Review: ‘The Prey’ survives cliché.

Undercover Chinese cop Xin (newcomer Gu Shangwei), is on a secret international mission when a surprise raid puts him in a remote Cambodian jungle prison that plays by its own rules. Ruthless warden (Vithaya Pansringarm of ONLY GOD FORGIVES ) sells prisoners as human prey for rich hunters looking for thrills in the jungle. 

After years of hunting down ruthless criminals, Xin suddenly finds himself running for his life. If Xin manages to survive this sadistic game, he’ll walk out of the jungle the same way he came in: as a free man. If Xin fails, he’s just another hunting trophy.

The Prey starts off with a bang, literally. Frankly, the action does not let up from there. I was instantly cheering for our leading man. An audible, “Oh Hell, Yes!” could be heard from me less than 10 minutes in. We’ve all read The Most Dangerous Game, and there are innumerable film versions. The Prey takes a fresh look at the story. Filmed from inside a corrupt Cambodian prison to the surrounding jungle, you’ll find yourself really “feeling” Xin’s (Gu Shangwei) pain, both emotionally and physically. There’s particularly sick humor to the performance of the Warden (Vithaya Pansringarm) that is akin to Ready Or Not. Performances all around are undeniably stellar. One issue that seemed unnecessary was a subplot that dealt with mental illness. It didn’t make much sense to the overall storytelling and in the end, felt silly. On the upside, the action and violence are unrelenting. The fight choreography was wildly entertaining. You will not have time to get bored watching The Prey.  What else could action fans want? Not much.

THE PREY

OPENING IN VIRTUAL THEATERS FRIDAY, AUGUST 21 WITH A NORTH AMERICAN (US & CANADA) VOD RELEASE TO FOLLOW ON AUGUST 25 ON ALL MAJOR PLATFORMS.

VIRTUAL THEATERS (August 21)-Including: Los Angeles (Laemmle), New York (Alamo On Demand) and major cities.

VOD (August 25): Including: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu,  Direct TV, Dish Network and all major cable providers.

 

*****Official Selection: Busan International Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival,  Fantasia Film Festival.*****

DIRECTOR: Jimmy Henderson (JAILBREAK)

WRITTEN BY: Jimmy Henderson, Michael Hodgson, Kai Miller

CAST: Byron Bishop, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Nophand Boonyai, Vithaya Pansringarm (ONLY GOD FORGIVES), Gu Shangwei

Loosely based on Richard Connell’s story of survival and adventure The Most Dangerous Game,  THE PREY comes from writer/director Jimmy Henderson and the team behind genre festival hit JAILBREAK.

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.