The ‘Predator’ series has been an off and on thing for quite some time now. Movies like the original or the ‘Predators’ sequel a few years ago, are really good extensions of 1932’s classic ‘The Most Dangerous Game’. Others, like ‘AVP:Requiem’ or ‘Predator 2’ are the worst kind of B movies you can possibly imagine coming out of a major studio. Shane Black’s new sequel ‘The Predator’ is somewhere in the middle. It’s nowhere near the clever jungle horror of the original, but it’s not nearly as bad as ‘Predator 2’.
There are some truly bad things about this film though. Starting with some of the visual effects. The super bad ass Predator that shows up half way through this film is all CG and often looks very phony. Some of the ship stuff looks a bit cheesy. And the Predator dogs that the big bad Predator uses look like 1980’s claymation bad. I mean, they are just terrible. However, some of that cheesy special effects is slightly endearing. It makes you feel like you are watching an 80’s B movie. Especially when you couple the visuals with the original ‘Predator’ score.
Some of the characters are also just disposable. Which is inevitable in a way, but it felt like the movie set them all up for little reason. A few, like Keegan-Michael Key’s smart ass Coyle and Thomas Jane’s twitchy Baxley, are there for comic relief, but a few others, like Alfie Allen’s bland Lynch and Augusto Aguilera forgettable Nettles, are just wastes of screen space. Trevante Rhodes and Olivia Munn do the best they can with underwritten characters, but the movie is mostly left up to Boyd Holbrook and rising young star Jacob Tremblay to carry us through.
The story takes no time to get rolling. Within 5 seconds of the opening credits, a ship crashes into earth with a Predator on it and the hero is off to the races. An asshole government agent, played very well by Sterling K. Brown, figures out about the alien and begins systematically covering things up. This leads to Boyd Holbrook’s character, McKenna, being introduced to a group of dysfunctional soldiers and going after a Predator.
The rest is a series of silly, but fun events that will keep most audiences entertained. There are plenty of clever gags and one liners. There are tons of action sequences. I can’t really remember what happened in any of them, but I remember that they were bloody fun. Honestly, I’ve already forgot most of what I saw a few days ago. I know I laughed and smiled at some of the B movie madness on display, but I don’t really recall the specifics. Which is why I would say that you should probably skip seeing this in theaters and check it out on Blu Ray if you’re a big ‘Predator’ fan. If you don’t care for monster movies at all, then this one is not going to change your mind.
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