The Predator Review

The Predator IMAX Poster

When Predator was released in 1987, it became an instant hit due to its unique mix of sci-fi and action elements. Unfortunately, Fox hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of the first film. Let’s face it, Predator 2 and Predators isn’t at the same level as John McTiernan’s classic. Two decades later, Fox goes back to one of the stars of the original film, Shane Black, to write and direct the new installment in the franchise. But does Black have what it takes to recapture the magic of the first film?

In short, no. Unfortunately, The Predator doesn’t have the same uniqueness that made the original so great. However, that doesn’t mean that the film isn’t entertaining. Shane Black brings a lot of entertainment value to the film by injecting much of his usual tropes into The Predator.

The Predator follows Quinn McKenna, a soldier who inadvertently comes face-to-face with one of the galaxy’s most dangerous hunter. Now, it’s up to him, a ragtag group of ex-soldiers and a scientist to take down the predator before it takes them out.

The Predator - Brian A. Prince

Although The Predator looks bad from the get-go, the film isn’t as terrible as you might think. At the very least, Shane Black injects some humor and fun into The Predator. In other words, it’s a Shane Black film. But since this is a Shane Black film, the jokes and gags are a hit or miss.

Needless to say, the jokes come in at a lightning-fast pace. Sometimes it comes from out of the blue. That’s why these jokes, at times, seem a bit forced. As if it doesn’t come naturally to the context of the scene. Nevertheless, the humor is what makes The Predator so entertaining. In addition, there’s plenty of gore and blood in this film. Thankfully, the gore isn’t gratuitous at all. In fact, it’s pretty entertaining to see the predators tear it up on screen.

But much like the first film, you hope that the predators spare the main characters. Shane Black does a great job balancing the wide array of characters and giving each one a unique personality. They’re just the right amount of quirkiness that’ll make you like them.

Unfortunately, the story is as far-fetched as you might expect. Logically, it makes sense. It seems like the next logical step in the Predator franchise. Yet, it’ll still induce some eye rolls because of how ridiculous it sounds.

The Predator - Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, & Augusto Aguilera

Easily the best part about the film is the chemistry between The Looneys. The interactions between them provide the film with a ton of laughs. It’s clear that the cast got along really well during filming. Boyd Holbrook definitely has the intensity and gravitas to play the leader of the group, However, he doesn’t show a lot of softer emotions here. Which is disappointing since he has the most personal connection to the story. Trevante Rhodes also impresses again as Nebraska. His natural swagger and kindness make him the most likable character in the film.

Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Jane have limited roles in the film but every scene they’re in is a scene stealer. It’s no surprise that they provide the biggest laughs in the film. Augusto Aguilera and Alfie Allen have limited roles as well but they don’t have as big of an impact.

Olivia Munn gets to show her badass side once again in The Predator. Unfortunately, this is her only impact in the film. Since her character is primarily used as an exposition device, she doesn’t have the freedom to expand on her character. Sadly, Sterling K. Brown is wasted in the film and his character is so out of place. Not to mention, his lines are the most groan-inducing out of everyone in the film.

Overall, The Predator is as entertaining as it is bloody and hilarious. Sadly, the story isn’t as unique or groundbreaking as the original. Yet when you have a group like the Looneys, you’ll eventually look past those issues. In the end, The Predator is a nice addition to the Predator franchise.

Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

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