restart the predator franchise with a young Comanche protagonist, prey is praised for its grounded action scenes, cinematography, and portrayal of Native American characters. It’s a refreshing twist predator‘s action-horror formula, but it’s also attracted some predictable resistance.
Basically, some people just can’t handle an action movie starring a woman of color.
There is a thriving industry of YouTubers who specialize in this type of critique, focusing on takedowns for female and/or non-white starring media franchises. Popular destinations include Captain Marvel and the war of stars Characters Rey, Finn, and Rose Tico, with “Mary Sue” as the usual derogatory term for female heroes.
Unfortunately, that’s no surprise prey‘s heroine Naru drew that kind of negative attention, sparking debate over the use of the term Mary Sue this weekend. This conversation came about in part thanks to a YouTube video with 1.4 million views (posted weeks before the film’s release) mocking himself prey as “a bloody intersectional feminist battle session” and complains that it’s “ridiculous” for a petite Comanche woman to face a Predator.
Originally a fan fiction term, Mary Sue referred to idealized self-inserted characters written by teenage girls. A case in point would be an absurdly talented and beautiful girl who enrolls at Hogwarts and immediately becomes best friends Harry Potter to water.
This sort of wish-granting fanfic is perennially popular with younger writers, and classic Mary Sues are pretty easy to spot. In recent years, however, “Mary Sue” has been repurposed by media critics as a catch-all for female characters perceived as too powerful or flawless. It’s invariably a sexist dog whistle, exemplified by complaints about Rey’s Arc-In The Force Awakens – an archetypal heroic origin story that directly reflects the roles of Luke and Anakin Skywalker.
These heroes excel at their superhuman abilities, and their stories are satisfying because we want to see them triumph over adversity. When then prey When fans saw Naru face this kind of Mary Sue-style criticism, they were quick to point out the double standard.
prey is actually a perfect example of why the Mary Sue label fails because the film so clearly pays homage to the original predator. Both are survival thrillers about a hero who slowly learns the Predator’s abilities while other characters are taken down one by one. Naru and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Major “Dutch” Schaefer are both outclassed by the Predator’s alien technology, but ultimately win due to their ingenuity.
The first half of prey explores Naru’s learning curve as a young hunter and finds intelligent, plausible ways to escape life-threatening situations, such as being chased by a bear, falling into a swamp, and so on. It’s a fresh take on a franchise that’s typically focused on men with guns, but ultimately offers the same appeal, pitting a tough but fallible protagonist against a seemingly invincible foe.
So when people accuse prey Being “unrealistic” because it stars a Native American woman is pretty obvious what they really complain about.
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*Initial publication: August 8, 2022 at 7:46 am CDT
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in science fiction films and superheroes, she also appears as a film and television critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she is the co-host of the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor
https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/prey-movie-mary-sue-backlash/ Predator prequel Prey sparks debate over term Mary Sue