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Alice Taglioni in THE PREY

The prison break movie often consists of an elaborate plan that involves tunnels, accomplices, and elaborate oft-thwarted plans.

French film The Prey features an escaped prisoner without too much of the hoopla surrounding the actual break (out). Instead it plays out as an organic outcome of certain forces already put into play during Franck Adrien’s (Albert Dupontel) incarceration for robbery.

You see, nobody found the money that Adrien and his gang stole. Some of his gang members are in prison with him, and they aren’t too happy about the fact that they don’t know where he hid the cash. Adrien is focused on serving his time and returning to his wife (Caterina Murino) and daughter (Jaïa Caltagirone). When things take a turn for the worse Adrien confides in his cellmate Jean-Louis (Stéphane Debac).

Now Jean-Louis has insisted all along that he is innocent, but soon after he leaves prison with the information Franck gave him, Adrien learns that there is more to the man than meets the eye.

So Adrien escapes, drawing the attention of Claire Linné (Alice Taglioni), a dogged cop with a reputation for chasing down high profile criminals.

So while Adrien is in pursuit of the man who clearly intends to harm his family, Linné is determined to bring the escaped criminal to justice.

The Prey is a good gritty thriller anchored by a very committed performance by its leading man. Whether he is running flat out across private property, or punching and kicking to stay alive, Mr. Dupontel brings a desperate energy to his performance that is often lacking in Bollywood and Hollywood performances.

Ms. Taglioni, whom I’ve only ever seen before in The Valet does a sound job as the go-getting cop who is unafraid to get sweaty.

Final Analysis: The filmmakers stack the odds against their protagonist so one is never sure what the final outcome of the film will be.

My Advice: Seek this one out. It is a refreshing alternative to other similarly themed motion pictures.