Prey (2007)
By: Devon B. on May 31, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Weinstein Company (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1. English (FHI), Spanish Subtitles. 92 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Darrell Roodt
Starring: Bridget Moynahan, Peter Weller, Carly Schroeder, Conner Dowds
Screenplay: Beau Bauman, Darrell Roodt, Jeff Wadlow
Music: Tony Humecke
Tagline: Out here, you're the endangered species...
Country: USA/South Africa
Feline fury versus cyborg law enforcement officer in a bloody battle to the death across the Dark Continent? Well, almost…Prey does star Peter Weller, better known to me as RoboCop, but he has very little contact with wildlife.

RoboCop is taking his family to Africa with him while he does some work. Evidently, all his RoboBits haven't prevented him from aging, as he looks quite old. His RoboCock must still be well lubed and fully functional, though, 'cause he's got a significantly younger new bride with him, much to the chagrin of his teenage daughter. To try and relieve some of the family tension, RoboCop sends his youthful better half on a safari tour with his daughter and his son. Things are going well enough, until the boy has to crap. The tour guide pulls over looking for a good place to offload, but unfortunately stops in the middle of a pride of lions. The guide is killed and the family are stuck in the safari vehicle, hungry lions surrounding them. RoboCop suspects something is wrong, so he goes out looking for them, while the family try desperately to stay alive.

The DVD sleeve says the movie's based on a true story, but I think it's based more on that episode of The Simpsons where they get stuck in a discount lion safari. Prey also owes a huge debt to Cujo, and if truth be told, it also reminded me of Stepmom. The fact that I have seen Stepmom is hugely embarrassing, so let us never speak of it again. Anyway, even if Prey is based on a true story, bits of it are hugely unrealistic, without even considering the "acting" of the son. Happily, the most important bit IS realistic, because the lions are real.

Forget crappy CG cats, Prey has very wisely used real lions, because nothing looks more like a real lion than a real lion. Except maybe the one you see on Paddle Pops. While there are a few CG enhanced moments, this is entirely forgivable, and it's rarely the actual lion that gets tinkered with digitally. The lions are let down a bit by the silly plot, like the introduction of characters just to give them more people to eat, but there are some really good lion scenes. In fact, one bit is so good, it's almost as impressive the lion stunt in Jackie Chan's Who Am I?

All things considered, Prey isn't a great film by any means, and isn't even consistently entertaining as it works its way towards a ridiculous ending. Fans of animals attack styled movies will enjoy seeing the lions do their thing, but when they're not on screen, there's little enjoyment to be had.
Video
The film is presented at 2.35:1 in a 16x9 enhanced print. The colours are vibrant, and the picture is sharp. There is a minor amount of grain, but that actually suits the film, adding a bit of grit to the African locations.
Audio
The audio is a 5.1 English language track. Sometimes dialogue is hard to decipher, and there isn't a lot of call for surround sound, as much of the movie is just set in a safari jeep's interior, but there are some nice deep thumps and thuds when the lions attack.
Extra Features
Just when a making of could've been interesting for a change, we get el zilcho, unless for some unfathomable reason you think a few trailers playing on start up are an extra. In which case, let me explain something to you: they're not.
The Verdict
Prey would be a mediocre film, but it scores some major points for its use of real lions. While it did teach me the important life lesson not to stop for a shit mid pride, if the real lions don't entice you as a selling point, there's not really anything else I can recommend it on.
Movie Score
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