PREY. The Hunt We’ve Been Waiting For [Review]
I never thought I’d write this, but it’s true: the latest Predator movie is great! My doubt in such an eventuality is not due to my aversion to this series, but to the very average quality of previous films about the Hunter. Meanwhile, Dan Trachtenberg, previously known, among others, from 10 Cloverfield Lane, thanks to Prey, restored the quality of the series started in 1987 with the hit action movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
While all of Predator’s on-screen appearances so far have been set in the present day, Prey takes us some 300 years back to the North American lands of the Comanche. The main character of this story is Naru (charismatic, half-blood Indian Amber Midthunder), a feisty and defiant girl who doesn’t care about the duties typical of women in her tribe: picking fruit, cooking and… waiting for men coming back from hunting. No, Naru herself wants to hunt and be the power of her people – and it must be said that she has no shortage of skills. He deftly uses both a bow and arrows, as well as an axe, traversing the nearby forests with his faithful canine companion in search of game. But what if Naru’s brother, Taabe (Dakota Beavers), is considered the tribe’s greatest hunter? For an ambitious girl, an opportunity to show her skills and courage will be the arrival of the Predator, who organizes a bloody hunt in the Comanches.
Killer Dance of the Hunters
Prey is an extremely skilfully made film – there is a place here both to show the beautiful locations of the Canadian state of Alberta, where this production was shot, and to the scenes of the Predator series annihilating subsequent victims by an extraterrestrial monster. While the Hunter has always been very imaginative when it comes to annihilating his opponents, he seems to be particularly creative in Prey. The very way of presenting the Predator with his atavistic-technological helmet and death-spreading accessories also deserves praise – it is clear that the next vision of one of the most famous monsters of SF cinema was applied, both at the conceptual and implementation level. The Predator’s relationship with the main character is also unique – it is no longer a mindless pursuit of another victim, although putting up unprecedented resistance, but a deadly dance of two hunters, from which only one of them will come out alive. I don’t think I need to mention which one.
I didn’t think that moving the next installment of the Predator series to the first years of the 18th century could pass the exam – I associated the character of the Hunter only with the present day, in which some technology already existed, however primitive in the collision with the resources of the alien visitor. Meanwhile, Prey offers a lot of freshness – the magical mythology of the Comanches (including one very important plot flower), as well as wonderful locations and a bit of history of the Great Plains, where many Indian tribes lived at that time struggling with European invaders (in Trachtenberg’s role as the French appear as antagonists). Prey is a kind of tribute to the bravery of North American indigenous peoples and their rich culture, and part of this tribute is casting the descendants of real Indians in the main roles, who in this way can pay tribute to their ancestors.
It’s the perfect summer blockbuster, with well-executed, appropriately bloody action, expressive characters and locations that would look beautiful on the big screen. On the other hand, thanks to the premiere on Hulu, Dan Trachtenberg’s film could reach tens of millions of users around the world, who will be able to see that even a space hunter is not able to measure up to the feminine power of an inconspicuous young Coman.
Because who said blockbusters don’t belong in streaming?