Quick-Thoughts: Prey

Good or not, under two-hour-long blockbusters coming back is a W.

The Predator franchise, excluding Shane Black’s reboot, gets an unnecessary amount of flak for being consistently decent or serviceable. I’m honestly unbothered seeing this formula just keep on doing what it’s good at — usually made up of hyper-masculine dopamine gore and an immersive atmosphere of paranoia — while tweaking its premise up enough to offer the bare minimum of new. 

The 2022 prequel to John McTiernan’s original Predator (1987) is the least tweaked of them all, which is probably the reason why people seem to really vibe with it so far. It takes the saying “going back to its roots” very literally with another historical war and culture compared and contrasted again these fictional extraterrestrial hunters. Not to mention, even its plot is a borderline shameless homage to its maker.

So yes, on paper, this film sounds redundant, but in execution from 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) director’s modern “clean-cut” technique, it’s made to be on par with its more ambitious predecessors. The setting and time period in particular that he elaborately brings to fruition grants a fresh enough appeal to the franchise. We get competently crafted historical fanfiction-esc fights that range from the barrels of muskets to the heaving of spears, as well as having our preliminary knowledge of the past atrocities in America that automates for us a clear side to root on. Not to mention there’s some solid expansion to the lore of the Predators’ combat gear that exalt the action sequences – which is really all I’m asking for from these films; new ways to blow s**t up equals new ways to hold my attention. Sure, it’s hard to still be enthralled as much as it was before with each coming rerun of this familiar blueprint, but for only ninety-nine minutes of your time, it’s even harder to find regret in experiencing this schtick again. Basically, Prey is just an added filter for the Predator story people already worship and love, but a kinda cool one at that?

Ohhh requels, haha. Or is this a pre-requel? I guess canonically people are calling it a straight-up prequel though. But really… let’s be frank, it’s a pre-requel. 

Verdict: C+

2022 Ranked

“Prey” is now available to stream on Hulu.

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