A preview to one of the 80’s iconic action movies. Will it hold up and keep old fans engaged while roping in some new to the franchise?
Set in 1719, Prey tell the story of the Comanche hunter-gatherer tribe of the great plains of Northern America. Featuring a nearly entire cast of Native American actors, we follow the story of Naru (Amber Mindhunter), a young gatherer who wishes to prove herself and join other members of the tribe hunting to provide, even though she is already an established and talented healer. Naru is often found wandering off to practice and grow her hunting skills with the axe handed down from her father and trusted companion Sarii her exceptionally well-trained pup.
We first meet Naru as she is awoken to join the others in the morning to gather food and plants to be used through the tribe. While on her gather Naru sneaks off to practice with her axe and hunt a deer. With the deer spooked by a loud noise from the sky Naru sets off in chase. With the deer getting away and the noises from the sky continuing, her attention is shifted to a strange sight to be seen streaking across the clouded northern sky. Naru believes this to be a thunderbird calling her to prove herself a warrior and hunter. We, of course see a little different.
Things step up a bit when one of the tribesmen is taken by a mountain lion. A hunting party sets out to track the lion and hopefully rescue their taken brother. Naru tracks down the party and joins in on the hunt thanks to her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers), an up-and-coming war chief who convinces the others her tracking skills will help them find the lion, and if anyone is hurt, her skills as a healer will be needed. The hunt is truly on.
This is where Prey starts to ramp things up. Naru tracks the lion well but also finds some strange footprints, too big to be a bear but similar in shape. We also see evidence of the Predator in its trophies left behind. If you know, you know. If you don’t know, be ready for it.
Prey is very different from the other Predator-type movies in that a lot of the movie is quiet with just Naru on the screen yet has enough loud impactful moments to keep the pacing moving along well. It is a very safe by the number’s formula. By no means is it a bad movie yet nothing is there to blow you away with some elements definitely missing. You see the Predator early on, not a shimmer in the trees or a quick glance to keep you guessing you are told straight away this is a predator movie. I knew it was; most people of my vintage knew it was as soon as they heard the clicks in the trailer, but some ambiguity would have helped the story.
I have to point out one thing from Predator lore that I found to be done really well. Prey is set 300 years in the past, and while still much more technically advanced than the people of the time, the Predator has not had the benefit of genealogical and technological advancements they obtain from the conquering of other species, so we see a very raw, very different creature than what we are used to.
Prey ticks the boxes for a 2022 action movie and includes some characters I wasn’t expecting when I went in, so I will leave it for you to experience it anew. I expected Prey to lack being a straight-to-streaming movie to suffer but seeing it on the big screen didn’t really add to the experience.
Prey is a simple yet effective movie that you may enjoy. There is even some throwback to the original film.
Prey is releasing 05.08.22 on Disney Plus under the STAR banner, and is well worth the Friday night drinks and pizza with friends viewing.
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