The Prince is a generic action movie that seemed to be geared towards Jason Statham but instead got Jason Patric who at least did come off better bad ass than he did in Speed 2… Still, it’s passable entertainment even though you won’t remember a single thing about it the following day.
Genre(s): Action, Crime
Lionsgate | R – 91 min. – $24.99 | October 28, 2014
THE MOVIE – 2.75/5
Note: This review contains spoilers about the plot.
Paul (JASON PATRIC) is a blue collar mechanic whose daughter, Beth (GIA MANTEGNA), goes missing and after tracking down Beth’s friend, Angela (JESSICA LOWNDES) who reluctantly reveals that Beth is no angel, had gotten deep into the drug world and also leads him to a drug dealer out of New Orleans so the pair go there first stopping at a club.
Here we get Paul’s sketchy past: he was once a high-level assassin, and in one instance gunned down seven people as told by the sole survivor who helps Paul, via the survivor’s nephew, that Beth is in the hands of a man known as The Pharmacist (CURTIS “50 CENT” JACKSON), a dealer who pushes heavier drugs such as heroine.
Meanwhile, word is out on the street that Paul is back in town which reaches his old nemesis, Omar (BRUCE WILLIS) whose wife and daughter were killed in a car explosion meant for him, an explosion set up by Paul who fails in stopping it; so I guess he’s not a complete psychopath. So, with close associate and former partner Sam (JOHN CUSACK) helping babysit Rachel and get a clean getaway out of the city, and getting a supply of weaponry from a former contact, Paul goes to get his daughter prepared to do anything. Of course, Omar has other plans leading to action film cliché #158…
The Prince initially was set for some kind of theatrical release before ultimately going the direct-to-video route and it’s easy to see why with a generic yet confusing title, which is explained in clunky exposition not unlike that in 1998’s Ronin, and just an all around standard action film that I’m certain was written for Jason Statham who probably was too busy filming The Expendables 3, so they went with Jason Patric instead.
Speaking of the cast, actually Jason Patric is alright and was a bad-ass in a scene or two; he does his best with what little he had but he did make the film more tolerable, even somewhat entertaining, than it deserved to be. The other two actors proximately displayed on the front cover, Bruce Willis and John Cusack, were clearly fulfilling some kind of favor because neither are really in it that much with Willis taking up maybe 15-minutes, the majority the final scene, and Cusack unfortunately less than 10-minutes unfortunately and is used as a crutch for the main character and the overall plot more than anything else. I guess one of the highlights in the supporting players is Jessica Lowndes who works well opposite Patric.
Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson had a brief appearance, marking his third movie with Willis following the utterly dreadful Set Up and very average Fire with Fire. You can click the links to read my review of both of those gems… I will say, at least his role is small and gets dispensed with rather quickly, and I must say, satisfactory.
Directed by Brian A. Miller (Officer Down, Vice) with a script from Andre Fabrizio (upcoming San Andreas) and Jeremy Passmore (Red Dawn remake), The Prince actually isn’t an altogether terrible movie and thanks to a short running time, is at least passable entertainment although the plot and characters are so generic that it’s not the kind of movie one will remember the following day…
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
This release comes with a glossy, semi-reflective slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital Copy.
Audio Commentary – Director Brian A. Miller and Actor Jason Patric sit down for a friendly but low-key track discussing the making of the movie, the characters and other tidbits. It’s not incredibly lively but the pair do give some info on the production.
Capturing The Prince: Behind the Scenes (9:58; HD) – This is your run-of-the-mill featurette containing BTS footage and on-set interviews with the cast and crew telling what the plot is and covering the characters.
Extended Scenes (10:28; HD) include six scenes trimmed down and though nice to see, they weren’t necessary.
Interviews with the Cast and Crew (14:10; HD) – Available to watch individually, director Brian A. Miller and actors Jason Patric, John Cusack, Jessica Lowndes, Curtis Jackson and Mia Mantegna offer their thoughts on the movie and/or their respective characters.
Trailer (2:33; HD)
Previews – The Expendables 3, Reclaim, The Frozen Ground, Fire with Fire
VIDEO – 4.0/5
The Prince rides into town on Blu-ray presented with a 1080p high-definition transfer and a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio. This movie is all over the place in its tone going from the overused teal and orange usually reserved for movie posters to just generally warmer elements. Still, detail levels aren’t bad but I did notice the fleshes on actors had an almost waxy appearance. It’s not a bad transfer, just nothing noteworthy
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track does make the most out of the numerous gunplay scenes which help give some depth to an otherwise standard lossless track. The dialogue levels are crisp and clear while those action scenes are loud though not exactly dynamic, just above average if anything.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, The Prince is a generic action movie that seemed to be geared towards Jason Statham but instead got Jason Patric who at least did come off better bad ass than he did in Speed 2… Still, it’s passable entertainment even though you won’t remember a single thing about it the following day. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate has good audio/video transfers and a fair number of features.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.