Hulu’s “Prey” (2022), directed by Dan Trachtenberg, is a prequel to the “Predator” franchise. Set in 1719, it focuses on a Comanche warrior named Naru, played by Amber Midthunder in a strong performance, as she tracks a threat to her tribe that is ultimately revealed to be an alien hunter known as a Predator. The film features exhilarating action sequences, as Midthunder’s Naru attempts to survive and outwit the Predator.
Naru learns from her encounters with the Predator, and the film has these lessons tie together to make for a satisfying final showdown. The film also features beautiful shots throughout, thanks to cinematographer Jeff Cutter’s portrayal of the nature Naru must trek in her hunt. All of this causes “Prey” to be a must-watch, even for those who are not already fans of the “Predator” franchise.
“Bullet Train” (2022) is an action-comedy directed by David Leitch, starring Brad Pitt as Ladybug, a mercenary tasked with retrieving a briefcase on a bullet train. His mission becomes more complicated as he encounters other mercenaries on the train with their own missions. This results in a twist-filled and engaging adventure for the viewer.
The complex plot is plussed by excellent performances from the entire cast, especially from Pitt, Joey King, Brian Tyree Henry, Aaron Taylor Johnson and Hiroyuki Sanada.
On top of the strong performances, the film features strong fight choreography and a witty sense of humor, causing “Bullet Train” to be a fast-paced thrill ride for audiences.
“Top Gun: Maverick”
“Top Gun: Maverick” (2022), directed by Joseph Kosinski, features Tom Cruise returning as his character, Maverick, from the original “Top Gun” (1986) film. Cruise gives a strong performance, as Maverick attempts to teach new pilots in the “Top Gun” program.
The rest of the cast also delivers strong performances, with the main standout being Miles Teller’s Rooster, the son of Maverick’s deceased friend and co-pilot, Goose. Maverick finds himself hesitant to train Rooster, providing the emotional conflict of the movie, which Cruise and Teller portray excellently.
The film also features thrilling action scenes which see the pilots fly in various combat scenarios that will keep the audience on the edge of their seat. Due to the combination of action and well-written and performed character drama, “Top Gun: Maverick’’ dominated the summer box office.
Jordan Peele’s “Nope” (2022) stars Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood as the owners of their financially struggling family ranch. After discovering that there is an alien creature flying near their town, the pair decide to capture footage of it in order to raise the money they need to save their family business.
Both Kaluuya and Palmer give stellar and grounded performances, causing their characters to be likable and relatable to the audience.
While Peele’s usage of suspense in the film is also a standout, he also manages to blend in comedy and a sense of wonder into the film as well. This causes “Nope” to capture the lightning in a bottle of a classic Spielberg blockbuster, such as “Jaws” (1975) and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977). However, “Nope’’ is still distinctively Jordan Peele’s movie, as he delivers a stirring theme on the dangers of trying to capture spectacles.
By Ryan Abraham