Film: The Prince

Cast: Jason Patric, Bruce Willis, John Cusack, Jessica Lowndes, Rain, 50 Cent, Gia Mantegna

Director: Brian A Miller

“A History of Violence” meets “Taken” in this tale of a widowed car mechanic (Jason Patric) who turns out to be a former hit man who is forced out of retirement to revert to his bad old ways when his only daughter Beth is abducted. It doesn’t help that the girl has been absconding from college.

His investigations lead him to her galpal, Angela (Lowndes) who is lured with lucre to accompany him to his happy hunting ground of yore, New Orleans. Paul also seeks out old buddy Sam (John Cusack) to watch his back while he combats old rival Omar (Bruce Willis) who has a very personal axe to grind. This we see in recurring flashbacks.

Now. Machiavelli’s Prince papa Paul is decidedly not but  there is an intriguing sequence in which Sam fleshes out Paul’s character by conflating his story with  Britain’s greatest Roman monument known as Hadrian’s Wall, the defensive wall  built across northern England by the Roman Emperor Hadrian to keep the ‘barbarian’ Picts from Scotland out of Roman-occupied Britain.Your reviewer has been privileged to see the fortification near NewCastle-upon-Tyne and it was a marvellous experience. Wish I could say the same about this action film which stops short of being a blockbuster despite the presence of A-list heavyweights. Actually, it’s Patric’s film from beginning to predictable end with Cusack, Willis and 50 Cents appearing in a few scenes. Miller’s choice of cast is interesting because, like Ed Harris, neither Willis, Patric or Cusack look mean and vicious. Even so, the  fights  especially those involving South Korean star Rain (real name Jung Ji-hoon) will give value for money for die hard action fans.

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