‘The Predator’: Film Review

The Predator (2018)

With nearly everything that was popular in the 80s, it was too surprised that we needed to see Predator back because it seems like some are becoming tired of anything Alien related. If someone who’s already familiar with this, it would be Shane Black (Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys) brings us back into this fictional world with one of the best creatures in cinema with The Predator. Cue Alan Surveri’s classic score.

What’s the Story?: When a Predator ship crashes on Earth, sniper Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook, Logan) is caught in the middle of this situation that nobody believes him after his troop is killed. After sends his son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) amour from the Predator, he actives the technology bringing a signal to where its located. Now, it’s up to McKenna and a group of mercenaries must fight off the Predators before they destroy a small town.

This happens to be the fourth installment of the franchise that started back in 1987 with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the main lead and John McTiernan as the director. Though Predator isn’t one of the best action movies I’ve ever seen, let alone of the 80s, it’s still a fun and memorable Sci-Fi flick with its quotable one-liners. Predator 2 isn’t anything to get worked up about, and 2010’s Predators is kind of underrated, in my opinion. So, when the news broke that Shane Black, who played Hawkins in the original film, was going to be doing his own Predator movie, that really got me excited. But did it though? Because I had low expectations since the trailers for the movie left me unimpressed with what the story was going to be. Walked into the theater hoping it was gonna be a dumb, fun time, or a mixed bag. Sadly to brutally say, The Predator is one of the worst movies to come out in 2018.

The Predator (2018)

Black and co-writer Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad) should’ve easily made this an awesome and fun adventure about. The basic plot is an incoherent and borderline mess when it didn’t even like it needed to harken back to the days when it had a good blend of action, sci-fi, and horror combined to make it entertaining. Also, the editing felt choppy when it feels like moments are missing without anyone batting an eye. They actually show the Predator really early and it takes the tension when they do show him all more. Speaking of which, there was zero sense of tension, and that’s just wrong.

None of the action that was taken place didn’t make me excited once. Nothing stood out in any particular way that makes it stylish or well-directed by Black. It’s cool to see the Predator doing his thing in killing people left and right, but it wasn’t nearly as exciting as the previous entries. It has the gunfire, gore, and everything that’s needed for a movie like this. And if we had to touch on the CGI with the mega Predator and the predator dogs (you heard me), it’s bad also.

The ensemble itself is fine for what they were given. Here we are given a team (crazy soldiers) that consists of Holbrook’s Quinn, Coyle (Keegan- Michael Key), Nebraska (Trevante Rhodes), Lynch (Alfie Allen, Game of Thrones), Baxley (Thomas Jane) and Nettles (Augusto Aguilera). Their charisma as a team is very light, from my viewpoint. Olivia Munn proves once again that she isn’t the best actress working right now in a miscast role that doesn’t work. And poor Sterling K. Brown as this shady agent is speaking in this corny dialogue when it goes to his scenes.

Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key, Boyd Holbrook, Augusto Aguilera, and Trevante Rhodes in The Predator (2018)

With talking about the characters in here, there isn’t a single second where you’re really supposed to take the time to care about any single one of them. They have certain traits to who they are, but they don’t come anywhere close to Dutch’s team from the beginning. We got some background on Quinn (through exposition from his ex-wife, played by an underused Yvonne Strahovski). Other than that, we never cared if they end up dead. And much like the Alien franchise, it appears that most of the characters are morons.

Tremblay was one of the highlights as he was fine as McKenna’s young son who has Aspergers. However, I didn’t like what the script treated that aspect.

Of course, there have to be some jokes to likely ease the tension. But did anybody expected The Predator to be part action, part comedy? Because there’s almost a joke every five minutes. Honestly, I was shocked by almost all the characters cracking laughs, and it really cringeworthy. Not everybody needs to have the quirky trait. Most of them came off as either offensive or misogynistic towards Munn’s character. The audience I saw it with had a good time laughing, but I was the lone wolf just in pain. At least I managed to kind of laugh once at something that Key’s character said. It’s because of the abundant of jokes that didn’t make it take itself seriously.

Did you say callbacks? Why yes, there are some callbacks to the original film that fans will be able to pick up pretty quickly. And yes, they do feel forced and not to bit least funny.

Olivia Munn and Boyd Holbrook in The Predator (2018)

Leading into a terrible third act that I can tell was rushed and I also figured out that they had to reshoot the entire climax because it received poor test screenings. Nowadays, one of the many ways to ruin a so-so movie is a badly put together third act that goes nowhere and leaves you with a few questions as it continues along. A sequel will not be any better after what follows near the end.

In the end, The Predator is a huge disappointment that’s put upon Black that couldn’t recapture any fun. Even though the Predator franchise had its ups and downs, there has to be some way to revitalize in a slick and cool fashion. This wasn’t it. Some people clapped when it ended, and I was just nodding my head in disapproval. Many fans who grew up loving the original film will feel the same way as I did.

The Predator is strung together with a poorly done script, unfunny humor and lack of tension to be shown in a return to a franchise that ultimately failed to be engaging at any given moment.

Grade: D

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