The Prince

Cast: Bruce Willis, John Cusack, Jason Patric, 50 Cent,
Gia Mantegna, Jessica Lowndes
Direction: Brian A Miller
Genre: Action
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Story: Paul (Jason Patric) is a devoted dad who has left behind his life of crime. But he reprises his past combat experience as he, with some help from an old chum (Cusack), shoots his way through a trail of bad guys in the quest to locate and rescue his missing daughter Beth (Gia Mantegna). Along the way, Paul faces up his old gangster nemesis Omar (Bruce Willis).

Review: The Prince follows a fairly by-the-numbers plot of the angry dad (remember Liam Neeson in *Taken*?) who will break as many bones as necessary and let loose a hail of gunfire in order to bring his daughter to safety. Paul’s daughter seems a nice enough college-type girl, but as is always the case in movies like this, there’s more than meets the eye as regards her disappearance.

New Orleans forms the backdrop for this theatre of testosterone, where Paul and mob boss Omar are on a collision course. Paul used to be a mobster who is now on the mend. But he has to selectively bring to life some of his old skills in order to get the job done. The casting of this film would raise a few eyebrows. For starters, Willis just does not come across as convincing enough to be playing a bad guy; most of his memorable performances have him playing a good guy who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

In fact, he looks bored in most scenes. We are made to believe that Paul is a ruthless, badass man-on-a-mission. And yet, his performance seems a bit forced, as if he is doing his best to convince you of his grit and determination. Whether this is part of his character sketch or not is uncertain, but Cusack just looks plain irritable for the most part. 50 Cent plays a drug lord aptly named The Pharmacist, presumably as a reference to the pills and powders his line of business involves. The greatest effort seems to have gone into getting the look of the fight scenes correctly in an otherwise bland film.

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