Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

Film Review: Prey (2022)

Naru is a young Comanche woman who, along with other tribal people, lives in the Northern Great Plains in the early eighteenth century. Seeking recognition amongst men by becoming a hunter, she witnesses a spaceship in the clouds. Later on, some brutal animal killings make her realize that this hunter is enormous in size and not a human but no one believes her until the predator steps into their territory and starts killing her people and animals.

Prey is a prequel to the Predator franchise, a celebrated science fiction horror series that established cult status in the 1980s. After producing four Predator films and multiple crossovers with Alien, an idea was coined to work on the origins of the predator. I find it an interesting idea to develop a predator’s origins to be traced three hundred years back, an idea that is applicable due to its being extraterrestrial specie. Plus the idea of such a specie in the historic setup is pretty fresh.

What makes Prey more remarkable is the technical brilliance maneuvered in a Comanche subtlety. How fascinating it is to watch authentic portrayals of indigenous North Americans! It never looked like Prey fell into stereotypical portrayals degrading the particular communities into something one-dimensional. This was certain because film producer Jhane Myers is a Comanche and belongs to a Blackfoot Confederacy.

How captivating are the camera work and the directional value enhances the slow proceedings without haste with Naru as the central figure struggling to build a repo. Until the predator shows up, the screenplay is well settled and the audience has been made fully excited to make guesses about how on earth is Naru going to fight herself against such a creature.

It is a win-win impetus when the feminine portrayal of struggle and gallantry is well dramatized. Naru is Wonder Woman in the Predator’s world. Her heroism never fades and at no point does the story takes the liberty to drop a foolish act of exaggerating the screenplay for the sake of entertainment.

Prey is dark, plunged into appealing action sequences with the strong support of Dan Trachtenberg‘s direction and the lively appearance of Amber Midthunder who never makes you dull and dizzy in limited plotting. The life of tribespeople is well dramatized and emphasized in their usual routine by the break of the morning. Observe, the first scene and another that occurred in around twenty-eight minutes with Naru waking up and looking at other people leaving for work.

There are pretty few minuses but the one that reflects my dislikeness is not making the whole film in the Comanche language. The realism would have met its utter respect and authenticity if the Comanche people were merely speaking their own language instead of English.

Besides, I feel Prey has done its part and there is no sign of getting disappointed at all. This film has upgraded the cult interest of the global audience for the Predator franchise and holds a lot of promises for Predator’s future prequel films continuity.

RATINGS: 8.6/10

Film Review: Swan Song (2021)

In a very advanced future, Cameron Turner (Mahershala Ali) is in the last phase of his life because he is dying from an incurable disease and leaving behind his wife Poppy (Naomie Harris) and a kid who have no knowledge of his illness. Dr. Scott (Glenn Close) strongly recommends replacing himself with his clone that will keep his family away from the grief. A proposal that sends Cameron further in a state of perturbation.

My problem with the film is that such a limited plotline is stretched to 112 minutes of the screen time which makes this slow-burn more on nerves. There is no doubt about the film being better than average with a quality casting and Mahershala giving a splendid performance. But the plot is so small that the film basically does no favor in screenwriting. A story like Swan Song deserves its place in a sci-fi episode of some television drama; speaking of which reminds me of Black Mirror. This Swan Song is an authentic Black Mirror episode.

Swan Song is thoughtful and questions you about your existence that is predicted not to be that long and you have to leave your family behind. If a human clone is an answer to eradicate or lower the level of grief in the human race, where will it end? How will you bear to be replaced and decide not to inform your family about the development? Your nature of death cannot delay but the distress upon your family can be reduced. Science further finds solutions and discovers the answers somewhere in the universe but the dying human cannot wait in queue for the last train to heaven as the emotions get restored in the clone to please his/her family. Thou shalt not covet!

Mahershala Ali will break your heart, burn your vehemence and make you extremely impatient. Swan Song is your typical sci-fi diet that should be watched alone in a dark room so that you theorize and digest the deep understanding about dramatizing the clone situation.

Ratings: 6.5/10

Film Review: Dune (2021)

In 10191, the desert planet Arrakis gets colonized when the Emperor assigns the ruler of the ocean planet Caladan, Duke Leto of Atreides to rule Arrakis. As Leto wishes his son Paul to succeed him, their rivals Harkonnens return to claim the land.

Dune is Frank Herbert‘s gift to the sci-fi readers in the literary history that was published more than 50 years ago. It was adapted more than once with time. But Denis Villeneuve‘s one is the highly awaited film with a budget of $165m as a lot of expectations from the sci-fi can be built thanks to a friendly heavy-productional budget that can justify the demands of the true sci-fi content now.

Although this is the first part and we wait for the announcement of its sequel, the 156-minute film held a strong promise to keep its soul pure and close to the book. I haven’t read but in the picture, I must say there was a blend of praiseworthy artistry and sharp criticism at the same time.

Many viewers complained about the film being very slow. It is true but those who have watched Denis Villeneuve’s previous works will understand that it is in his artistry. He keeps the picture slow and grows on the viewers.

I felt that Dune was easily the case of two eggs in the same basket. As much as the first hour maintained the superior quality of sci-fi epic, the second hour visibly began to fade in its pace. As much of the story moved in the first half, the other half took way too many minutes in setting the dust and reaching towards the mark.

The biggest plus of the film is undoubtedly the stunning visuals, the camera work, and the very detailed presentation of the fictional planets. Honestly, the sandworm should not have been revealed in the first trailer. Forget the nomination, the film deserves to win in either VFX or sound recording/mixing. I was expecting a lot from Hans Zimmer but I feel he did just a decent work but not as much worthy as we remember his past scores.

The presence of ensemble casting is another reason for the film’s magnitude of visual presentation. Timothee Chalamet has risen to fame in just four years and at age 25, he is one exceptional talent we will see building his acting career on the advanced level, all depending on the choices he will make while playing his part.

Denis Villeneuve was the right man for this job. If he was not hired, I would have picked Guillermo del Toro for this epic. The wait for the next part begins with the first part’s conclusion. Watching this film is a necessary exercise for the peers and pupils of science fiction.

Ratings: 8/10