NEW action thriller “The Prey”, marking the return of Jimmy Henderson the director of Cambodian action blockbuster ‘’Jailbreak’, made its premiere on Tuesday night at the Major Cineplex Cambodia at Aeon2.
It is also reputedly the first action film produced on a million-dollar budget.
Renowned for his spectacular action films, Henderson’s latest movie also sees a reunion of screenwriters Michael Hodgson and Kai Miller to elevate the film to prominence in the Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF).
In international screenings, Toronto-based ‘Raven Banner’ is promoting the Cambodia action thriller at the European Film Market in Berlin.
On the run and fighting to stay alive is the core of “The Prey” which brings to the big screen spectacular action scenes featuring tense gun battles and explosions in the story of Xin (Gu Shang Wei), an undercover Chinese cop who becomes the hunted for a change.
After years of tracking down international criminals, Xin suddenly finds the tables turned on him this time. Lost in a remote jungle, he has to fight to save his own skin when he becomes the hunted.
Xin was arrested in a Cambodia police raid, while on a mission from China which led him to Phnom Penh. Xin, after his arrest, is sent to a forgotten prison on the border, governed by a ruthless and vicious warden called The Warden (Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm).
Xin, on his mysterious Bejing mission, soon uncovers a cruel high stakes game in the jungle where rich hunters track down human prey for game.
Three hunters Payak (Sahajak Boonthanakit), Mat (Byron Bishop) and Ti (Nophand Boonyai) have paid hefty sums to the warden in a race to outgun each other with the number of human trophies they can bag.
How will Xin find his way back to his home country while trying to survive in the lost jungle of Cambodia?
The movie has a multi-national cast of actors and actresses from Cambodia, Thailand and China.
The star-studded cast include Dara Our, Dy Sonita, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Gu Shangwei, who were present on premiere night.
“The production of the film involved many actors, actresses, director and co-producers from many nationalities around the world including Argentina, French, Cambodia, Thailand and China. This diversity exclusively makes the film even more magnificent and fascinating for our national film stars to be included in,” said 29-year-old Dara Our.
Being passionate in both Bokator and filming, Dara Our has been practising various fighting art from Bokator to other martial art forms for his hard-hitting role.
“I don’t encounter a great deal of challenges as most of the actors and actresses are already proficient in their field. For example, Gu Shang Wei, the main actor in our film. He is a martial art teacher as well as a professional actor, therefore, everything was very smoothly performed,” said Dara.
The celebrated actor also noted that although many movies and films have been made in Cambodia, the action movies are still inadequate to compete on par with other countries.
“Around Southeast Asia, we can see that action movies have been developed and made in accordance with each state’s tradition and customs. On the other hand, Cambodia still has a limit in terms of action films. This is one of the reasons that the director and our team talked and discussed to bring Bokator and martial art together, which features our culture as well as others.”
Dara also emphasized that “I hope people can show support in preserving the fighting art of Bokator because it’s one of the core foundations of our culture and identity. Likewise, in other countries, most action movies always connect with their own culture of, for example kung fu.”