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'Prey' Review: Dan Trachtenberg's spectacular 'Predator' movie is everything that the franchise needed

Amber Midthunder's spectacular performance as a Comanche warrior takes this survival story to a whole new level
Amber Midthunder as Naru in a still from 'Prey' (20th Century Studios)
Amber Midthunder as Naru in a still from 'Prey' (20th Century Studios)

It’s been more than four decades since the first ‘Predator’ made its way to the theatres. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role, the sci-fi horror broke all the barriers and blended two genres, horror and sci-fi, to give a masterpiece. The movie saw a group of soldiers wandering the jungles of Guatemala for a mission. However, soon they get to know a creature more advanced than the entire humanity is stalking them and slowly killing everyone. The movie was a commercial success and raked in almost $100 million at the box office. Since then, a lot of ‘Predator’ movies have come and go, but nothing could match the ferociousness of the original one. However, we finally have a movie that’s worthy of calling a true successor of the 1987 movie.

Titled ‘Prey’, the movie helmed by Dan Trachtenberg is set almost 300 years before the events of the first film and sees the tribe of Comanche Warrior leading the Great Plains of North America. They are ruthless warriors who hunt to survive in the wilderness. A young girl named Naru (Amber Midthunder) is trying to become a warrior, but like always, the men of the tribe can’t see a woman be what she wants to and keep on downgrading her. However, everything changes when the tribe witnesses something extraordinary wandering the Great Plains and possesses technology that has never been seen before. Soon, it becomes the story of the survival of the fittest as the Comanche tribe goes after the alien creature.


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Amber Midthunder as Naru in 'Prey' (20th Century Studios)
Amber Midthunder as Naru in 'Prey' (20th Century Studios)

The movie is far from the rest of the ‘Predator’ films that we have seen before in terms of everything, be it the timeline or location. That’s the strongest aspect of ‘Prey’ because it allowed Trachtenberg the opportunity to explore new things and tell a story that has never been told before.  Also, they don’t waste time telling viewers who Predator is because we already know who is and how the creature kills for fun. We are straight thrown into the Great Plains and see the creature on a killing spree.

On the sidelines, we also get to know about the movie’s protagonist Naru (Amber Midthunder). She is the first person to realize that a deadly creature is stalking them and when everyone feels that she has lost her mind, they get to see the brutality of the highest order. The movie has an interesting storyline that sees an experienced ruthless killer like The Predator going against an aspiring warrior like Naru and they engage in a showdown that you don’t want to miss.

But a ‘Predator’ movie is nothing without hard-hearted action sequences and ‘Prey’ is packed with action scenes that will blow your mind away. This is the first time we see the alien creature going against tomahawks, bows, and arrows. Don’t worry, ‘Prey’ has a lot of surprises in its briefcase, all thanks to the gore-filled violence.

A still from 'Prey' (20th Century Studios)
A still from 'Prey' (20th Century Studios)

Trachtenberg took a big gamble of introducing a young woman as the lead of a movie that needs a character who is physically strong. However, ‘Prey’ does a wonderful job of throwing that myth away in the wilderness by taking a supremely talented Amber Midthunder as the film’s protagonist. She is a revelation and carries the entire movie on her shoulders. If you have seen her in the FX show ‘Legion’, then you already know what she’s capable of. But this one is truly special and whenever she is on the screen, she mesmerizes with her impeccable acting.  She spends long stretches of the film in silence as she tracks her prey. With ‘Prey’, Hollywood has finally got its first indigenous female action star.

On the other hand, Dakota Beavers as Taabe is brilliant as well. He is overly protective of his sister Naru and doubts that she needs to learn a lot more to become a Comanche warrior. Beavers is undoubtedly a scene-stealer.

Dakota Beavers and Amber Midthunder in a still from 'Prey' (20th Century Studios)
Dakota Beavers and Amber Midthunder in a still from 'Prey' (20th Century Studios)

Although the movie has an infinite amount of violence, the action scenes are choreographed in a stylish manner and are not there just for the sake of showing how gruesome the film is.

All in all, ‘Prey’ is exactly what the franchise needed. It is fresh, brutal, and doesn’t shy away from taking bold directions that were never taken before. With spectacular action, compelling characters, and an engrossing story, the movie deserved all the praise that it’s receiving. It’s sad that a visually striking movie like ‘Prey’ is not being released in theatres.

A still from 'Prey' (20th Century Studios)
A still from 'Prey' (20th Century Studios)

Nevertheless, enjoy the movie on Hulu, and don’t miss out on this one because it needs to be watched ASAP because it's the best 'Predator' movie since the original.