Updated: Aug 18, 2022
This story takes place 300 years ago. It’s about a Comanche woman, Naru, who tries desperately to let her family and village know that she is much more than they think. They want her to take on a more traditional role and leave the hunting to her brother and the other men. But when the Predator shows up, the hunters become the hunted.
In its simplest form, the story is a biblical allusion to King David’s rise with a few changes—most notably the main character is a girl. There’s also a cool call back to the second Predator film that nerds of the Predator universe are bound to instantly recognize.
The cinematography is beautiful. The audience is treated to the sweeping landscapes of the Northwest. It's something that would’ve been highly beneficial had the movie been shown in a theater. But it remains beautiful nonetheless.
It is an interesting choice for the writers to have the Comanche speak English since our main character is Comanche. And we don’t have subs for translations of the French in the film since the audience sees things through Naru’s eyes. Naru doesn’t speak French. So that makes perfect sense.
But personally, this viewer would’ve loved for the movie to have been in Comanche with subtitles. It could’ve been a more immersive experience. And wouldn't that have been super cool? But in the end, the choice didn’t hinder the film in any significant way.
The action is done really well. Ever since Predators, when one of these monstrous aliens actually faced off with a katana-wielding yakuza enforcer, this viewer has longed to see some really interesting close-quarters combat in another one of these films. And my hopes and prayers were answered with this one. Most of the action is riveting. It propels the story forward. And the action that involves Naru reveals character.
Naru is smart, brave, tough and innovative. She may even be the first one in her village to incorporate a dog in her hunting. She creates her own tools and weapons. And she learns how to manipulate technology that is centuries beyond anything she has seen before just from watching the Predator. So she’s able to adapt quickly.
Generally, in the better Predator films, the main character is worthy of standing opposite of the Predator. It was the case in the first film, the second and Predators. This one is no different. Naru is more than a worthy opponent for the Predator. It's about the match-up and the chess match that ensues.
Also, it should be mentioned that Amber Midthunder did an excellent job in her portrayal. Dakota Beavers does well as her brother. They work well together. And the rest of the cast does a great job too.
Prey makes for an excellent installment in the Predator universe. This movie should’ve gone to the theater. Audiences would've followed.