(News4usonline) – You know how some movies just feel small and do not belong on the big screen? Well, “Prey” is one of those movies. The supposed prequel to “Predator,” the “Prey” does not come close to matching the intensity and overall quality of the 1987 science fiction film that starred strongman Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Both films do not stop at the blood and gore, but “Prey” goes way overboard with it and forgets about the storytelling part.
In so many ways, the “Prey” might as well have been another cheap horror flick with the number of casualties it lays out. How many ways can a ruthless, killing alien take a person out? When it comes to the musical score, “Predator” wins hands down.
The same with casting. In “Predator,” besides Schwarzenegger, the film also boasts of having Carl Weathers (Rocky films), the great Jesse Ventura, and Bill Duke to give the film all-around depth. “From the opening number to the final battle, “Predator” felt big. The same cannot be said about “Prey,” which stars Amber Midthunder as Naru, the heroine of the movie.
Midthunder is believable as Naru, a young warrior who goes about her business trying to prove her worth to her older brother and the Native American tribe she belongs to. From the start, something is amiss when Naru, after going through her drills of practicing tossing her tomahawk, witnesses something weird parting the skies. Of course, Naru runs and wants to share what she sees.
And of course, she is mocked and roughed up for bringing this nonsense to the tribe. Typical stereotypical stuff. From there, the writing becomes basic with the onslaught of killing scenes. The killing starts with the animals before the “Predator” or alien being graduates to slicing and dicing up the humans that come across its path.
The arc of the movie is that whatever is perceived to be a hunter automatically becomes the hunted. There’s nothing wrong with this premise. It’s just there is very little suspense or build-up to some of those moments. The “Prey” falls completely flat in this area. Whereas “Predator” gave us great cinematography and a better script, what we get with “Prey” is something more along the lines of a forgettable Saturday afternoon flick.
Midthunder is the only thing that saves the “Prey.” She does an excellent job of playing the role of Naru, who simply wants to be taken seriously as a hunter by both her brother and the men of her tribe. The “Prey” feels a lot like a film that emasculates masculinity as it builds up the strength and courage of Naru. Naru does not need help in this department. She is, in fact, courageous. Preparing to kill a bear is pretty bold as we see Naru do in “Prey.”
The overall summation of “Prey,” now showing on Hulu, is that it is a decent movie to watch if you don’t have anything to do or want background noise as you work. As far as going to the movie theater and shelling out your hard-earned cash, I would have a hard time recommending this. The “Prey” is a made-for-TV movie.
If you read some of the reviews about the film, it has been suggested that the “Prey” just might be equal to or is even better than “Predator.” Okay, can we stop with that nonsense? “Prey” is nowhere in the ballpark of “Predator.” However, I do salute the filmmakers to include the aspect of the Native American storyline in the film. The premise of the film is promising but it does not quite live up to those expectations.
Instead, it falls way short. The acting of Midthunder as Naru gives “Prey” what little pulse the film has. By playing the lead role, Midthunder has positioned herself as an up-and-coming talent. It would not be a surprise that she will move on to bigger and better projects. She’s good. It’s too bad that “Prey” does not give this talented actress the right formula to make the film better than it is.
Featured Photo Caption: Amber Midthunder in the lead role of Naru in the Hulu film “Prey.” Photo courtesy of Hulu