The Predator film series, another one of my beloved franchises, well I say franchise but lets be honest its mainly down to the first film. The first film was an action and sci fi masterpiece. The action, the cast and the fast pace, it was a very good movie. So lets fast forward 31 years and 2 sequels later (not counting the Alien vs Predator films) and we have The Predator. It had a lot going for it, Shane Black now in the directors chair having worked on the original film, good actors like Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Sterling K Brown, Thomas Jane, Keegan Michael Key just to name a few and fans excited for it considering its been 8 years since the last movie.
Unfortunately though it doest quite work, just because you constantly use the music from and get a cast member of the original to direct doesn’t mean your film is going to be as good or as successful. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t hate The Predator it isn’t an awful film it just doesn’t live up to the hype.
The film begins with a predator ship in pursuit of another predator ship, the ship trying to make an escape ends up crashing on planet earth (why do predator ships always crash land on earth?) At which point Boyd Holbrook’s character Quinn McKenna a U.S army sniper and his team are in the middle of an operation until a the predator ship crash lands right in the middle of it (really annoying when that happens!). His squad is then eliminated by The Predator he however manages to escape but the U.S government certify him insane to cover up that the predator exists, he then gets put on a bus with a group of people who have dubbed themselves “The Loonies”.
Before things get too negative let me talk about the things I liked about the film and too be fair there are a few, when I go to see a film like this I want it to do three things. Firstly be entertaining secondly have likeable well developed characters so if anything happens to them I actually care and finally progress the overall narrative of the franchise by exploring further into its mythology.
The Predator is an entertaining enough film, it has good action sequences, its not exactly edge of you seat stuff but it isn’t bad, I was pleased to see it got an R rating so the film doesn’t pull any punches and it makes good use of that rating with plenty of adult jokes and gore.
The main cast as I’ve already mentioned is a good one and the film does a good job of exploring their characters just enough to make them likeable. Olivia Munn and Boyd Holbrook do a good job as the films two leads but its the supporting cast that really makes part of the film shine. Trevante Rhodes, Alfie Allen and Augusto Aquilera are all great but its Thomas Jane and Keegan Michael Key who are the real stars of the show, their Camaraderie really makes you care about the two of them and their relationship makes you root for them and genuinely care when they are in jeopardy.
The film also is very funny in parts there was probably at least 4 or 5 times when I had a good chuckle and it didn’t feel misplaced either, there are some good comedic moments.
I like the way they advance the franchise along also, I won’t go into specifics as I don’t want to ruin the story but it does move the overall narrative on quite nicely.
So lets get to the negative (breath in, here we go) The plot holes in the film are a plenty, there is one specific one that in my opinion is a franchise breaker and this film does it again! The whole ‘if the predator sees your unarmed and not a threat it won’t attack you’ so why does every character in the film persist to run around shooting left right and centre just to be cannon fodder for the predator!?
The decision making process of some of the characters is quite frankly ridiculous, unfortunately decisions are made that no one would ever make, there just made to move the plot forward and the reason the other predator ship (the one that was in pursuit) finds where the runway predator ship crash lands is plainly ridiculous as well.
The editing is quite questionable also as in one scene in particular where a character puts sun glasses on even though its night time just to walk into a well lit bright room to then take them off again, what was the point in that!?
Even though I’ve praised some of the dialogue I have to say other parts of it are awful, its usually the one liners that really brings things down and makes everyone in the cinema sigh, they even shoe horn a “GET TO THE CHOPPER!!” in there. It seems that a lot of the bad one liners are given to Sterling K Brown’s character who seems to go from one bad one liner to the next. Its a shame, Sterling K Brown is a good actor but he really doesn’t have much to work with here.
Overall The Predator is what it is, its a fun film that if you just sit back, don’t think too hard and just enjoy the action you’ll have a good time with. Anything more than that and the gaping plot holes, poor dialogue and stupid decision making will start to get annoying.
My verdict: What for it to come out on Blu Ray