Adrien is not exactly a touchy feely kind of guy, but he’s still a better
father than Will Smith in After Earth,
even if he is behind bars. However, he
must break out of prison to protect his family from the serial killer who
recently shared his cell in Eric Valette’s The
opens this Friday in New York.
took the fall for his last heist, but not before he squirreled away the loot. He will not say where, not even when his wife
Anna asks. His accomplices ask too, but
not so nicely. Of course, Adrien can
handle a prison beatdown. Unfortunately,
he is incapable of walking away from a fight.
When the guards allow a gang of toughs to administer some frontier
justice to Adrien’s cellmate, he intercedes in spite of himself. This leads to a mistaken bonding moment. Unfortunately, Adrien realizes just how bad
Jean-Louis Maurel truly is soon after he is released on a technicality.
though his sentence is nearly up, Adrien must escape for his family’s sake. Already a fugitive, Maurel raises the stakes
for his Adrien by framing him for some of his past murders. The detective charged with apprehending him,
the ambitious Claire Linné, has a sense something is wrong with the picture,
but all her colleagues are idiots.
Adrien finds only one ally, Carrega, the obsessive ex-cop who could
never make a case stick against Maurel.
Adrien, Albert Dupontel gives one of the most hard-nosed, unabashedly masculine
performances of the decade. His work has
a visceral physicality that allows almost no room for verbalizing. Indeed, his character cannot even seem to growl
“I didn’t do it, flic” at Linné. It’s
actually quite impressive to behold.
This film could never be remade with Robert Pattinson or Leonardo
DiCaprio, though Heaven help him, Martin Scorsese might try anyway.
Taglioni’s Linné looks pretty credible in her action sequences too, which is a
cool bit of fair play. She also invests
her character with refreshing intelligence and professionalism. You want her on the case, but not so much
Zinedine Soualem as her dumb copper boss.
Sergi López adds some nicely rumpled world weariness as Carrega. As a bonus, there is also Zen’s Caterina Murino in the rather
thankless role of Anna Adrien.
Valette stages some nifty fight scenes (Adrien’s
prison escape is a particular dozy) and capitalizes on some picturesque
backdrops. Tightly paced, The Prey delivers gritty action with an
art house luster and a distinctly French sensibility. It should well please genre fans and
Francophiles alike when it opens this Friday (6/7) in New York at the AMC
Labels: Action films, Albert Dupontel, Caterina Murino, French Cinema, Serial killer movies