Hanging On by a wing and a prayer.

Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.

Based upon a novel of the same name by Kevin Wignall, The Hunterís Prayer gets a direct-to-video release courtesy of director Jonathan Mostow. But, is it any good?

A rich couple in the U.S. settle in for the night, disturbed by their barking dog who's making a little too much noise. What is a rich person to do? Ask their maid to take it out of course - a decision that will prove fateful.

As the maid opens that door, death awaits all three - skulking in the shadows of their garden - in the form of a contract killer (played by Martin Compston). Using the open door as his opportunity, he slips in quickly dispatching all three before they knew what hit them.

On the other side of the world at a Swiss boarding school, the daughter of the recently deceased couple (Ella played by Odeya Rush) unbeknownst to her is also being targeted.

Sneaking out for a night of fun at a club with her boyfriend, she begins to notice that sheís being followed by a mysterious looking man (Lucas played by Sam Worthington) but when the bullets start heading in her direction, is he friend or foe?

Every now and then a movie will release on store shelves that is the epitome of a direct-to-video release - The Hunterís Prayer ticks all of those boxes.

One semi well known star to stick on the cover to pull in some punters? Check.

Whether it's the result of a terrible agent or an insatiable coke habit he canít quite shake, youíd think after starring in one of the largest movies ever (2009's Avatar) Sam Worthington would have quite the illustrious career going for him. Sadly, whilst his performances themselves have been fine, every film heís led thus far has been either a critical or commercial failure - sometimes both - and The Hunterís Prayer is definitely not going to get him back on track; though with five Avatar movies already in the works, maybe he doesnít have too much to worry about.

A completely absurd story that still manages to make you slightly doze off? Check.

Itís hard to believe The Hunterís Prayer is based off what I assume to be quite a respected novel - it definitely doesnít feel like it - which leads me to believe it works far better on the page than in form. Whilst the story itself is extremely pedantic and blase fodder, itís in the perceived hero where things fall apart and enter the realm of absurdity. From being caught with his pants down (literally) whilst sticking needles in his arse or the 50 second cold turkey withdrawal symptoms, I found myself laughing at the sheer silliness of it all, a far cry from the toughened action film it aims, yet fails to be.

The Hunter's Prayer (Kang-ho Song, Yoo Gong, Byung-hun Lee, Ji-min Han, Hee-soon Park, Seong-rok Sin, Foster Burden and Shingo Tsurumi)

Throw in a few semblances of action to jerk the viewer awake? Check.

If thereís one thing The Hunterís Prayer has going for it, itís the splutter of action set pieces throughout. Married with the european locale - which we have also similarly seen with the recent The Hitmanís Bodyguard - are a few car chase and gunfight smatterings. By their lonesome they could easily be part of any Jason Bourne film - and quality wise would fit right in - sadly theyíre part of a bigger whole, that being The Hunterís Prayer.

Donít have any special features negating the whole season for a home release? Check.

Here we are again, like a broken record. Itís bad enough when a cinematic release doesnít get any special features, but when a movie like The Hunter's Prayer which is solely direct-to-video you have to question how much the distributors truly care about their product. Why spend a hefty amount more for a DVD or Blu-ray when youíll get the exact same product streamed? Part in parcel with ownership of the product is having a penultimate version of the experience, with all the things they may have forgot to add in or commentary which gives the film that extra flavour.

The Hunterís Prayer is already an extremely flat movie as it stands, having no special features means I would question the insanity of anyone purchasing it. If youíre truly looking to watch the film, then catch it on-demand, but honestly Iíd steer well clear, I have to watch bad movies so you donít have to.

The epitome of a direct-to-video release, The Hunterís Prayer ticks all the boxes of a boring night in, with a few technically sound spurts of action its only redeeming quality in what is otherwise a very flat affair.

A DVD review copy of The Hunter's Prayer was provided by the distributor for review purposes.

  • Review by
    David Robinson

    Twitter: @5ypher

    Posted on
    11th September 2017

  • 2 Out of 5 Stars
  • No special features

    Boring & clichť

    Hard to take serious

  • Action segments

Film Info

The Hunter's Prayer The Hunter's Prayer
Rating: 15
Release Date: 4th September
Runtime: 1 hr 31 min
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Sam Worthington, Odeya Rush, Allen Leech, Verůnica Echegui & Martin Compston

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No, there's multiple scenes of murder and druge use.

Filming took place on location in Yorkshire and Hungary.

Hailee Steinfeld was originally considered for Ella but had scheduling conflicts.

Australian director Phillip Noyce was originally attached to direct the film.