Positive: 1 out of 1
Mixed: 0 out of 1
Negative: 0 out of 1
Sep 22, 2013Jason Bourne busting in the front door of the CIA, Uma Thurman chopping her way to justice, or Old Boy bashing in skulls with a hammer, no matter how many times it’s done, when it’s done well, the revenge story model still works. The Prey (La proie), a film by Eric Vallete, is a classic revenge story that totally rocks the model.
Prisoner/Bad Guy Franc Adrien’s is out from vengeance. After Franc kicks the asses of three guys at once, and then escapes from prison, he finds out his wife has been murdered and his daughter kidnapped. He sets out to avenge his wife’s death and get his daughter back. Franc knows the killer, problem is, Franc has no idea where to find him.
Almost nonsensically, an ex-cop character with a hunch about the Franc’s wife’s killer is thrown into the mix. How else would Franc be able to track down the killer since he has no leads? Even then, despite this character’s evident obvious triteness as a device, he comes to such a monumental end that his self-sacrifice justifies him.
A fault in the script is that it tries to have two interesting main characters, the bad guy whom we cheer for Franc, and the cop that is chasing him, Claire, but only Franc’s story line is interesting, and even then, it is mostly just because Albert Dupontel who plays Franc is so awesome. Dupontel is so good that I found myself consciously noticing his awesomeness as it was unfolding and thinking, “these particular scenes might suck if this were any other actor.”
All the best cop scenes were the ones where they were chasing Franc. Since the cops seem to exist only to act as obstacles to Franc’s goals, I just kept thinking it would have been better if they remained at arm’s length. The vanilla acting made the non-action cop scenes seem cheesy, but there were other positives. The gun battle where we first meet the beautiful cop lead Claire is crazy and super tight, but right after this the cop storyline settles into nothing but clichés. There is the obstinate hard-ass police chief who’s menacingly interferes with proper detective work, hot tempered cops slamming their fists down and cursing as the bad guy gets away, and of course the scenario of the only (super hot) woman cop being totally bad ass and in charge la Cold Case or Homeland.
There is one scene in the second act when the cops catch up to him. He is cornered. You think there is no way out or him and then BAM, he escapes. I give some serious credit to the writers for coming up with some amazing escapes and incredibly suspenseful situations. Also, there are many awesome fights scenes, including the much blogged about ‘shaved head scraped across a concrete wall,’ and these scenes alone make the film worth seeing.
Despite the weak cop storyline, Dupontel as Franc is so great that his storyline supports the entire film. Franc is a vicious prison escapee yet we cheer whole-heartedly for him.
Very good French thriller.… Full Review »