Hollywood is really bad at sequels and prequels.
When a film becomes a Franchise™ the studios seemingly always go with the wrong instincts. This is especially the case with horror. Sequels always raise the stakes too much and prequels always take the unknown horror and give it an origin story the dilutes the mystery in an unsatisfying way.
Predator has by and large avoided such things. Predator (1987) was a deconstruction of the 80s shoot em up action genre.
Predator 2 (1990) was a riff on the paranoid crime wave thrillers of the 90s.
Predators (2010), which was essentially Predators 3, was kind of a return to the 80s action genre with a twist.
And The Predator (2018), which was essentially Predators 4, was terrible (but Shane Black might've done that on purpose).
Prey was green-lit before 20th Century was bought by Disney and was filmed with the expectation that it would be dumped onto Hulu. So many great movies got lost in that shuffle (The Empty Man (2020) is one such victim) while others were rushed, watered down and shit out (Deep Water (2022)).
When Prey was announced, the geniuses at Disney marketed the film as native American girl-boss fights super-alien killing machine or some bullshit. We all rolled our eyes and imagined the worst.
But here's the secret: that was just a marketing gimmick. This movie is actually pretty good.
Well, sort of.
The main character is a Comanche medicine woman who wants to become a hunter. The tribe won't let her because she's not a good hunter. She's a great tracker and she is clever enough to make good plan. She just frequently hesitates and gets beaten.
She's so frail that the Predator doesn't even attack her. It would be so easy for him to kill her, too easy! He's not here to kill frail women, he's here to hunt dangerous predators!
That's what I liked about the portrayal of a woman in the situation. She doesn't just non-stop kick ass. She actually kind of sucks at hunting at the beginning. But because the Predator ignores her, she's able to learn his tactics and get basic cause and effect understanding of his weaponry and tendencies.
Moreover, the only reason she's able to stand a chance against the Predator is that a man gives her a gun and teaches her how it works.
Something that people on the Right often do is complain about how woke Hollywood has become or how woke some movie is without considering the underlying context of such content.
Yes, a woman killed the Predator. But she only succeeds because she had a gun (given to her by a man) and because a bunch of men wounded him with guns and spears first.
The message of the film is quite literally "Ladies, guns are an equalizer" and YouTube culture critics spent months complaining about the lead up to this movie because it starred a woman.
If you're so anti-woke that you can't enjoy movies anymore, then you've conceded the battle and have already lost.
I can't help you.
Strong female protagonists have existed since before your arbitrary "Movies haven't been good since 19XX" cut off point.
The action is sweet, the mood is tense. North America is a beautiful place on film. It makes sense that a Predator came to America, because even in 1718 America has always been the place to find the best warriors.
Do you see how easy it is to divest the Libs of their power? Do you see how second nature it is for me recognize the "non-woke" aspect of a movie?
It could be you too! Just let go of your knee-jerk hate!
Also, Ladies: the French are predators so buy a gun.
Performances: everyone is perfectly fine
Score: It's okay, serves the tension well
Cinematography: it should be illegal to film certain locations because it's just so goddamn beautiful naturally
Length: 1:40, the perfect length of a Predator movie.
Final Score: 6.5/10