Director: Edward Drake
Writer: Edward Drake, Corey Large (Screenplay)
Starring: Bruce Willis, Neal McDonough, Lochlyn Munro, Alexia Fast, Megan Peta Hill, Nels Lennarson, Eric Buarque, Corey Large
Plot: Five elite hunters pay to hunt down a man on a deserted island, only to find themselves becoming the prey.
Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Apex Predator starts as we enter the futuristic world where hunters pay to take part in hunting down human targets, Samuel Rainsford (McDonough) is known as the best hunter, with West Zaroff (Fast) looking for a greater challenge for her hunters.
The victims are picked from the prison system, with West turning to Thomas ‘The Mutilator’ Malone (Willis) as the latest victim, a man considered too dangerous to even be considered, a man that can turn the tables of the hunters Samuel, Lyle (Munro), Jeza (Hill), Bishop (Lennarson), Ecka (Gretzky) and Carrion (Large), offering him a chance to have his freedom.
Thoughts on Apex Predator
Characters & Performances – Thomas Malone is the latest victim in the Apex game, locked up for years after a criminal record too long to read. His reputation has made him the choice for the latest game, with the owner wanting a bigger challenge for her hunters. He does have plenty of skills in his locker, despite the hunters thinking he is too old to be worthy of their time. Bruce Willis gives one of his better performances for the low budget action world. Dr Samuel Rainsford is known as the best hunter in the game, he will always get the kill every time he is involved, he has a sick twisted enjoyment in killing people, one that will make this legal for him. Neal McDonough does bring us the biggest threat in the film, his cold deliver makes him the character you want to watch the most. When it comes to the rest of the hunters, we get a string of characters that are playing tough in this world, trying to hide their weaknesses or enjoyment in the hunt. West is the woman running the game, she is determined to make sure the game becomes more challenging for her clients, offering both sides a reason to take part, while not interfering in the game.
Story – The story here follows an elite group of hunters that pay a large fee to compete in a human hunt against prisoners, with the latest game being against the deadliest prey they have come up against. This is a story that we have seen similar ideas of recently with ‘The Hunt’ which had a different tone to everything, while this went for full action only. The story never seems to feel as intense as it could, while the bigger world created outside of the game never gets explored enough. This feels like an early stage of a ‘Westworld’ holiday, rather than a full blown hunt, with very little coming from what goes on in the field. There is a lot more that could have gone on within this film, a lot more about who or why Thomas is such a deadly threat, with the direction most of it going leaves things coming off slightly flatter than it should have. This is still an easy to watch action film.
Themes – Apex Predator is an action thriller that will put hunters against human prey on a remote island, this will give us the basics of the hunting in the woods idea. What the film offers that we don’t see enough of, is the futuristic world everything operates in outside of the game, there is such a big point to make it have this look, but most of the film could have been set in any era with the wood hunting idea going on for the rest of the film.
Signature Entertainment presents Apex Predator on Digital Platforms 12th November and DVD 15th November
Final Thoughts – Apex Predator is an easy to watch action film, creating a big world, only to not explore it enough.
Director: Tomer Eshed
Writer: Johnny Smith (Screenplay) Cornelia Funke (Book)
Starring: (Voice Talents) Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Felicity Jones, Freddie Highmore, Patrick Stewart, Nonso Anozie, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal
Plot: A young silver dragon teams up with a mountain spirit and an orphaned boy on a journey through the Himalayas in search for the Rim of Heaven.
Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Dragon Rider starts when the humans start to move closer to the hidden dragon world, young dragon Firedrake wants to help find safety for the dragons, leaving with his best friend Sorrell in search of the Rim of Heaven. The adventure takes them to London where they find Ben an orphan who is on the run, who pretends to be a Dragon Rider.
The reappearance of a dragon has grabbed the attention of mechanical dragon Nettlebrand who has been waiting to feed on the dragons, leading to a race against time to save the dragons before it is too late.
Thoughts on Dragon Rider
Characters – Firedrake is the young dragon that has always dreamed of seeing more of the world, he wants to prove himself to his kind and when the humans start getting close, he decides to try and find them a new home, he is naïve in nature, too welcoming to the human and must learn to be the brave hero he was always meant to be. Sorrell is the brownie that joins Firedrake on the adventure, she is a tough fighter despite her size and doesn’t trust Ben at any stage of the adventure. Ben is the orphan that is on the streets committing crimes, who pretends to be a dragon rider to escape and along the way he learns about moving on from the tragedy he has been through. Nettlebrand is the mechanical dragon bulit to fight and destroy dragons, he has been waiting for years to find a new victim and chases Firedrake around the world for more dragons.
Story – The story here follows a young dragon that goes in search of a new home, wanting to prove himself to elders, in an adventure that takes them around the world, while being hunted by a dragon eater. This is a nice story about finding your place in the world, mixing the idea that the ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ movies happened in this world, without people knowing the dragons are real. We do get a host of mythical creatures that Firedrake meets along the way, showing us that not everyone is the evil as they believe them to be. We get to learn that not everybody is who you think they are, and opening up can help find peace.
Themes – Dragon Rider is an animated adventure film that will take the mythical creatures around the world in search of a new home, on a journey which will let them meet other mythical creatures along the way. If you are a fan of learning about the creatures that might well have once lived, this will give you stories about them still being around.