The Prince (2014) R-16
From the Hollywood Reporter: South Korean Star Rain Joins Bruce Willis, John Cusack in 'The Prince' The "Ninja Assassins" actor and singer will appear in Brian A. Miller's upcoming action thriller, whose cast also includes Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Jason Patric.
I share the imdb reviewer's views except for the last paragraph and some other parts, but I respect his opinion. If I didn't, I won't share his views here, right? ;-)
23 August 2014 | by Paul Szkibik (Germany)
I don't mind unoriginal movies, if at least they are well executed in a "guilty pleasure" kind of way. (A good example of this would be the semi-recent sci-fi action flick "Lock-Up", which scratches certain itches and succeeds to be entertaining, even if it has no Oscar worthy moments or multi-dimensional characters in it.) But this movie doesn't provide any guilty pleasure.
The setup is similar to "Taken" where an aged but "combat experienced" father goes looking for his daughter, killing a bunch of bad guys along the way. The movie tries (and fails) to establish the main character as a legendary bad ass who kicked butt 20 years ago and now has come back to save his daughter. How do we know he is this legendary bad ass? Mostly because the characters in the movie say that he is (please: show, don't tell), but Jason Patric just can't pull it off as the lead, even if he might be an otherwise competent actor. I think this is mostly the result of poorly written dialogue/scenes that just fail to sell the bad ass-ness and we never really get to see it.
The actors are doing an okay job with what they're given, but they aren't given much to begin with. Despite what the movie poster might imply, neither Bruce Willis nor John Cusack get much screen time, though it's not like their characters are interesting in any way. More screen time with them wouldn't have saved the movie.
Some may say "Well it's a genre movie. It doesn't try to reinvent the wheel. Take it for what it is: An action movie!" I am. The movie doesn't succeed. I have watched my fair share of Jet Li/Jason Statham/Vin Diesel/Dwayne Johnson etc. movies and suffered through mediocre acting and story telling but got rewarded with a couple of interestingly choreographed fight scenes or otherwise neat visuals or interesting set pieces. Not so here. It's just some guy punching/shooting bad guys at mostly boring locations. No interesting fight choreography, camera work, tension... nothing. Most of the action involves our main guy being shot at by incompetent bad guys, quickly taking cover, then eventually shooting the bad guys because they suck at taking cover -> Level complete.
It's not that the people involved in this movie were entirely incompetent, the actors are doing an okay job, the lighting is fine, the camera is, well... capturing what needs to be captured, the story is at least not a confusing mess, the character motivations are mostly clear etc., but ultimately nothing in this movie stands out as original or particularly well done. There is not a single "Hey, that was cool/interesting/impressive." moment.
"The Prince" will leave you entirely unsatisfied as you won't care about the characters or the twist-free conclusion nor will you get a rush out of any of the action scenes. This movie is not worth your time and especially not worth your money. It's a lazy straight-to-rental cash-in, using Willis and Cusack to lure people into watching it. Please don't reward such business practices.
MY OPINION: Maybe Herr Szkibik is right. Bruce Willis,
John Cusack, Rain, 50 Cent et al were used to lure people
into watching it, but Jason Patric does deserve a big break
like this one.