Tuesday 9 August 2022

REVIEW: Prey (2022) - Starring Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers and Michelle Thrush

Review by Jon Donnis
Prey is the fifth film in the Predator franchise and the prequel to the first four films.

Amber Midthunder stars as Naru, a young Comanche warrior, set in 1719 in the Great Plains. Naru has been trained as a healer, but she dreams of becoming a great hunter like her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers). One day while tracking deer, Naru witnesses a straight sight in the sky. She believes that this is a sign she needs to prove herself.

A cougar has attacked one of the tribe's hunters, Taabe creates a search party to hunt the cougar, and agrees that Naru can accompany them but only to provide medical assistence if needed. They find the injured hunter and leave. On the way back they find strange tracks. Later after finding skinned bison, they are attacked by a grizzly bear, as the bear attacks them, it finds itself in a fight with the Predator alien. Naru escapes while the Predator kills the bear.

What follows is a rather unlikely film that conentrates on Naru fighting the alien. And it all gets a bit silly at times, as not only does this small woman go toe to toe with this elite alien hunter, but of course gets the better of it. All the while using primative weapons.

The Naru character herself is ok, it is basically a story of a girl dismissed by her tribe as weak, and she proves the men wrong, and while they get killed she comes out on top. The problem is none of what happens is remotely plausible. The alien easily overpowers a giant grizzly bear, but struggles with a woman who I doubt weighs more than 100lbs soaking wet.

There is little dialog in the film, and outside of Naru there are no real characters that you will care about, maybe a strangely modern looking dog, but other than that this is a one woman show.

The Good
Despite the ridiculous nature of the fight, I did rather enjoy the last 20 minutes, the fight scene is pretty cool, and seeing the Predator in all its glory is always fun. They also throw in the "If it bleeds" line from the original Predator film, which is cool.

The Bad
For an elite alien hunter, the Predator comes across as dumb and a bit sad. And that is the problem here. This should never have been a story about a young girl proving herself to the tribe, this film should have been about multiple warring tribes coming together to fight this superior alien hunter, and managing to put their differences aside and fighting against the odds, people sacrificing themselves for the greater good. Instead it comes across as an instantly forgettable alien film.

The plot is stupid, and the completely predictable ending will make you roll your eyes, however saying that I did enjoy the end fight scene, everything is really nicely filmed, and the visual effects are excellent.

A dumb plot spoils what should have been an epic feeling prequel to the franchise.

I score Prey a disappointing 6/10

Out now on Hulu