A movie starring Bruce Willis, John Cusack and Jason Patric sounds awesome. It’s the kind of line-up that film fans dream of. Between them, these three actors have starred in some of the most iconic films of the past thirty years, but, unfortunately, the trailer for The Prince undermines that excitement to the point of being almost off-putting – and there are two very simple reasons why.
The Prince tells the story of a mechanic with a questionable past (Patric), who is reluctantly drawn back into the shady underworld he once left behind when he finds that his old rival (Willis) has kidnapped his daughter. Working to rescue her, he must confront his past. Directed by Brian A. Miller (Officer Down), the film comes from a screenplay by Andre Fabrizio (Photo) and Jeremy Passmore (Red Dawn).
So, here’s the first thing that’s wrong with it – it’s nothing new. A man’s daughter is kidnapped due to his past actions, so he must stop at nothing to get her back. Seen it – it’s all about men seeking revenge and redemption. This is unoriginal to the point that John Cusack appears to be playing some kind of hitman, who generally wears black. Still awake?
Here’s the second thing that’s wrong with it – in 2014, the main female character of this movie (the daughter) is reduced to a MacGuffin. She has no autonomy, she has no characterization – she is merely an object to be possessed. Willis takes her because he blames Patric for the death of a female in his life – as demonstrated by a glimpse of a woman climbing into a car, which then explodes. This flashback is accompanied by a moody Bruce Willis voiceover explaining that when a person loses a limb, they still feel pain in it, even though it’s gone. He literally refers to this murdered woman as his missing appendage. Like a Patriarchy-101 instructional video, these women are things that belong to these men, and when someone takes them or breaks them, they get mad. The kidnapped daughter may as well be a Chevrolet Camaro.
Now, clearly, a movie cannot be judged on a trailer alone. There are plenty of brilliant films that have been done great injustice by poorly made previews. However, unless the twist in this tale is the girl’s mother steaming in with a Caterpillar P-5000 Powered Work Loader – like Ripley in Aliens – to send these posturing males to their rooms, then I fear there will be little of interest to see here.
You can decide for yourself when The Prince is released in the US on August 22 2014. In the meantime, you can find the trailer below: