THE PREDATOR (2018) - A Mockery Of The Franchise

THE PREDATOR movie review

THE PREDATOR could have been so much more but instead, it is a cheap effort to capitalize on the franchise.

Way back prior to 2018 when I heard that Shane Black (Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) was doing a new (back then) Predator movie, I was pretty jazzed. I couldn't wait for it to come to the movie theater.

But before it came to the theaters, I wasn't hearing great things about the film, so I gave it a soft pass of going to the theater and waited. OK, so I waited a long time...  a few years... until it joined the cadre of other movies that land on FX and the like networks.

This mockery of a Predator film was written by Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad, Night of the Creeps, RoboCop3) and Shane Black, and starred Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key, Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane, Yvonne Strahovski, and more.

The tagline of the film from IMDb reads:
"When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe's most lethal hunters' return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled scientist can prevent the end of the human race."
Which makes zero sense after watching the film but makes perfect sense if the studio supplied that tagline...

On the other hand, a teaser text from the web makes more sense:
"From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home. The universe's most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biologist can prevent the end of the human race."
Basically the film starts out with a space chase between Predator ships, where one ends up crashing on Earth. The ship is found by some soldiers and one of the soldiers, thinking he was being smart about retaining proof of encountering an alien, takes a few things from the ship and mails it to his son, who has Aspergers. When his son gets the package, he opens it and figures out how to use the gadgets in the box, which calls down another Predator ship, the one that was chasing the first ship.

A few scene jumps later, we find that somehow humans have captured the first predator and have it strapped to a table for the purpose of science. The government shows up and grabs a biologist (Munn) to help study some odd test results they've come up with. Curious development, that's for sure.

But as this beast breaks out of his confines among the scientists (shocking), a second, much bigger Predator and his dogs show up. Yes, his predator dog.

Then there's this situation where the soldier that found the alien, finds himself arrested and slapped into a bus full of military rejects. As things develop, these guys end up bringing the fight to the predator and against the government military group chasing down the alien and its tech.


All in all, the film jumps the shark pretty early about when the test subject predator starts to escape its confines, and the biologist (Munn) goes on the offensive and tries to chase down the alien with a tranquilizer gun...  seriously?

The dialog is quick and choppy. You almost need to be on stimulants to keep up.

Various other events that take place in the movie just don't feel right, plus the Predator creature itself seems more CGI than anything else... which is such a disservice to the classic franchise of using an actual character actor in costume.

I swear, the story progression felt like a Michael Bay Transformers film, where scenes are just jumbled together to get to some plot or sub-plot point, with no regard for the viewer's appreciation of story flow.

I believe the IMDb score of 5.3/10 is a bit generous and it did not fulfill my need to watch my long-time film anti-hero. If you get a chance to catch this film, go into it thinking it's more of a Saturday night Syfy Channel flick that you should watch with friends and beer, and you should be fine.

This was an amazingly disappointing film from Shane Black. Shame on you Mr. Black!

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