“If this thing bleeds, then we can kill.”
The Predator franchise emerged to great critical and public acclaim in 1987, in a feature film that would become one of the greatest classics of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career. The star believed that he could rival even The Terminator, until then the biggest success of his career.
Unfortunately, creative differences with the old 20th Century FOX drove Schwarzenegger away, and since then, we can say that no version has really lived up to the franchise’s potential.
When Shane Black announced that he would make his own version in 2018, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. For those who don’t know, Black participated in the cast of the original film, and contributed to specific parts of the script.
The result, again, was far below expectations, and there was a feeling that, perhaps, the franchise would be put in limbo for a long time.
so behold Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Street) comes up with a bold concept: showing the Predator’s hunt in the Great Plains era, facing the indigenous warrior named Naru.
It is worth remembering that the connections between this film (simply titled price in North America) and the franchise were only discovered in the last days of principal photography.
Trachtenberg, who had already been responsible for the excellent 10 Cloverfield Street, gives a real show with tense sequences, full of suspense, rescuing the feeling of the original in relation to the title creature. Furthermore, there is an absolute success in the new collaboration with Jeff Cutter (director of photography), who manages to capture the beautiful landscapes, as well as its dangers and wildlife.
Amber Midthunder is Naru, a Comanche woman who was raised in the shadow of legendary hunters who lived on the Great Plains. Throughout the plot, she needs to challenge her own culture and customs to face the greatest challenge ever seen.
Obviously, Midthunder is not Schwarzenegger (physically speaking!), so the creative team found very clever ways to show her as a worthy opponent of Yautja: speed, intelligence, and above all, resilience.
This time, we have a young Predator, who also has to face the first trial by fire. Yet with each appearance, there is a sense of dread in the face of such brutality. The accessories and advanced weapons return in great style, and I can say with confidence: the director’s decision not to use the plasma cannon proves to be very right.
It allowed each encounter to be more dangerous and…personal. Yes, it’s much more than rivalry and survival instinct.
Sarah Schachnerknown especially for his work in video games (Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare) puts his own identity on each track of the soundtrack, without leaning on nostalgia or empty references.
I understand that the recent failures probably weighed on the final decision of the Walt Disney Studiosthe parent company of 20th Century Studios, but the lack of a cinematic screening (at least, to a limited extent) is nonetheless disappointing.
Surely many fans will say that they deserved “a little more consideration” after such a long wait.
Anyway, The Predator: The Hunt uses its duration (1 hour and 39 minutes) very well to revitalize the iconic science fiction franchise with a brutal and electrifying story, enhanced by the great performance of Amber Midthunder.
It doesn’t surprise me that reputable international sites consider an execution even superior to the original. And that in itself is quite a feat.
Finally, a tip: it’s worth watching the animated credits until the end. Who knows, you might find a small clue to what lies ahead…