Prey (2022) Film Reviewone film directed by Dan Trachtenbergwritten by Patrick Eason and Dan Trachtenberg and stars Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Dane DiLiegro, Stormy Kip, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black Antelope, Stefani Matias, Bennett Taylor, Mike Patterson, Nelson Leis, Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat and Samuel Marty.
In 1987, Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in a fast-paced, enjoyable sci-fi action/adventure film titled Predator about a monster from outer space that starts chasing a military rescue team. Then, Predator 2, the action was transferred to Los Angeles with amusing results, and this picture was a successful film, but it did not do well at the box-office for whatever reason. Several sequels and spin-off films later, we have Smooth, a noble, satisfying attempt at an origin story. We’ve seen movies in this franchise with a lot of “Predators,” so the new movie basically giving audiences a “Predator” is a little disappointing, but since it’s a prequel to the original movie, it still gets credit for the set pieces. set in the 1700s and starring a Camanche warrior.
In the early scenes set in the northern great plains, we meet a young female character who wants to hunt as successfully as possible. Her name is Naru (Amber Midthunder) and she has a bond with her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers), but she doesn’t seem to believe that she is capable of achieving greatness in her hunting expertise. Taabe shoots a bird himself, but Naru points out that he’ll have to go through the water to get it, while it would be easier if Taabe let Naru shoot the bird and have it land right next to them.
Early on, we see a vicious slithering snake being brutally skinned as the film’s Predator arrives to hunt down some victims himself. Naru has to protect her family/tribe from this evil entity and the movie has a great time sending other animals in the wild to fight against the Predator (nicely played by Dane DiLiegro) who is invisible most of the time and has strangely colored computer-graphic vision which this film offers a glimpse of in line with the original film in the series. What kind of animals come against the Predator? A wolf, a bear and a dog, to name a few. By the way, the dog in the movie is Naru’s main companion, and the animal plays a nice supporting role in the action here.
For a streaming-only movie, a lot of work has gone into it. There are at least eight minutes of the closing credits that demonstrate the craftsmanship that went into it Smooth. It’s a solid effort in some respects, as it will give new generations an origin story for the Predator, but it’s not quite up to par with the 1987 film. Midthunder does a great job, but it’s not the Arnold Schwarzenegger he was, perhaps. biggest action star of his generation at the time. Predator was released. That said, Midthunder gives a “new star is born” performance here and although she’s a little wet behind the ears, she eventually grows into the role by the end of the film which will have the audience cheering as she stands up for her brother. and fights against the main heavy human character, Big Beard (Mike Paterson).
There are plenty of exciting scenes with the Predator wearing a mask that hit one or two of the film’s high points. The creature is well designed to your standard Predator movie but Smooth lacks plot development. It’s a simple story with a bit of complexity. I didn’t notice the lack of plot in others Predator movies but SmoothHis story is clear. It exists simply to set up the action sequences presented in the film.
Beavers gives a nice turn as Taabe and keeps the film interesting as we wonder if and when he will discover Naru’s abilities to be a great hunter. It’s Midthunder’s film through and through, though, and it’s well received. One can only hope they make a sequel to this movie with lots of “Predators” to keep things moving even more intensely than this picture does despite the lack of plot. With the reported good opening weekend ratings on Hulu, a follow-up movie may be on the way.
Smooth, while not a very good movie, is admirable enough to warrant a Hulu viewing for fans of sci-fi and action movies. I have read articles claiming that this new image is the best Predator movie ever and all I have to say is that if you were there when the 1987 version came out and find Smooth the best movie then I have a strong difference of opinion why Predator was blockbuster material while Smooth it’s just serviceable entertainment in my humble opinion. To each his own. Amber Midthunder is still a star either way.
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