**This spoiler free review only covers the first five episodes given early to Critics**
Jordan Peele is a big name, so it’s no surprise to see Amazon plastering his name all over their newest original series. Executive Produced by Jordan Peele, and created by David Weil, Hunters takes place in an alternate 1970’s where it’s discovered that there are Nazi’s leftover from WWII that are living and functioning within the United States of America. It’s a brilliant and bold concept, one that perfectly fits under Jordan Peele’s umbrella. But is the show any good? To say the least, it’s incredible.
The story follows Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman), a boy who is growing up in a bad area trying to keep his Safta and himself afloat. A series of unfortunate events leads him to discover Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino) and his team of Jewish Nazi Hunters—as it’s revealed that Nazi’s are alive and well, operating within the US infrastructure. Whenever you tackle the Holocaust, it isn’t a light subject. And despite its openly crazy stylized persona, Hunters realizes that as well, though that doesn’t keep them from having some fun.
Honestly my favorite part of the show is how the whole thing feels, and the extremely deft and skillful balance on display. Hunters can get extremely dark—darker than your average project about the Holocaust. Hard to imagine, given the subject matter. But it gets there, and it can be hard to watch. It can put a heavy weight on your shoulders. This is important though. It establishes and maintains an intensely strong emotional core to the entire show, and the characters that inhabit it. However the show never exhausts you with all of that darkness, thanks to how zaney it can be. The show possesses this contagious swagger, something that never feels forced, but instead cleverly interwoven into the fabric of the show. It feels earned. It’s the amazing balance between the extremely dark aspects of the show, and the lighter more comedic parts, that really helps everything about Hunters to excel.
The pacing throughout is excellently implemented as well. The progression of the plot is not only natural, but also always engrossing. The lead of the show is without a doubt Logan Lerman’s Jonah Hidelbaum. Let me be the one to tell you that his performance is fantastic. It’s really, really good, and it makes me wonder why we haven’t seen more of Logan Lerman in other projects. His character is almost like an alternate Peter Parker—an ironic and very fitting comparison when it comes to the proceedings in the show. Jonah is who the show follows as he discovers all of these revelations about the Jews and the active Nazis in America. His morals play heavily into the sea of themes and concepts. Navigating those morally gray waters with Jonah is where a lot of extremely interesting and unanswerable questions come to surface.
A lot of the show’s fun elements come into play with their supporting characters—including the extremely colorful band of Nazi Hunters led by Al Pacino’s Meyer Offerman. Al Pacino is fantastic, and is a great father figure and team leader. Or as Jonah’s character calls him more than once, Professor X. The team includes such crazy personalities such as a washed up former Hollywood Star named Lonnie Flash (played by How I Met Your Mother’s Josh Radnor), a former-MI6-agent-now-nun by the name of Sister Harriet (Kate Mulvaney), and a martial artist assassin that goes by Joe Torrance (Louis Ozawa). I could go on and on listing the spectacular cast that the show has brought together, but I’ll just leave it at this: there is not a single week link. From the rest of The Hunters, to all the various Nazi’s that we are introduced to, and the FBI leads—not a one of them falls flat. That is certainly a rare sight to behold.
Amazon Studios has a huge winner on their hands. Hunters literally oozes with quality, and is consistently a fun and engaging watch. It’s brutal, emotionally heavy hitting, contagiously stylized. You’d be doing yourself a true disservice by not checking this one out. Not only do I hope to see many more seasons to come from Hunters, but many more projects from Executive Producer Jordan Peele.
You can stream all ten episodes of Hunters when it premieres on February 21st exclusively on Amazon’s Prime Video Service.