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Allaby's Avatar
Guy who likes movies
I watched it today. Decent action, not as good as the first two Predator films (which I also rewatched today). Worth watching though.



A system of cells interlinked
It's a fair point that we don't show up to these films for the writing, but that just seemed especially bad.

Speaking of Patriarchy, if this was a realistic take on The Comanche, the line after her retort would have been something like "I see.. request denied. Back to cooking my dinner, then off with the clothes. After that, he rest of the men and I are off to capture more slaves."

Not a fun time to live.
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Well, it’s a shorthand, right? I agree that it’s a rather annoying word, but the alternative is pages and pages of explaining what you mean every time.
A shorthand? Yes. One that, more often than not, is used to be dismissive about anything people disagree with. Meh.

The notion of a strong, female lead overcoming the odds against bigger, stronger, or even supernatural foes is nothing new, or even limited to films. You can look at every slasher and its final girls, or some obvious choices like Leia, Ripley, or Sarah Connor. Even video game characters like Samus Aran or Lara Croft. People should stop being such "snowflakes" about everything they see as "woke", as if it was some sort of New World agenda
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I only saw a preview for this movie and I thought "Predator meets Apocalypto".

But does it take place in the long past? (Pre-"New World" discovery or early 16th century era?)

I loved Apocalypto (2006), btw... it's Diehard in an early 16th century jungle!



I only saw a preview for this movie and I thought "Predator meets Apocalypto".

But does it take place in the long past? (Pre-"New World" discovery or early 16th century era?)

I loved Apocalypto (2006), btw... it's Diehard in an early 16th century jungle!
18th century.





Prey (2022)

Prey is a solid little Predator movie on the same level as Predators and Predator 2. You have this weird dichotomy with the film where you have some gorgeous set pieces blended with some terrible CGI animals. I also don't know how I feel about films like this where white people are introduced to be horrible meat to get murdered while the dog is given more character development and humanity. Films like this do treat politics like an albatross it's a distraction and it hurts the final product.

Amber Midthunder and Dakota Beavers the Native American leads are both very strong actors. When we are dealing with their relationship the film is at it's best. Naru is not a strong woman she needs to be a smart woman. The final act gets a little to clever with action scenes that don't really make much sense. Had they just shown a bit of restraint and put the money and time into making the fur trappers into people and the Predator into a problem I think this would have been a great film.




A shorthand? Yes. One that, more often than not, is used to be dismissive about anything people disagree with. Meh.
I’m not sure that’s the case. Language relies on shorthands, otherwise we’d never get our point across. This is why I take such issue with film criticism via the notion of “stereotypes”. Shorthands are used to effectively set the exposition and get on with the story. Foregoing a successful shorthand means the film spends all its time justifying why/how this woman “can” beat the man/Predator (and usually fails).

The notion of “woke” is used to dismiss “progressive” (and often performative) developments in society broadly/the arts. It’s usually conservatives that disagree with these things. I don’t see anything inherently “meh” about that. Via a similar shorthand, a commonplace progressive retort is that conservatives are “boomers”/“out of touch”/“irrelevant” (the latter is my personal favourite, levelled at artists with decades of experience at the top). But I see much fewer (NB: no shorthand here, some do address how insulting it is) journalists/commentators taking issue with “boomer” and “irrelevant”. “Meh” is in no way less dismissive, it’s the exact same idea of “I won’t engage with you”.

The notion of a strong, female lead overcoming the odds against bigger, stronger, or even supernatural foes is nothing new, or even limited to films. You can look at every slasher and its final girls, or some obvious choices like Leia, Ripley, or Sarah Connor. Even video game characters like Samus Aran or Lara Croft. People should stop being such "snowflakes" about everything they see as "woke", as if it was some sort of New World agenda
Well, it’s pretty prevalent since circa the ‘70s, but that in itself isn’t that long in societal/cultural terms, so yes, it is still relatively “new”. It is an agenda simply insofar as it “makes a point” that women “can”/(“and do, and will”… sounds like a nauseating LinkedIn post). It is also an agenda insofar as “strong women” now outnumber “non-strong”/“normal” women in all kinds of films. And yes, for action you of course need a good ole fight, so you can’t have the woman run away/defer to a man to fight the thing. It’s less about Mary Sues imo than about needing to prove something. I think it’s just common sense that yes, Harrison Ford’s muscles are much more appropriate, even to foster a feeling of invincibility in him as a protagonist (I guess this is when it becomes a culture war debate, but I just don’t see a realistic way of explaining why women, especially in a tribe, don’t defer to men to fight monsters (I’ve seen the film now and it’s purely coincidental, not to mention she literally asks to come along to fight a monster, no reluctant warrior here). There. That’s the crux of it. Unless all men are dead as in Widows, which, yeah, so subtle).

To me it’s like it exists to boost women’s self-esteem (hence the argument that oh, a little girl will see herself in this film, which we literally have in Prey, how meta, and… what?) So in that sense, again, to say that this is an agenda is merely a shorthand. Not hyper-accurate but by no means “wrong”.

My personal issue with these progressive developments is that they are psychologically dishonest. The only film where the impact of a woman’s so-called “strength” is actually interrogated and explored from all angles that comes to mind is Possessor, where
WARNING: spoilers below
the woman literally trades her family/emotional life for a paycheck and continuing to be at the top of her game/what in the real corporate world is the C-suite. She literally kills her family/the “patriarchal construct” to free herself.
At least that’s brave of Cronenberg. That at least acknowledges that it makes no sense for a woman to “win” against men/aliens and suffer no consequences/losses, even if it be scars that mean she’ll never be conventionally pretty again. I find the female action hero narrative to be intellectually and psychologically dishonest (yes, more so than with male leads). I don’t think that means being a “snowflake” about everything I see as “woke”, I still watch these films in bemusement, whereas “snowflakes” don’t tend to engage with the narratives they find objectionable.

I would have a bit more patience for a well-researched sci-fi story where the women have to kill the monster because, I don’t know, the monster is afraid of/allergic to estrogen (The War of the Worlds-style, but even then we’ll probably offend transgender people). Even Annihilation (which I love!) gives no coherent explanation why women go on this mission (other than many groups of men have previously died trying, but for a NASA experiment that sounds remarkably lame; if men die in the zone, then common sense/basic science posits that so should women, because we’re all Homo sapiens).



The doors of wisdom are never shut. - 'Socrates'
I just watched PREY yesterday and I actually liked it. It got rid of the goofy humour that was in THE PREDATOR and went back to its horror action roots. I have no issue with the main protagonist being female as it didn't really have a negative impact on the story.

When you think about it; how did Arnold beat the Predator in the first film!? He didn't do it with his strength but he did do it with his ingenuity, resourcefulness and his skills. The fact he was well muscled wasn't the key factor in him winning. He used what he had seen and learned about the enemy and used the terrain to his advantage.

Now I'd rank PRAY as #3, behind the first two Predator films but ahead of all the others including the AvP series. Its a solid entry into the franchise and I hope a return to form for it as a whole.
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I have no issue with the main protagonist being female as it didn't really have a negative impact on the story.

When you think about it; how did Arnold beat the Predator in the first film!? He didn't do it with his strength but he did do it with his ingenuity, resourcefulness and his skills. The fact he was well muscled wasn't the key factor in him winning. He used what he had seen and learned about the enemy and used the terrain to his advantage.
It probably doesn’t have a negative impact on the story in the strict sense. For me it’s very much a meta thing, it throws me out of the narrative.

Just as much as all this originated whenever it did with the question “Why can’t a woman be an action hero?”, I find the market so oversaturated by now that I can’t help but ask “Why a woman again?” whenever I watch something like that, especially a “man versus beast” (heh) genre film. Which is another one of my personal mini-beefs with progressive action films.

If it were a one-off, like Alien, or at least a relatively uncommon thing, I could have bought it as refreshing (and I love Alien & Aliens), but by now it’s very much a foregone conclusion that every old franchise will get a female action hero treatment and every new franchise will aim to have a progressive element, which to me is just… boring?

And again, I find it more emphatically boring than the typical male action protagonist because in a way, that emerged as a default, when no one thought, “How could this be different?”. But at least this to me is honest, people actually focussing on the story of the (admittedly simplistic action) film and not the meta element, whereas many female-led films very obviously emerged via, “Let’s make the exact same thing but with a (minority) woman and cash in on the progressive pats on the back. Oh, clever us”.

I honestly think it’d be way more original for a fifteen-year-old male nerd to beat a monster at this point (through sheer intelligence, yes). C. S. Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (the Narnia sequel, and I mean the novel, not the film) kind of did that with Edmund the nerd and I loved that.



It probably doesn’t have a negative impact on the story in the strict sense. For me it’s very much a meta thing, it throws me out of the narrative.
It would have stood out much less if they'd gone the full fantasy route and just had Naru be one of the hunters. Making the story about a hunter, not female hunter. But I guess equality isn't good enough for modern feminists.
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It would have stood out much less if they'd gone the full fantasy route and just had Naru be one of the hunters. Making the story about a hunter, not female hunter. But I guess equality isn't good enough for modern feminists.
Exactly.



Allaby's Avatar
Guy who likes movies
I'll never understand why some straight men complain about women being cast in films. If I was in charge of Hollywood, the vast majority of characters in all films would be female, including in action movies. If I could, I would make films with an all female cast.



I think everyone has adequately complained and counter-complained about every aspect of this. It's veering into those old familiar culture war grooves. Let's stick to the movie.



Whether intentional or by accident, a masterclass in marketing for the digital era.



What, Prey? In what sense?
I think that the reception by fans of the franchise has been overwhelmingly positive. I include myself in that camp and I’m beholden to there only being one good Predator movie.

Then you pull in a wide swath of people that want to use it to express their socio-political views, even if they don’t care about the movie or plan to watch it. Engagement sells.

Release it on a streamer, partly because of being a holdover from FOX and to mitigate costs, among other reasons.

I’m pretty sure it’s going to result in an overwhelming success.



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It's not the empowerment et al. that annoys me, it's the ham-fisted dialogue in the trailer that has me rolling my eyes...

"Why do you want to hunt?"
"Because you don't think I can."

That was cringe.



The Kratos axe gimmick was cringe.



The doggo sidekick got increasingly implausible and annoying in providing combat assistance.



WARNING: "Just click it. You know you want to." spoilers below
I was really wanting a payoff connecting one of the pistols taken off the French to the pistol gifted to Danny Glover at the end of Predator 2. Alas, no.



NOTE:
WARNING: "Yes. You must click it. DO IT! DO IT NOW!" spoilers below
She gets all the men of her tribe killed. She decides that she MUST go out and investigate the "thunderbird" to establish that she too is a hunter. Her mates go looking for her and they get on the radar of the Predator. She comes home triumphant at the end with the head of the beast, but it cost the tribe every young male in the village.



It was a bit annoying that for most of the movie we just watch her ideas get shot down by the boys, but at least they didn't "Mary Sue" it. She has to grow. She gets help. She has fears and is vulnerable.


Part of the problem for me is that we know what the predator is. There isn't mystery here. Also, are visible red laser designators the apex of targeting weapons? The military has moved on to non-visible lasers and the Predator already sees in bandwidth outside the human spectrum, why visible lasers? I know. Who cares?




WARNING: "Just click it. You know you want to." spoilers below
I was really wanting a payoff connecting one of the pistols taken off the French to the pistol gifted to Danny Glover at the end of Predator 2. Alas, no.
This might help…

https://comicbook.com/horror/news/pr...ise-explained/