Ready to wear
It doesn’t matter if he is the director of the very popular 10 Cloverfield Lanebut also from the pilot of the series The Boys, the controls. Seeing Mickey put his opportunistic dirty paws on such an adored monster made your teeth cringe. Despite a few good surprises, we know how fond the multinational is of extended universes, nostalgic cliffhangers and any other process that transforms the remarkable works for which it has claimed the rights into soap operas. be exactly what predator had to stay away.
Except that Preyformerly known as the production title Skullsis in fact a long-standing project initiated by Fox regardless of its acquisition by Disney, during the production of The Predator. At the time, the link with the license was passed over in silence, at least until an article by Deadline reveals the doldrums, to the chagrin of the filmmaker, who would have loved to play on the element of surprise.
Death is in the Prey
And on seeing his film, we understand why. Precisely at the antipodes of the Hollywood model of the moment, he refuses to add umpteenth additional layers to the mythology predator, to weigh down an already overloaded franchise or even to forge any link with its predecessors. By eliminating any demiurge temptation and choosing as a backdrop a period already encumbered with political issues, he returns to the fundamentals: a monster, a heroine, a violent and personal epic and an uninterrupted manhunt 1h30 top chrono, credits excluded.
A minimalism that instantly distinguishes him from the cretin-megalo-nag approach of friend Shane Black and his least defensible narrative rantings (the treatment of autism!). Here, the alien is no longer an emissary who has come to Earth to glean buffs for his race, but the good old hunter that we have learned to adore and fear in front of John McTiernan’s camera. In front of him stands the young Naru, Comanche who would like to hunt alongside the most respected warriors of her tribe. To prove her worth, she embarks on a mysterious hunt. But of course, the predator will become the prey.
Yet offered in Comanche on the platform, Prey is therefore not particularly talkative. Being careful not to draw great conclusions from the historical framework, Patrick Aison (for whom this is the first feature film as a screenwriter) uses it mainly to vary the hunting grounds or the game of his extraterrestrial star and to concentrate the stakes around its heroine, played by the excellent Amber Midthunder. Nothing more, nothing less, just a finely motivated face to face which quickly turns to survival, then to the game of massacre.
By his own admission, very inspired by the Revenantto the point of paying homage to his most famous scene, Dan Trachtenberg resumes his aesthetic charter with more or less success (green-gray photography does not suit all sequences, Emmanuel Lubezki does not want to) and tries out a style of staging that is necessarily more fluid than in camera which made him known to the great audience.
Tomorrow all Comanche
Without, however, attempting to copy Iñárritu’s endless sequence shots, he enjoys traversing the natural expanses traversed by the characters, linking the different settings together with his camera and even using the Predator’s invisibility as a a supernatural lens. Relieved not to have to introduce his antagonist, it immediately exploits its visual characteristics. Just as he does not let the suspense hang over the nature of the threat for long, but does not forget to stick in the legs of his heroine a good part of the local carnivorous fauna, just to make the pleasure last.
In short, the Revenant serves as a model for the treatment of survival, until the second part, and its turn towards pure action cinema, carried out with a palpable delight and with a lot of moments of very entertaining bravery. Prey can boast of having one of the highest body counts in the saga, since the Predator does not hesitate to slaughter its opponents by whole skewers during very naughty confrontations.
We gladly forgive him an overdose of digital gore effects and a climax as timid as it is imprecise: casually, small B series well packaged, well produced and modest remain rare commodities, especially in the context of large licenses. Sometimes the absence of revolution is already seditious.