"The Predator” is directed by Shane Black, and is the official sequel to the other Predator films. It does actually acknowledge Predator 1 and 2. It is not a reboot as some people feared, it is a stand-alone film. This is definitely a continuation of the franchise without erasing anything. As I’m sure many of you know, Shane Black was actually in the first Predator film playing the character “Hawkins”.
This film was something I was really looking forward too. I am a massive fan of Predator. I have loved it my whole life. It is a suspenseful, gritty thriller. John McTiernan directed the shit out of that movie, and Arnold Schwarzenegger was actually really good in it. I am also a massive Shane Black fan, this was a great combination of so many things coming together and I could wait to see this film. It is easily one of the most disappointing movies of the year by far. There are so many things in this film that I just don’t understand.
The plot is that a young boy named Mckenna played by Jacob Tremblay accidentally triggers the return of Predators to Earth by having of their technology. He logs into their ship’s system, and then it starts a battle going on in their town. His estranged father is a soldier played by Boyd Holbrook, who gets involved with a team of wacky goons who decide to help him fight against the Predators. Meanwhile, a evil government agent played by Sterling K. Brown is trying to recover the Predators’ technology while these events are going on with the help of a scientist played by Olivia Munn.
I cannot believe how many bad choices this film made. It is honestly kind of a comedy on purpose, not even in a unintentional way. There is barely a suspenseful scene in the entire film. There is one suspenseful moment with Olivia Munn’s character. She has to go through this decontamination process, and to do so, she has to take off her clothes. Because this door will not unlock unless she decontaminates herself. All the while, there is a Predator wreaking havoc in the next room coming closer and closer to her as she has to go through this process to get this door to unlock. It is probably the most suspenseful scene in the movie and really the only suspenseful scene in the movie. This movie is just obsessed with quips and one-liners.
Yes, the first Predator film has many of those, “If it bleeds, we can kill it”. You know we have seen Predator a billion times and we have heard the great lines from all of these characters. In this film however, it tries to do that with creating a new team of ragtag soldiers that are macho and put out cigarettes with their tongue. You meet them on a bus and they all have a quirk and that is about it. It is really hard to get attached to any of them and care about their plight. Because they are constantly joking, they never seem like they are actually afraid of the situation.
One of the best parts of the first Predator is that these hardened macho soldiers that go into the woods with quotes like “I ain’t got time to bleed”. “Oh really, you got time to duck”. Those characters are terrified within twenty to thirty minutes of being in that jungle. In this film, they never seem afraid. They just seem very excited to fight the Predator, the Uber Predator, his dogs and the other things this film comes up with in the final few minutes.
I sat in complete disbelief and mesmerization at just how much of a disaster this film actually is. As a huge fan of Shane Black and the Predator franchise, I am massively disappointed. Characters who have never murdered someone in their entire life just do in this film and never show a hint of sadness or remorse for it. Yes, they are in a life-or-death situation, but you would think for a second, some of them would sit down to contemplate that they just took someone’s life and they don’t that at all.
There are a few good things in the film. I am not gonna sit here and completely trash it. The first classic “Predator” that shows up is a fantastic suit that they use to full effect throughout the film. The actors do have nice charisma and do have funny lines once in awhile. You can see the potential this film had in a few key moments with the team when they are together. That is really about it.
Just like in “Predators”, Alan Silvestri’s theme music are being reused. This time by Henry Jackman, which confuses me why they didn’t just hire Alan Silvestri again to do the score. Maybe, he didn’t want to do it or he wasn’t available. Also, I mean what is John McTiernan up to nowadays. He is free, get him back to direct a Predator film.
I mean there are so many choices that seem like they should have been made, but they just weren’t made. It really boggles my mind that with an unlimited budget and all of his talent. This is what Shane Black made, it is just a funny, cringy CGI fest with a few predators. It is easily the worst Predator film, excluding the AVP films. To be honest, I actually like the first AVP more than this film. That is kind of depressing.
By far, the worst aspect about the film is that it does not feel like it has a cohesive narrative. Scene after scene, it feels like stitched together moments where tons of things have been cut out, reshot, changed, or altered. It doesn’t feel like the film flows naturally or has a progression of events. It feels like, “here’s a scene, make a few one-liners, there’s a predator, and let’s joke about it”. Because apparently seeing a gigantic alien is really funny. This film was a mess and easily the most disappointing movie of the whole year so far. I’m going to give The Predator a 3 out of 10.