A stepmom, (Bridget Moynahan), and her two step kids take off for a little African safari while dad, (Peter Weller), stays behind to work. While off-roading, the little boy decides he needs to go to the bathroom. Don’t these people have any sense that they’re in Africa where the wild animals roam? Apparently they were born without brains as they are genuinely surprised when a bunch of lions decide to show up to eat them. The rest of the movie has the stressed out family hiding in the car as various lions try to munch on their flesh.
“Prey” is a ruthlessly efficient killer lion flick. It doesn’t waste a lot of time or resources on things that don’t have anything to do with a hungry lion stalking its prey. It’s also one of those movies that require the cast to act stupidly from time to time in order to have something interesting happen. The lions love to attack them when they leave the car. So what do the idiots do? Leave the car of course! Makes sense! What other plan could they possibly have?
“Prey” also makes the unfortunate decision to add a little extra tension to the movie by making the stepdaughter really annoying. She had to compulsively challenge her stepmom at every possible decision with no better plan than “Let’s leave the car now”. Oh, why don’t you shut your whining hole you brat? I was hoping a lion would take a bite or two out of her so she would shut up.
So “Prey” chugs right along with no surprises and an irritating little know-it-all. On the plus side, some of the lion scenes were decent. I especially liked seeing the lions leap at the car in slow motion. When the lions clamp their jaws down on someone’s neck, we get a good healthy blood spray. So that’s good.
But I don’t think that there has ever been a really good killer lion flick. The main problem is that a lion is not especially scary. I’m sure if I saw one up close I’d be praying to God to save me from my imminent demise. But in a movie, they just look like a big fluffy cat. Lions are also not in the habit of making scary faces when they attack. They are as ruthlessly efficient about killing as this movie is about showing it. But if you need a killer lion fix and “The Ghost and the Darkness” is already rented out, “Prey” may be worth a look.
SCORE: 2 out of 4 lions hunting prey