The franchise of Predator still today manages to fascinate, for better or for worse, millions of fans. The first 1987 film introduced a unique narrative universe into international POP culture, thanks to the culture of Yautja and their desire to challenge other hunters. In this review we analyze the new episode of the series, known as Preya film directed by Dan Trachtenberg and available on Disney + from today, Friday 5 August 2022.
The courage of the pedra
In over thirty years of cinema history, many directors have tried to rejuvenate the simple concept of human prey and alien hunter. In Predator 2Stephen Hopkins has combined the horror and survival aspect of the former with that of the noir detective story, Il Predators by Nimrod Antal returns to more appropriate roads but sets the events within an alien planet, while the The Predator by Shane Black combines a clearly over the top style with the misadventures of some American soldiers. In this review, we noted how Dan Tranchtenberg’s Prey decides to go beyondand this not only for the title that abandons the typical one of the franchise.
The story tells of Naruplayed by Amber Midthundera girl Comache who lives within her tribe with the aim of becoming a skilled hunter. Her desire for her is badly considered by the rest of the tribe, so much so that she is constantly derided by the males and excluded by the females. However, her commitment and dedication deserve extreme attention, and it seems that only her brother is able to recognize the merits of the protagonist: Tabeeinterpreted by Dakota Beavers, which from the beginning is emphasized as a real star for all the locals. In one of the first sequences it is already evident the relationship of pupil and master, as well as parental, which is present between Naru and Tabee.
The script of Patrick Aison takes this incipit to combine everything with the typical characteristics of any Predator film: the final result is a film simple and predictable, with unoriginal dynamics interspersed with comic moments that do not blend well with the context. After all entertainment works.
In the first thirty minutes the relationship that the girl has with the Comache people is very well established. The secondary characters are by no means in-depth, but the intentions are not to create extremely long and complex relationships. Furthermore, Prey presents a solid foundation for staging theindependence and female strengthbut remaining in the “comfort zone” to be as easily understood by a varied audience.
In general this is also visible within the dialogues, never too long beyond the concise and simple language. In addition to the purpose previously described, it is likely that the idea is to recreate the correct historical representation of the first half of the seventeenth century. The events told, in fact, are set in America of 1719. In this way the director has decided to focus strongly on the setting, in a nature tour consisting of long plans of landscapes and evocative shots like that of the burnt forest. In general, photography and the visual aspect it is one of the most successful parts of the whole project. The viewer is satisfied with certain details and sequences, without however taking away the proper attention to the actors and the action of the screen.
A survival challenge
In over ten minutes of film, Midthuner is practically alone managing the screen, intent on exploring and facing the dangers of nature. In this specific part, silence is the real master of the scene, where Trachtenberg manages to convey a feeling of constant danger. The viewer knows that at any moment something is possible, but not what and when. Unfortunately this is the only “horror” element that really works in the film, since that feeling of tension is never transmitted to the viewer.
However, the young actress manages to let emotions shine through, giving life in a more than satisfactory way to a character difficult to represent. However, his interpretation is not perfect, due to some expressions that are out of place and exaggerated with respect to the context represented. The true actor’s surprise of the film is Dakota Beavers, where in his first role in the industry the young musician manages to strongly enter the part, both physically and emotionally. The young man’s enormous commitment is evident, and with the right improvements he is able to transform his film career into an interesting future. Another big round of applause definitely goes to the dog of the protagonist, who manages to capture the screen and the sympathy of the spectators.
The choice of Native American actors rather than some famous Hollywood face, not so much for the budget, as for broadcasting one greater credibility the context and setting. Another extremely appreciable element is it study of Comacian traditions and legends, with the use, in specific moments, of their Uzo-Aztec language.
THE secondary characters they are too much little characterized and not at all credible in their exaggeration, which is not the case Dane DiLegro, the man behind the Predator, who plays the role extremely convincingly. Despite the “silence” of the character, the former centista fully convinces in his film debut.
The return of the Yautja
One feature worth mentioning is like Prey is not closely related to no other Predator movie. In this way anyone is able to enjoy it without having to follow a plot that reconnects over thirty years of film. This does not mean that the main elements of the Yautja are completely eliminated, only that they are re-presented for the public. Dan Trachtenberg manages to reintroduce all the features of the series, such as trophies or typical technology, in a way natural and cohesive with the structure of the film, and with newbies who will easily understand what made these creatures so iconic within pop culture.
The weapons of the alien are then represented in an optimal way, as well as the new armor design, which adapts very well to the context. A pity that they did not take advantage of the historical period to highlight a Yautja with a more inferior technology, which would have given strength and originality to the film. In any case, directing works extremely well in action scenes, where science fiction and nature come together in an excellent marriage.
The film in question also marks the return of Predator as a movie forbidden to minors, at least in North America. This does not derive from bad language or elements of nudity, but from violence and splatter of certain sequences. In this review we highlight how Prey is not exaggerated in the representation of blood, but we warn the most sensitive that certain scenes will be present.
In the poor quality of the special effects we can unfortunately find budget limits of the production, given that the animals in CGI do not marry with the context and the actions of the actors on the screen.
Dan Trachtenberg’s film is a work that manages to positively entertain the viewer. The final result is not perfect due to poorly crafted special effects, a predictable plot, the inexperience of the actors and the superficiality of certain elements. At the same time, the direction and style of the film were highly successful, as is evident the commitment of everyone from the interpretation to the reconstruction of the historical context. An unoriginal work but which manages to transmit new life blood to Predator, which for some time does not seem to have understood its place in the contemporary film industry.