The Prey - hunt it on DVD

Monday, 23 July 2012 09:46

The Prey - out now on DVD“The Prey” is a fast-paced French thriller about a tough criminal who escapes from prison, and is forced to go on the run to hunt down a serial killer who endangers his wife and daughter. Albert Dupontel (“A Very Long Engagement”) stars as Franck Adrien, a wiry bank robber with a code of ethics and an impressive, Jason Bourne-like ability to outrun, outwit and out-fight anyone who stands in his way.

Adrien seizes the opportunity to break out of prison when a bent guard tries to set him up for a fall. He launches head-first into a pursuit of his deranged ex-cell mate, Jean-Louis Maurel (Stéphane Debac – “Mr. Bean’s Holiday”), a man he learns is responsible for a number of deaths of young girls, despite being released early because of false testimony. Meanwhile, a streetwise female detective called Claire Linné (Alice Taglioni – “Grande école”) is assigned to Adrien’s case, and is equally determined to send him straight back behind bars.

“The Prey” is one of those movies where you cannot resist getting behind a bad character because a much worse one is at large. Adrien is actually quite a sympathetic personality. Yes, he is a convicted bank robber who is party to the secret whereabouts of a stash worth two million Euros, but he has some admirable qualities as well. He comes to the defence of his roomy when some seriously unlikable heavies come calling, and ironically he then risks life and limb to stop the exact same man he previously helped. He is prepared to use lethal force to defend himself against undesirables but will not shoot a cop.

Reminiscent of “The Fugitive” starring Harrison Ford and Matt Damon’s aforementioned Bourne series of movies, this is a rollercoaster ride that includes some brutal fight scenes, riveting on-foot chases and nail-biting suspense. Most of the action is staged with a slightly exaggerated realism, meaning that Adrien can dodge oncoming cars and leap about with relative impunity, but at the same time the stunts never become so absurd that your suspension of disbelief is stretched to snapping point.

The characterisation is bold and engaging, especially where the triangle of Adrien, Maurel and Linné is concerned. Adrien is muscular and driven, but still vulnerable enough to keep him human. Maurel is unnerving but able to flip over to an amiable, innocent persona that catches his prey off-guard. Finally, Linné is diligent but quite capable of ignoring her orders when her instincts kick in.

The director, Eric Valette, was responsible for “One Missed Call” and four episodes of hit TV series Braquo. He ensures that movie blasts along at a break-neck pace, and guides the explosive action sequences without letting them become too frenetic or hard to follow.

No bonus features are included on the disc; a feature about the exciting stunts would have been fun. All the same, this is an excellent action-thriller and I enthusiastically recommend it to fans of the genre.

“The Prey” (2011) is out now, courtesy of Studio Canal. The film has a running time of 100 minutes approx, carries a ‘15’ certificate and retails for £17.99, or less from


Last modified on Monday, 23 July 2012 10:37

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