‘Prey’ Movie Review: Brilliant Amber Midthunder in Impressive ‘Predator’ Movie

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With an excellent cast, character writing and cinematography, Prey has become a welcome addition to the popular franchise.

With an excellent cast, character writing and cinematography, Prey has become a welcome addition to the popular franchise.

Preythe last born of the Predator franchise is a major effort to revive the franchise and set the course for the series. Since Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1987 original, the franchise has waned in popularity, with most of its films and spinoffs failing to create an impression in the minds of audiences and the box office. The latest installment, however, seeks to right that wrong and is quite successful as Prey is now Hulu’s all-time number one.

Prey

Director:Dan Trachtenberg

Cast: Amber Midthunder, Dane DiLiegro, Ray Strachan, Stefany Mathias, Dakota Beavers

Duration: 100 minutes

Script: A skilled Comanche warrior protects her tribe from a highly evolved alien predator who hunts humans for sport, while battling against the wilderness and dangerous colonizers

Prey is the fifth main film that serves as a prequel to the Predator franchise. Located in 1719 in the Northern Great Plains of North America, Prey is the story of Naru (Amber Midthunder), a young Comanche healer and warrior. Naru as a woman is tasked with caring for the injured, angry at her place in the tribe, she is always looking for opportunities to hunt to prove herself. Naru dreams of becoming a great warrior. By establishing this fairly early in the film, viewers are immersed in Naru’s quest for greatness for almost the entire duration of the film. Naru sets out to prove himself by tracking down an unidentifiable alien bloodthirsty creature. In the process, Naru is ridiculed by her tribesmen who find the idea of ​​a huntress funny. Naru persists with the help of his dog, Sarii. Sarii is played by a dog named Coco who hasn’t even been trained to film, which makes her performance dearer to all of us. Dogs always know how to improve it, don’t they?

Prey follows the formula familiar to films that preceded it in the franchise – a Predator arrives on Earth to hunt humans who are initially overpowered by the Predator but find their way out and successfully bring the alien to their knees. The formula works. Indeed, the strength of Prey is to keep its plot simple and flesh out the characters. Naru follows the typical “hero’s journey” that action movie fans are no stranger to.

The camera’s treatment of the tribesmen is remarkable – they’re given the respect they deserve and aren’t boxed in by archaic stereotypes. The Comanche language is also used occasionally to make world-building feel real to the audience. Without forgetting the role played by the shades and tones used by the costume and the makeup for the same. Prey makes history by being the first Hollywood film to be available in Comanche, a legitimate tip of the hat to the members of the tribe.

Amber Midthunder, an actor of Native descent (who is also a registered member of the Fort Peck Sioux Tribe) cast as the protagonist in a big-budget Hollywood film shows that the creators, while emphasizing the stories of Native Americans, have shown due diligence to give a legitimate platform to the people who are at the center of the story. Above all, it is also their story, in this case, which could help restore glory to a famous Hollywood franchise. The film’s politics, while subtle, should definitely be highlighted as we have conversations about the film.

The director’s decision to camouflage the alien is a smart one and works in favor of next-gen audiences to whom Prey could serve as an introduction to the franchise. The masking of the Predator coupled with the predictability of the plot actually encourages audiences to interpret the film according to their sensibilities. Prey gives a generation plagued by climate anxieties a metaphor to resonate with. It also recounts the adversities of the past whose remnants have spilled over and continue to haunt today’s political climate.

Scenes of French trappers killing bison are cleverly incorporated into the film to make the stories of the native peoples authentic and give a story of heroism, albeit a fantastic plot, some credibility. The scenes of wild animals chasing their prey, though beautifully shot, look cheeky.

All of this is overshadowed by Amber Midthunder who embodies Naru’s spirit perfectly and shines during the fight sequences spread throughout the film. If you are a stranger (pun intended) to Predator franchise, Prey is a good place to start your hunt.

Prey streams on Hulu in the US, on Disney+ Hotstar in select Southeast Asian countries, and on Star+ in Latin America

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