Review: THE HUNTER'S PRAYER (2017) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Review: THE HUNTER'S PRAYER (2017)

Sam Worthington as Lucas in THE HUNTER'S PRAYER (2017)

Sam Worthington plays Lucas, an assassin who supposed to put a bullet on the teenage girl named Ella (Odeya Rush) but ends up protecting her instead. Soon, they end up becoming targets of other killers hired by Richard Addison (Allen Leech).

REVIEW: Believe it or not, it has been eight years since Jonathan Mostow last directed a movie. In case you have forgotten, his last movie in question was the 2009 sci-fi thriller SURROGATES starring Bruce Willis. Prior to that, he also helmed TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES (2003) but Mostow's best works remained his first two directorial efforts in BREAKDOWN (1997) and U-571 (2000).

Now, he returns with THE HUNTER'S PRAYER, a low-budget thriller that sees the director does something that isn't science fiction for a change. The good news is, he still has what it takes to make decent action set-pieces even with obvious budget constraints. Whether it was the nighttime car chase on the cramped streets or the numerous gunfights, the action is crisp and clean. Best of all, they are thankfully devoid of the annoying presence of herky-jerky camerawork or tight close-ups where you are unable to tell what's going on. Not bad for a director who hasn't make a single movie for nearly a decade.

Odeya Rush as Ella in THE HUNTER'S PRAYER (2017)

Unfortunately, effective action sequences alone are not enough to offset most of the movie's shortcomings. The biggest problem here is the awfully generic script written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris (SURROGATES, TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES), which feels like it belongs to one of those listless direct-to-DVD entries. Although they did try to make Sam Worthington's Lucas into a flawed and troubled assassin who suffered from PTSD and also drug addiction, their so-called meaty character is sadly written in a hasty manner. It doesn't help when Sam Worthington himself fails to impress much with his wooden performance. The only compliment is that he does prove his worth every now and then with some of his physical works. Odeya Rush is fairly adequate as Ella, while the chemistry between her and Worthington are mostly superficial. Allen Leech of TV's Downton Abbey appears nothing more than a typical bad-guy stereotype as Richard Addison.

It's really a pity to see the once-promising Hollywood director like Jonathan Mostow has to end up making a B-movie like this.

Jonathan Mostow's first movie in eight years since 2009's SURROGATES is blessed with lean action sequences, but THE HUNTER'S PRAYER stumbles with mostly flimsy characters and tepid storyline.

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