Jimmy Henderson and Jean-Paul Ly have remained the dynamic duo of late since breaking ground with martial arts comedy Jailbreak, ahead of its impeding and star-studded sequel to come.
After the last credits rolled and the lights were turned back on, I turned to my friends Sébastien and Debby. They both looked pleased with their latest, respective movie experience, so I ventured: “An honest, decent throwback to 90’s action fare?” The responses were unanimous. Now, don’t get me wrong! The Prey is nothing to write home about (even though I admit to taking pleasure in sharing this review with you), but it is still a decently crafted action yarn; yes, the kind that used to make their way to our Cineplex’s or VCR’s in the early 90s. For instance, picture an independent director/producer attempting to create their own version of something akin to First Blood, but with very little money. You get the idea?
Survival thriller The Prey is making a killing at Fantasia Festival this month before its systemic commercial releases in Cambodia and other territories. The film is especially the latest work of director Jimmy Henderson who left a massive impression in 2017 with Jailbreak, adding it to the pantheon of martial arts action favorites.
One of the most thrilling features coming our way comes from the creative auspices of director Jimmy Henderson (Jailbreak) following last year’s festival outing, The Prey, Cambodia’s first $1 million dollar-budgeted action feature. The film premiered at Busan and at BFI in London and is currently in the market for buyers by way of internatonal sales agent, Raven Banner.
Director Jimmy Henderson’s new actioner, The Prey, is now on par for the course as we enter a new year of festivals and market updates. As such, the production has paired up with Toronto-based Raven Banner for international sales ahead of EFM which launches on February 7 in Berlin.
FIVE-A-DAY COUNTDOWN: Nightshooters, 14 Fists, The Prey, The Man From Kathmandu, and Made In Chinatown
Booyah! We’ve reached the halfway point of this journey at long last as we count out 100 movies to look out for in 2019. Bringing the total to 50, here are five more:
This 23rd installment of the Busan International Film Festival is just weeks away with some of its most rousing choice entries, specifically speaking: Jimmy Henderson’s latest action thriller outing, The Prey. Enter actor Gu Shang-Wai (Bloody Destiny) for his second starring role with a production inclusive for Henderson’s explicit intent to, among other things, bring him to the world stage – and with a badass gangster-lookin’ new poster to help achieve just that.
Director Jimmy Henderson‘s new movie, The Prey, is officially set to premiere at the 62nd BFI Film Festival. The film is a mighty reunion for Henderson with Jean-Paul Ly, the star of his highly-celebrated action comedy, Jailbreak, who himself takes a backseat to serve as fight choreographer. BFI’s Damon Wise gives the lowdown:
2013 was definitely a freshman year going into this site, but it became a surprising endeavor to get to meet people almost instantaneously, which is funny because I live in New York City and I was sooner meeting people from other countries. I still am, too… I guess this town is like that.
THE PREY: The Hunt Begins In The First Teaser For ‘Jailbreak’ Director’s New Survival Action Thriller!
Cambodian action cinema got the ball rolling significantly with the near-infinite success of director Jimmy Henderson’s martial arts comedy thriller, Jailbreak. Not to be out done with one major hit film for the country’s reviving action film industry, the auteur has returned once again to go two-for-two with Chinese import, Bloody Destiny star, actor and martial artist Gu Sheng Wei for survival thriller, The Prey.
Much of the Jailbreak DNA is comprised of the crew here in addition to select cast; Henderson is joined by scribes Kai Miller and Jailbreak co-writer Michael Hodgson in penning The Prey, telling of an Chinese cop singled out by a maniacal prison warden after being raided, cast away to a remote jungle and forced into a deadly game of survival for a raft of blood thirsty thrill-seekers.
Taking a backseat behind the lens is Jailbreak star and fight choreographer Jean-Paul Ly shepherding the explosive action Henderson previously teased in our interview earlier this year as filming went underway. Rounding out the cast are Only God Forgives co-stars Vithaya Pansrigarm, Byron Bishop, Sahajak Boonthanakit and Nophand Boonyai, in addition to Jailbreak actress Dy Sonita and Henderson’s longstanding film cohort, actor and martial artist Dara Our.
The film is in post-production and time will tell what kind of festival circuitry it will undergo from here on. My own guess is it might get some kind of exclusive crowd treatment later this year if not next year while its fair to refer to the success earned by Jailbreak at multiple festivals and audience screenings abroad – prior to its Netflix release – and to award-winning acclaim, no less.
We’ll see what happens, but rest assured, if Jailbreak is any kind of a sign, The Prey should be a feast to endulge when it releases in 2019. The first official teaser is finally online so check it out below, or simply click here if the player doesn’t load on your browser.
Principal photography wrapped in early April so things are still early for footage. Rest assured, local fans who’ve followed Henderson since Hanuman and the 2017 release of Jailbreak from its box office success in Cambodia to its high-end film festival reception will be in for a great treat when it comes to the action; Jailbreak star Jean-Paul Ly served strictly as action director coordinating and choreographing the demanding fight scenery pivotal to the vision that Henderson teased for us in our own interview in March:
Henderson’s growth will eventually see him switch gears as he’s not one to restrict himself. Until then, promise looms with Jailbreak 2 after all is said and done with The Prey which commences principal photography this week on March 6.
2017 was something of a banner year for the good folks at Kongchak Pictures. The festival run for martial arts action comedy, Jailbreak, spawned a huge calling from fans much to the favor of producer Loy Te and director, Jimmy Henderson whose regional action feature debut, Hanuman, essentially illuminated some of the best Cambodia offers nowadays in screenfighting talent.
For this, it should be of no suprise, but just sheer delight that they are back at it again with the new action thriller, The Prey, written by Henderson, Jailbreak scribe Michael Hogdson and newcomer Kai Miller. Andrew Mack’s report at ScreenAnarchy cites a press announcement enlisting five-time Chinese national boxing, dual arms champion Gu Sheng Wei (Bloody Destiny) as Xin, a do-gooder undercover cop who finds himself fighting for his life when a surprise raid lands him in a remote jungle prison host to a game for affluent hunters targeting inmates.
Think Hard Target meets Escape Plan/The Raid/The Condemned… I guess either of those last three would suffice.
After years of tracking down international criminals, a trip to a remote jungle prison will force Chinese cop Xin to become human prey to fight for his freedom — and to save his own life.
Undercover Chinese cop Xin is on a secret international mission when a surprise raid puts him in a remote jungle prison that plays by its own rules.Here, the visitors are wealthy thrill seekers. The guards are hostile puppet masters. And the prisoners are simply pawns in a high stakes game of human hunting human.
It started as just another bad day for the do-gooder cop. That day gets a whole lot worse when the diabolical Warden singles Xin out for death at the hands of affluent hunters looking for the world’s ultimate kill. After years of hunting down ruthless criminals, Xin suddenly finds himself running for his life.
If Xin manages to survive this sadistic game, he’ll walk out of the jungle the same way he came in: as a freeman. If Xin fails, he’s dead meat… and just another hunting trophy.
Rounding out the cast are a raft of performers from director Nicolas Winding Refn’s
Only God Forgives, namely actor Vithaya Pansringarm who will star as The Warden, along with Byron Bishop, Sahajak Boonthanakit (Bad Genius) and Nophand Boonyai, and Jailbreak talents, actor and martial artist Dara Our (Hanuman) and actress Dy Sonita.
Argentinian cinematographer Lucas Gath (Shortwave and Suspiria 2018) will lens the film with Jailbreak star and action director Jean-Paul Ly reuniting with Henderson behind the scenes to prime the fight choreography. Te will produce the film with Altered Vision Films and with Kongchack Pictures distributing.
“I’ve always been interested in the study of human nature.” says Henderson. “In the exploration of our primal instinct, which is survival. Movies like Quest for Fire, Deliverance and most recently The Revenant explores the roots of it. In The Prey an organized chaos reigns in harmony like a Euonymus Bosch painting, but this harmony is interrupted by the arrival of a man, who, pushed to an extreme situation, will do everything to survive and to bring justice against the creators of this vicious hunting game…
“A few years back I heard rumors that this practice is still happening in certain places around the world. So I decided to create a story around this myth and develop the idea into a script”.
The film especially reads like another top move for Ly who started out in stunts and has since capitalized off his own momentum toward lead action stardom akin to the likes of Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White and Iko Uwais. Ly will next be seen in Marc Price’s UK martial arts thriller, Nightshooters, this summer from Ascendant Releasing.
Read more at ScreenAnarchy.