By Lucas McNelly | October 26, 2011

The first thing you need to ask yourself before you decide if you’re going to watch Il Cacciatore Di Anatre (a.k.a. The Duck Hunter) is if you’ve seen The Best of Youth, a beautiful sprawling 6-hour Italian film from a couple of years ago. Because if you’ve seen The Best of Youth, there’s not a reason in the world why you’d need to see The Duck Hunter, as it’s essentially a much, much worse version. Or, as I wrote on Twitter, this is like comparing a busker to Arcade Fire.

The Duck Hunter is bad. Really, really bad.

There’s nothing to recommend here. It’s not aggressively bad, in the way that a lot of micro-budget indies can be. There’s some money on the screen. It cost roughly 100,000 Euros, so there’s some production value, but it’s just so damned boring. The film spans a lifetime and only runs 90 minutes, yet I fell asleep twice. Twice!

There’s a mildly entertaining subplot about a French guy and a treasure, but it’s all too quickly resolved and abandoned, never to be heard from again, which is too bad because he was at least interesting. Over the top, but interesting.

Other than that, it’s easily forgettable. The editing lacks rhythm, allowing things to drag on long past any point of interest, and has an annoying habit of cutting to an establishing shot at emotional points. It’s really rather bewildering. And awful. Avoid.

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