Have Cheetah,Will View #497 – “The Hunter’s Prayer”(2017)

Its 12:36 pm
cold and gray

Holy crow,it is cold outside!!! We were expecting our first winter snowstorm last week but not surprising,we didn’t get hardly any snow other then enough to cover the sidewalks and the grass.
The cheetah and I were still talking about “Line Of Duty” and how much fun we had in watching it,he suggested we stay in the action mode and I agreed. We decided to also stay with Saban Films/Lionsgate as well and this is how we ended up watching “The Hunter’s Prayer” which stars Sam Worthington and Odeya Rush


The film starts with action right away as we meet Lucas (Worthington) who is an assassin for hire. His current employer is a crime lord named Richard Addison who wants Lucas to kill the daughter of a rogue employee who is threatening to sell Addison out to the authorities. Addison wants to send a message to the man by killing his daughter. He also is using the same tactic on Lucas,telling him he either kills Ella Hatto (Rush) or Lucas’s own family will take her place.
Lucas gathers his wits and heads to Switzerland where Ella is attending a private school. 

We then meet Ella who is a bit of a rebel and is planning to break curfew to go dancing with her new boyfiend Sergio. She leaves after dark on her bike and heads for the club to meet her boyfriend.
At the same time in America,Addison’s top assassin,Metzger,is killing Ella’s family and burning down down the family’s home. He is a cold brutal and savage killer and takes pleasure in his work.
Sergio and Ella are having a good time dancing but Ella picks up on Lucas in the club and thinks he is one of her dad’s guards keeping track of her,she prepares to leave with suddenly a hit squad moves into play and trying to kill Ella. Lucas decides in that split second to help Ella and he counterattacks the squad killing many of them before escaping with Sergio and Ella. The trio is is chased by the last member of the squad until Lucas is able to stop him.
He leaves Sergio on the road and takes Ella away in his car. Ella still thinks Lucas is her dad’s guard and tries to reach her dad while talking down about him and her stepmother.

Lucas has Ella get into the trunk until they cross the border and while she complains,she agrees and the two make their way out of Switzerland. The two hole up in a house and Ella finds out that Lucas not has a secret but is fact hired to kill her. He admits that is true but he can’t do it as Ella escapes from the house and runs towards a small store with a phone,Lucas follows and insists he is not going to hurt Ella. As the two start to talk,they are attacked again and while Lucas manages to kill the pair of attackers,he is shot in the leg.
He reaches out to a old contact named Dani (Veronica Echegui) and asks her for help. The two agree to meet on a train. 

Meanwhile Addison finds out from a FBI agent in his pocket that Ella’s dad had taken 25 million from Addison and hid it in Ella’s account and they need her alive otherwise the funds will be frozen and most likely with be lost.
Dani treats Lucas and we see that she still has feelings towards Lucas and is jealous of Ella. Dani attempts to not smear Lucas’s name but also separate Ella from Lucas in order to kidnap her.
With Lucas injured and Ella facing off with Metzger and with suspect alliances and corrupt law enforcement,it looks very dark indeed for our two heroes…..can they survive the forces being thrown at them?

The first thing I have to say about “The Hunter’s Prayer” is that this is the first time I have seen Sam Worthington in a movie since “Avatar”!!! I have a few films of his in my watch pile but haven’t watched a single one since Avatar. I gotta say that is going to change pronto because Sam Worthington is a hell of a actor.
I really liked “The Hunter’s Prayer”. The action is solid and fast moving,the bad guys are really bad guys…in fact I would have liked a bit more of a back story for Addison who was perfectly played by Allen Leech. They showed just how powerful he could be but in the final showdown,well it just could have been better. There is a kep element in the film that shows the connection Addison has with his dogs but again in the final showdown,nothing….it was a bit disappointing but it doesn’t ruin the film.

Lucas is an interesting character,when Ella explains how she doesn’t like tight spaces,he tells her a story from his combat days and its a harrowing and heartbreaking story. We then understand that will Lucas got into the killing business,he takes no pleasure from it and each kill he made has destroyed his soul a life at a time. We see the results of his career choices have led him and it isn’t pretty. He is not a macho killer,he has real feelings and emotions with is a very rare trait in an action heavy movie like this. Worthington does an outstanding job with playing Lucas.

Odeya Rush also does a good job playing Ella,she is basically a good kid put into a living nightmare not of her doing.
But she is very smart and resourceful,while some things fly over her head like not understanding Dani’s hostilty,she is a quick learner in figuring out she is being set up by the corrupt FBI agent.  Rush is a very pretty actress and she has a habit of biting her lower lip throughout the film,whether this was intentional or not,it was/is a cute touch.
“The Hunter’s Prayer”,which was based on a 2004 book written by Kevin Wignall,is directed by the very capable Jonathan Mostow. Mostow is no stranger to directing good movies,he helmed “U-571” “Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines” and the underrated superhero film “Hancock”. What surprised me is the fact he hasn’t been very active at all,he has only directed 4 films in the past 13 years since “Hancock” was released. That is a real shame because Mostow is a fine director and deserves more projects.

That brings up a interesting question. “The Hunter’s Prayer” was made on a budget of 17 million dollars yet only made back about 90,000 at the theaters. The thing is that movies like these are made for the home market,right? Saban Films/Lionsgate don’t release movies like this on 2,500 screens across the country. I get that but my question is this…..how do production companies like Saban Films recoup their money back? I have over 40 Saban Films in my collection and for the most part,they are very well made and deserve wide releases and I’m just curious why they don’t get them.
“The Hunter’s Prayer” has a run time of 91 minutes and special features including a 12 minute “Making Of….” featurette. This movie is rated “R” for violence and language. You can buy this film through Lionsgate or secondary markets like Amazon and eBay.

The cheetah and I both gave “The Hunter’s Prayer” a big thumbs/paw straight up. 

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