The Hunter’s Prayer is A Different Kind of Thriller

Sam Worthington in The Hunter's Prayer. Courtesy of Saban Films.

The Hunter’s Prayer provides for a subversive take on the thriller genre as a hit man decides to go against orders and protect his mark.  Instead of providing us with a traditional thriller, this one is completely character-driven.

Directed by Jonathan Mostow, the film stars Sam Worthington, Odeya Rush, Allen Leech, Amy Landecker, Martin Compston and Verónica Echegui.  Based on the novel by Kevin Wignall, the screenplay was penned by John Brancato and Michael Ferris.

Sam Worthington stars as hit man Stephen Lucas.  Instead of killing a young woman, Ella Hatto (Rush), he goes against his orders and decides to protect her instead.  As such, a mark is on him as well.  The woman that he’s protecting has no clue that her parents are dead due to questionable business dealings.

While her parents are murdered, Ella is sneaking out of her room at a Swiss boarding school in order to go on a date with her boyfriend, Sergio.  All the while, she doesn’t realize that she’s next on the target list.  It’s only after they escape a nightclub that Ella assumes that Lucas is a bodyguard hired by her father.  She couldn’t be more wrong.  Beccause he took too long to kill her, someone is out to kill him.  The two of them together have to flee Europe because the people that want them dead won’t stop until the job is done.

Richard Addison (Allen Leech), who runs Addison International, somehow manages to infiltrate the FBI through agent Gina Banks (Amy Landecker).  As villains go, he’s not on the same line as what you would see in a big budget blockbuster but he’s still not a nice guy.

It’s only after they reach a empty holiday home in which Ella tries to call her father.  Unfortunately for her, it’s agent Banks who answers the phone.  Their conversation leads Ella to bolt and Lucas is forced to go after her.  This is when she realizes that he’s not going to kill her.

“Action movies are normally: stand there, blow shit up, shoot the gun, run,” Worthington says.  It’s never normally why.  Would you really want to pull your gun out at this point?  What’s the emotional state you’re in?  I’ve never experienced that in any action movie I’ve done.  When all the bombs and the bells and whistles are going off, what’s going on in these two people’s hearts?”

The VOD release is a sign that this movie is not all that great.  It struggled at length to keep my attention but that’s because it isn’t your traditional thriller.  It’s one that makes you think.  If there is something that you get out of watching the movie, it’s the opportunity to see Israeli up-and-comer Odeya Rush.  Gal Gadot may be taking all the attention right now but keep your eye on Rush.  She’s been around for a few years but her name will be right up there with Portman and Gadot.

Saban Films and Lionsgate distributes The Hunter’s Prayer in select theaters and through Video on Demand services on Friday, June 9th.  In Chicago, the film will play locally at the AMC Woodridge.


Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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