The PrinceOverview -
A retired assassin is drawn back into the life he gave up when his daughter is kidnapped. To rescue her, he must confront his former rival.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
Sometimes a film comes along that has a great cast, and for some reason went undetected from your movie radar for a while for unknown reasons. More times than not, that's because the movie in question stinks and begs the question, "Why would these actors say 'Yes' to a movie like this??" It happens more often than not. This is the case with 'The Prince', which is basically a very low budget version of 'Taken', but instead of Liam Neeson, we get a former punk rock vampire 'Lost Boy' Jason Patric, along with Bruce Willis, John Cusack, and 50 Cent who get top billing, although they aren't in the movie much, but are featured on the front cover very prominently.
It's that kind of movie. Director Brian A. Miller is able to make these low budget action thrillers with some big names. He's worked with Willis and Patric before, but none of his movies ever see a wide release. Probably because most of them stink, just like 'Officer Down' did, but I digress. Again, this is basically the same story as 'Taken' with Patric playing a guy named Paul who has a daughter in college.
After speaking with her one day and noticing she didn't seem all that well, he receives a letter from her university stating that she has dropped out, only to him not be able to reach her again. He then sets out to find his daughter to realize she has been kidnapped by some high level drug kingpins, and he'll do whatever it takes to get her back, including killing dozens of bad guys by himself. Every action sequence, every piece of fight choreography, and every gun battle and explosion has been seen many times before in better films.
The twists and turns, if you can call them that, can be seen from miles away, leaving no element for surprise or suspense in the end. Sure, Bruce Willis and John Cusack show up for a little bit, but they both look completely bored out of their minds here and either owed someone a favor or it was a quick paycheck, because their performances aren't what we've come to expect from them.
I literally laughed out loud when I heard some of the filmmakers say they tried to make this movie like Clint Eastwood's 'Unforgiven' in the bonus features, because they completely missed that mark by a few hundred light years. 'The Prince' is anything but good.
'The Prince' comes with a decent 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Though the film might not be very good, this video presentation is quite good. Colors never seem to really pop, although the look very natural and well saturated, that is until the picture is color graded to a blue and yellowish tint to give this film a grittier look than it deserves. Usually when this much color grading is going on, the detail suffers a bit, but that's not the case here. The detail is always in tact, looking sharp and vivid throughout, even in the lower lit moments.
Closeups reveal individual hairs, makeup blemishes, and beads of sweat nicely. Wider shots never lose their crispness either, giving the picture some visual depth. Black levels are always deep and inky, and the skin tones are natural. There were no major issues with aliasing or banding here, although some very slight video noise was detected. Other than that, this is a solid video presentation.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and sounds very good. The key here are loud action scenes, which this movie has. There are explosions, gun fire, fight choreography, and more, all of which sound very good. I wouldn't say this sounds like the latest 'Transformers' film, but it sounds very good for a low budget action movie.
Gun blasts pack a punch, explosions rattle the walls, and the fight scenes are well layered, providing some great directionality and excellent sounding kicks, hits, and blows. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, free of any pops, cracks, hiss, and high shrills. The score and music throughout sounds good as well, always adding to each intended suspenseful moment. This is a solid audio track.
Audio Commentary - Director Brian A. Miller and actor Jason Patric are on this commentary track, but this is not a very engaging nor a fun commentary to listen to. There are a lot of gaps and Patric barely speaks, and when he does, he just talks about a few instances on set. Brian tends to stick with technical aspects and the origins of the script, along with how good he though his own movie was.
Capturing 'The Prince' (HD, 10 Mins.) - Here are interviews with the cast and crew as well as some on set footage of the making of the film. This is usual promo reel junk here, as everyone discusses their characters, the story, and filming.
Interviews (HD, 14 Mins.) - These are the full interviews with the cast and crew that were cut from the above bonus feature. You'll get repeat footage here.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (HD, 11 Mins.) - A few deleted and extended scenes from the film, none of which pack any action or character development.
Trailers (HD, 13 Mins.) - One trailer for 'The Prince' along with a few trailers for other action thrillers.
'The Prince' goes to show you that just having some good actors, doesn't make for a good movie. In fact it can make for a very awful film, which is what 'The Prince' is. Virtually the exact same as 'Taken', starring Liam Neeson, this particular film is never original nor is it ever engaging or fun. It's just a bloody mess from top to bottom where everyone looks completely bored to be on screen. That being said, the video and audio presentations are actually quite good here, but the extras are less than to be desired and are not worth the time. Feel free to skip this one all together re-watch 'TAKEN', because if you don't, Liam will find you and...well you know the rest.
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