As a documentary, "Hunters and the Hunted" is woefully unfocused, failing to contextualize the footage with much of a subject. Without even a minute of set-up, Schopfer dives right into his creature footage -- no information on Fascination Coral Reef (is this the actual name of a place or just the name of the documentary?) or the Maldives whatsoever (were the Maldives not randomly mentioned in the narration from time to time, I would have no idea where this feature was actually shot). Without giving the viewer a foothold on what the documentary is going to cover beyond "sea life in 3D," it takes a little while to settle into an already short program without feeling as if some piece of crucial information was skipped over.
Furthermore, Schopfer's footage is assembled without much flair or interest, leading to long patches of the documentary that drag. Since he himself has no focus, there's no real rhyme or reason to the way the footage has been lined up, drifting from topic to topic as the camera drifts from creature to creature. At times, it feels as if the narrator is literally improvising, changing the subject to whatever creature happens to be on screen. Moray eels, for example, are covered at about six different moments in the film, and some of the later appearances don't really shed any further light on the creature that hasn't already been discussed. There are also numerous times where the narrator explains a habit or trait of one of the creatures, as if to prepare the viewer for what they're about to see...only for nothing at all to happen, until Schopfer cuts to something else.
On the upside, Schopfer does have some beautiful imagery for the viewer to enjoy, particularly an extended sequence exploring a sunken ship that has been taken over by ocean creatures. He finds his moray eels in cracks and crevices in the ship, and a school of baby fish living in the hull. A number of interesting fish are shown, including a Napoleon (a massive hulking fish which drifts by in the background like a monster), and the details of a manta ray's feeding habits. Sadly, these moments of beauty are the exception, not the rule. With massive restructuring, "Hunters and the Hunted" would might be more fun to watch, but in its current state, it's a messy slog through pretty waters.
The Video and Audio
Audio is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English track, which is perfectly adequate and nothing to write home about. It might as well be a stereo track, really: I didn't sense much coming out of the rear surround speakers, just the narration in the front and music and fish sounds out on the left and right. What is impressive, though, is the extensive list of audio and subtitle options on the disc: French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese DTS 5.1, French-Canadian, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian, and Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1, plus English SDH, French, French Canadian, Italian, Castilian Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Norwegian, Bulgarian, Arabic, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Latvian subtitles. Phew!