PREY (2022) Review


PREY (2022)

maybe in a different reality, it would be a good story for an animation film about another Disney princess who opposes social roles. Young Naru (Amber Midthunder), the main character of “ Prey “, the new movie in the series ” Predator “, is because she is as brave as her fellow tribesmen. However, I am inclined to believe that at the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Comanche did not really dream of sending a women for hunting. This is why the feminist aspect of Dan Trachtenberg’s film is intriguing in two ways.

Naru, striving for self-determination and chasing ambitions, must break through the shell of patriarchal aversion, and at the same time she does not dream of overthrowing the system or assuming the role of a herald of the new order. Not at all. Trachtenberg is not naive and took care of historical authenticity – as much as he could in a film about a fight with a cosmic monster – which will surely please those complaining about the dictates of political correctness.

“Prey” turns the franchise one hundred and eighty degrees back to its roots, offering it a fresh start. Trachtenberg , both ostentatiously and daringly, rejects the mythology that has been molded for years. He is not interested in the expansion of the existing universe, or even a fleeting reflection on the nature of a hunter from another planet or the drama of the indigenous people of the American continent, who are the heroes of this film. It is tempting to find a metaphor here: the hunter from the stars is presented as a wild, unbridled, destructive force. But this is also a miss, because there are some in this film who actually ripped rifles at the natives.

Trachtenbergit treats newcomers from Europe as cannon fodder. After a quick exposition, he goes straight to the point, pushing the distillate to our heads: uncompromising genre cinema, not burdened with flowing dialogues or knots of plot intrigues. And it is a surprisingly safe choice, without any risk – despite the unconventional place and time of action for this series. Recycling the tricks we already know is a disappointment.

The place of action, stripped of unnecessary trinkets – we can see almost exclusively foggy fields and forests bending under the curtains of rain – may be associated with a battlefield. As if Trachtenberg wanted to make a deal with the viewers quickly: if you came here to watch the hunt, you will see the hunt. It’s hard to deny some honesty to this approach, even though it is also a manifestation of giving up the ambition to do more with the franchise.

Of course, this raises the question of whether there is anything more to be done with her. I myself am not sure what the answer should be. It seems, however, that the weapon has already been laid down, that nobody wants to kick with the horse, thand at a cross has been put on creative searches. Because setting the film three hundred years ago and pitting Naru and her tribe against Predatorit is an ornamental curiosity rather than a revolution. However, it is undeniably important the issue of Native American representation on the screen. What’s more, it gives satisfaction on the level of pure enjoyment of the spectacle, because it forces, among others, nea w design of the predator space arsenal: much simpler, more primitive than the one used by its predecessors (or rather successors).

The hunter himself seems to be a hotheaded youngster who uses brute force more often than a carefully developed strategy. Instead of hiding in the corners, it attacks frontally, sadistically dealing with the game. For Naru, meeting him becomes a rite of passage, a true fit for a warrior, a test of fire and endurance. It is a pity that the film is so short – just an hour and a half – and this sprint does not adequately reflect the physical aspect of the fight.

Trachtenberg has already hinted about the sequel (or maybe the prequel?), Which stimulates the imagination, because the story of the Predator coming to Earth can be set where and when someone dreams of it. Let only the result of the duel not always be so easy to predict.

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