I have no idea what kind of strange process has led to a blockbuster-caliber Predator movie, Prey, getting an exclusive debut on Hulu, of all places, but no matter where it premieres, that has nothing to do with its quality.
And this is an absolutely phenomenal movie. Prey is easily the best Predator movie since the original, and many attempts have been made to replicate the success of the former, from standalone features to face-offs against Xenomorphs.
The timeline here has taken a sharp turn, sending the series 300 years into the past, where a singular predator has come to Earth to hunt other predators. Starting small, snakes, wolves and the like, he soon learns that the most dangerous game is, of course, man.
We are in early 18th century America, and the main focus of the story is Naru, a Comanche woman who aspires to be a hunter, not a gatherer, and her brother, Taabe, who is the pride of his tribe for his ability to kill anything in the wild. Danger lurks nearby as French trappers begin to harvest game for skins, and only Naru seems to understand that an even greater threat is looming, the mysterious, invisible, intergalactic stalker.
I can’t say enough about the two pivotal performances of Prey’s native actors, Amber Midthunder and Dakota Beavers, where this should be a star for both. They have an effortless amount of presence and charisma in a film that, in all likelihood, could have easily been terrible, but between their execution, the solid script and director Dan Trachtenberg, they have created a new genre classic and a worthy entry in a series that seemed been up and running for several decades.
The action here is top notch, sufficiently brutal and it reminded me so much of Bone Tomahawk that I had to look up to see if it was the same director (that was S. Craig Zahler, Trachtenberg did 10 Cloverfield Lane). It’s a lighthearted watch that doesn’t exceed its welcome at just an hour and forty minutes, and has probably one of the coolest versions of the Predator itself we’ve seen in these movies, alongside the fantastic human cast.
Is it better than the original? It’s hard to say. It’s a classic, but nostalgia does some work here when I look back, and I can’t say for sure because I haven’t seen Arnold’s version in at least 15 years. But it’s great either way and includes some fun nods to the original that fans will see while watching.
All the stars have been aligned to make Prey a phenomenal movie, exclusive to Hulu and all. This would have been a wild ride in theaters, but it’s still great at home, and I’d say it’s a must for any action, sci-fi, or of course fan of the Predator series. Would love to see more from everyone involved, please.
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