On August 5, Dan Trachtenberg’s film “Prey” was released on the streaming service Hulu. This is already the fifth part of the Predator franchise, and if you count the crossovers with Alien, it is the seventh.
This series of films is amazing. In the aforementioned Alien, it is customary to praise the first trilogy and scold everything that was filmed later. Another franchise, The Terminator, honors two of Cameron’s works. In the case of the Predator, only the first part, which came out 35 years ago, is usually remembered in a positive way! The sequel and “Predators” of 2010, if they are praised, then with a huge number of reservations: “The film is not bad, but …” And few people remember Shane Black’s 2018 film and crossovers with a kind word.
But despite the many negative reviews, “Predator” is still at the hearing. Therefore, the audience was presented with another sequel. Now it’s a prequel set 300 years before the first part.
After the premiere, the first critics wrote that this is the best Predator since the first film (judging by the above, this is not so difficult). But, alas, the rave reviews were far from the truth. Yes, there are several advantages in the tape: the authors are not shy about cruelty and give out a couple of vivid scenes. But most of the picture is boring.
“Prey” is the story of an Indian tribe, not a war with a predator
Naru (little-known actress Amber Midthunder, she can be seen in the fourth season of ” Fargo “) lives in an 18th-century Comanche Indian tribe. The girl wants to become a hunter, although according to the rules of her family, only men do this.
But Naru is learning to hunt down and capture beasts. And one day she sees something incomprehensible: a certain transparent creature is killing a bear. It turns out that the first alien predator has arrived on Earth.
The very appearance of the prequel in this franchise is quite justified: in the finale of the second part, one of the aliens gave the main character an old pistol, hinting that they have been visiting the planet for several centuries. And now the viewer is told, probably, about the first visit to the Earth by aliens . Although, in fact, the monster is given prohibitively little time here.
The plot is completely written according to boring patterns: a brave girl whom no one wants to listen to is trying to prove her worth. Then she and her relatives go in search of an injured comrade, hunt a lion together with her brother, and the heroes are captured by the evil colonists. Yes, the predator is somewhere nearby all this time. But he mainly fights with animals, dries their skulls and crackles angrily (or whatever you call his trademark sound), only occasionally intersects with the heroine. But the events listed above take about an hour out of a 90-minute film.
We can say that in the original picture of 1987, the monster did not appear immediately. But, firstly, it still happened before. Secondly, the introduction also looked like a cool action movie and created a contrast: at the beginning, the main characters seem to be invincible soldiers, and from the middle they turn into victims. And the film itself was longer, so at least an hour was allocated for the war with the predator.
In Loot, the main action takes the last 20-30 minutes. But we must pay tribute, here the authors did their best. They twist to the full “adult” rating, allowing the villain to cut off their victims limbs and even heads, and give out a couple of good dynamic battles.
It’s a pity that for the production they had to sacrifice the canonicity of the villain himself.
The image of the predator has changed a lot in the “Prey”
And this is not about design. Although outwardly the monster began to look a little different, but this is acceptable – you never know what races there are on an unknown planet .
The creators of “Prey” had to change the principles of hunting a predator so that the heroes could somehow resist him. In the new movie, the monster does not use armor that would protect him from blows and shots. Moreover, from weapons he mainly has arrows, a shield and a spear. There are also high-tech nets and a helmet that determines the danger of the enemy. But still no laser guns.
If you try to justify the writers, you can come up with many explanations. For example, since the aliens hunt for sporting interest, then they choose weapons according to their enemies. In the same Predators, the monster fought with the yakuza with swords. Or some unequipped alien who did not get his armor got to Earth. Or 300 years ago they did not yet use such weapons (although they had already learned to fly in space).
The world of predators was revealed in more detail only in comics, so for those who watched only films, such assumptions are quite logical. Another question is that this does not cancel the usual dissatisfaction and a sense of deception. After all, for a predator, as he is remembered from the classics, in fact, there is no difference between a commando with a machine gun and a girl with an ax: the monster is invulnerable, and you can win only with the help of ingenuity.
But instead of making the heroine more witty and cunning, the authors simply weaken her opponent.
Visual effects sometimes delight, sometimes upset
Admittedly, the best parts of Predator are those that take place somewhere in nature. This is the first film, and the picture of 2010, and now “Production”. Unearthly technologies and wild forests are very cool.
From the very beginning, the new part pleases with the general plans of nature. Sometimes you can even forget that you are watching an action movie about an alien and just enjoy a beautiful production.
But then badly drawn animals appear in the frame and the magic collapses. And for some reason they are brought to the fore, allowing viewers to look longer at problematic graphics.
Of course, Naru’s final battle with the monster is traditionally plunged into darkness. Fortunately, not as impenetrable as in Aliens vs. Predator. But, for example, an alien attack on the colonists looks much more interesting, if only because everything can be clearly seen there.
That is, in general, the visual part does not want to scold. But it’s simply impossible to single out at least something in it that would distinguish “Production” from dozens of other fantastic action films .
Unfortunately, the next installment of the Predator is sure to be on the shelf next to all previous attempts to revive the franchise. This film does not cause such irritation as Black’s picture. But “Production” swings for too long, and then does not offer anything that would really be remembered by the audience. Just a one time movie, nothing more.
Read also 🍿🎥🎬