movie Review
Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter Movie Review Metadata
Jody Hill and actor/co-writer Danny McBride team up again (recently on HBO’s Vice Principals) for the long-awaited Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter; a rite-of-passage hunting satire set in the forests of the Appalachian mountains.
Josh Brolin plays the title character of Whitetail Deer Hunter. The role, Buck Ferguson, parodies the life of an enthusiastic American outdoorsman and exuberant hunting TV show host. Brolin plays the part in the most Brolin of poker-faced sternness as he and his sidekick cameraman Don (McBride) set out to make Buck’s teenage son Jaden (newcomer Montana Jordan) into a hunter.
In front of the camera, Buck is a capable and strong leader, but his personal life has turned to an absolute wreck since the divorce from Jaden’s mother, which Buck believes is harming the relationship with his son. Feeling emotionally disconnected from his father, Jaden wants no part in this trip or in becoming a deer hunter. He prefers bouts of parkour and checking-in with his older girlfriend via iPhone. He even calls his stepdad, “dad.” Buck hates it, and very clearly doesn’t recognize his failures.
Speaking of failure, Buck has also neglected Don throughout the years. Don is a faithful servant but he too has come to the conclusion it is time to retire his relationship with Buck. Over the course of a grand deer hunting weekend Buck encounters dissension among the ranks and a contrasting zeal for the outdoor sport he holds so dear. He is in danger of losing the only two meaningful relationships he has left.
Whitetail Deer Hunter isn’t anything divergent from the usual Hill/McBride brand of offbeat examinations of male masculinity. Vice Principals explored the corrupting rise to power, Eastbound & Down mocked blowhards; this film however, is the most subtle entry in their exploratory body of work. While it dips its toes into themes of virility and the contrast of modern manhood, it tries harder to just be a father and son love story.
The movie as a comedy film is often uneven though. Performances from the three principles are enjoyable and Jody Hill effectively paces the film with hilarious connecting outtakes from Buck’s TV show. But often jokes don’t hit as hard as intended and the script could have used a few exclamatory curse words in the physical humor scenes, something I found particularly distracting. It will satisfy the expectations of Hill/McBride fans, however, more judicious audiences may find themselves less enthusiastic. I found it to be an absolute joy.
Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter is skipping the box office and premiering as a Netflix ‘Original’ this July. Play it in the background while you clean your guns!