I can’t say I’m all that disappointed with The Predator as it didn’t even look good from the trailers. It is more of a parody with far too much stupid humour, zero tension and it feels like a desperate attempt to bring in the MCU crowd.
Plot: 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.
Review: I could tell from the trailers (and reshoots) what to expect with The Predator but I tried to keep an open mind and just switch off for a couple of hours. I did just that and managed to find several things to enjoy about the movie; namely Alan Silvestri’s score remains intact and is used throughout which was my favourite element of the entire film. Another major plus were the kills which were suitably bloody (even if there was a little CG blood in places) and satisfyingly brutal.
It isn’t short on action either with my favourite moment being the Predator taking out a room full of doctors/soldiers in violent fashion.
I thought it was also cool to see new Predator tech which is explored in more detail in this movie; sadly that is about all I liked. So here goes…
The biggest problem with The Predator as you can probably tell from the trailers is the tone; there are more quips than a Marvel movie except with constant dick/pussy jokes which are funny the first hundred times but after a while it just gets tiresome. Due to the constant buffoonery gone is any sense of threat or tension. It’s mostly just constant noise and no one ever seems particularly scared of the Predators and they seem to just take it in their stride that they are facing a deadly alien hunter.
We also now have Predator dogs and here’s the best part; one of said dogs takes a shine to Olivia Munn and decides to become her pet instead… yes, it’s THAT kind of film. As others have said this feels like a parody of the series and lacks the grit or anything remotely badass. I hated the majority of characters who were just annoying and Thomas Jane was sadly wasted playing a guy with what I believe was Tourette’s syndrome and never reaches the awesomeness of Frank Castle or even his character in Standoff.
Our lead played by Boyd Holbrook is decent enough if a little bland and thankfully the kid isn’t all that annoying but none of the characters will make any impact the way Dutch and the crew did.
I used to worship at the altar of Shane Black thinking he was one of the best action screen writers in the business with the Lethal Weapon series, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Last Boy Scout under his belt. Alas, this is the Shane Black who also directed Iron Man 3 which is arguably the worst Marvel movie to date.
I could take most of the things in the movie right up until the end scene when they made it into an Iron Man style movie and the dude next to me in the audience shook his head laughing and whispered “what the fuck…”
The rest of the audience seemed to enjoy it laughing and cheering at various points so it will likely be a massive hit as most terrible movies are these days.
Overall, The Predator is a bit of a shit sandwich with a side order of disappointment. The tone just doesn’t fit with too much humour and annoying characters, no sense of tension or scares making it feel like a Marvel movie with swearing. It is at least a little different and may bring in new fans to the series but I’m afraid they’ve lost me. I’d wait for Netflix otherwise they’ll make another one…