“This morning, in the sky, I saw a sign. The Thunderbird. I’ve been practicing. It’s time. I’m ready.”
Genre: Alien Monster Historical Prequels WITH AXES
Release Date: 2022
Where I Watched: Hulu
Gist: Naru is an absolute badass. Tracker, healer, Comanche tribeswoman. But she wants to be seen as a hunter, and though she’s got the skills, she doesn’t have the respect. But when she hears thunder, and sees something unusual in the sky, it’s time to prove herself. Grab that bow, arrow, and throwing axe and let’s do this! C’mon pup. I’m sure you’ll be fine. [Spoiler: Sarii is A Very Good Boi, and he’ll be fine. I wouldn’t do you like that.]
Talky talk: Prey made me forget about all the cruddy films after the OG Predator. Sure, a few were fun enough to check out at home – looking at you, AvP and Predators – but always lacked a certain je ne sais coolness. But this prequel fires on all cylinders, giving longtime fans and fresh faced newbies something to enjoy.
The title is a fun twist on the plot itself; two hunters hoping to prove themselves to their tribe. Our heroine Naru, and the Predator. Both are a teeny bit full of themselves, but have the skills to back that up. Maybe they’re not seasoned, but hey; that’s the point of this hero(ine)’s journey, amirite?
Amber Midthunder’s Naru is a character that I was instantly drawn to. Her introduction is parkour meets wilderness ranger, and it blew me away. And yep, she did a whole lot of her own stuntwork. Special shout out to Dakota Beavers as Taabe, Naru’s incredible warrior-type older brother. The sibling chemistry they share is fun and honest, lifting the “hunt the creature” plot above the usual trite slog we’d see in, oh, sequels and the like.
The cinematography is beautiful as well; even on my old-ass 40″ flat-screen there were several scenes and brief wide-shots that I paused to fully appreciate. (Take a moment to really look at the lion-and-tree scene, which is just a feast of gorgeous shots.) And while the story focuses on Naru and her tribe, we do get a look at the usual gross yt people turning The Great Plains into their personal disgusting funtimes. Hey, we have to root for the Predator at least once, right? Yes.
So if you’re still on the fence about catching this prequel, I say do it. Pop yourself a hay-uuuuge bowl of poppy-corn, dress it up like you like – your pad, your rules – and settle in. Hulu plays two minutes of commercials before the film starts, so they can show you the whole story with no interruptions. (Except for your own pauses for bathroom breaks. I judge no-one.)
Come for: Getting your curiosity sated by looky-looing at a prequel released after a slew of cruddy sequels.
Stay for: The fun action, cool fighting techniques, and a wee soupçon of history.