The Predator Film Review
Shane Black has been part of the Predator franchise for more than 3 decades. First as a supporting actor and uncredited script doctor of the original 1987 movie, and now as co-writer and director of the latest installment. The Predator is the name and its fine for the most part. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
Boyd Holbrook is Quinn McKenna in The Predator. An ex-army sniper turned mercenary who will become a sole survivor after an alien attack in Mexico. Not only he’ll manage to get out of the messy situation alive, he’ll also mail the predator’s armor to his Autistic son Rory (Jacob Tremblay). However after the government agent Will Traeger (Sterling K. Brown) jails Quinn, and puts him on a bus along with other Loonies, he’ll understand that the Predators want something greater than the need to hunt. The Predators now have a more sinister mission here on Earth.
If I would use a word to describe the Predator, it would be… Underwhelming. And quite frankly there are several reasons for that slight disappointment. First of all, the movie is lacking an identity and focus pretty in gig bulk of the screen time. The script shifts from several different narratives and rarely sticks with one to be thrilling and exciting enough. Weather it’s the group of Loonies led by Quinn, whether is from Rory’s point of view or whether is from Treager’s perspective, the film just seems to go nowhere. And there was some potential to be had in several of those moment I admit. I liked how the new Predators are frightened by the ever growing climate change here on Earth and what will eventually do to the state that their mission. I loved how the Predators saw potential in Rory’s Asperger’s syndrome and I loved how peppered were the shootouts to the original movies from several characters.
You’re one beautiful mother-fucker says Dr. Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) and…
Get to the chopper!!! says Treager.
I also loved that the movie’s first scene was in a jungle (like the original 1987 movie) and then shifts right into the city (like the second movie). But while the action scenes and some of the script’s themes were decent, I have beef with some of the characters and the actors in those characters. Boyd Holbrook is generic in the role of Quinn, and Olivia Munn in not that convincing in the role of the lead scientist-evolutionary biologist. She tries her best, but for the most part she’s stuck with the material that she’s been given, and that’s not saying much. And what Shane
Black movie doesn’t have some weird ass humor? Here as expected the best humor comes from the mouth of the wonderful Keegan-Michael Key and I guess, from Thomas Jane’s Toruette suffering Baxley character but it’s just not enough.
But a lot (and I do mean a lot) of the actors are stuck in underdeveloped or barely there characters. Sterling K. Brown is wasted here in most bland and disappointing villain, Thomas Jane too, and not to mention Trevante Rhodes and Yvonne Strahovski.
Strahovski is particularly vanilla and at the same time she’s got barely 8 minutes of screen time so you don’t even notice how cliché her character (Emily) is. And the thing is… None of the character that need to connect and to cooperate in one of the most dangerous situations don’t seem to connect. I remember the first movie had Arnold, ex-football players and ex wrestlers in the cast and they had more chemistry, charisma and manhood that these men in The Predator. And they weren’t even that good of an actors!
But in conclusion… The Predator is a movie that seems like a good idea turned into a wasted final product. With an undercooked second part that’s been put before a heavily stretched finale and with a group of actors so bland that you forget most of them… The Predator is a movie that even Shane Black’s solid direction cannot redeem the movie and make it better.