The Predator Film Review: A Mediocre Homage To 80’s Action

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
September 7th, 2018

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Review of: The Predator

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On September 7, 2018
Last modified:September 7, 2018

Summary:

A bland and uninspired homage to classic 80’s films - with no attempts to be an original iteration of these classic monsters.

Review of: The Predator

Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On September 7, 2018
Last modified:September 7, 2018

Summary:

A bland and uninspired homage to classic 80’s films - with no attempts to be an original iteration of these classic monsters.

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The Predator Film Review 

20th Century Fox

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.

John McTiernan’s Predator (1980) is, without doubt, one of the best 80’s action movies as it balanced macho protagonists and over the top violence correctly - making it hallmark in Hollywoods forgot monster genre. Sadly, the franchise has not seen the best few years with many flops including the lacklustre Predators (2010), which felt like a lame attempt to capitalise on the name recognition. But I have always wanted to see the iconic monsters given another chance at success because the Alien vs Predator franchise treated them so poorly.

Shane Black (who played a dominant supporting role in 1987 original) directs and writes the continuation of the franchise, The Predator (2018) which brings back the much needed B-Movie charm. Focusing on family dynamics, profane comedy and intense violence which surpassingly has an emotional core. As two broken families: a group of psychologically damaged veterans bound for a military psych ward – and the other is the McKennas, a military family that’s fallen apart for a host of reasons. The latter includes dad Quinn (Boyd Holbrook), a former soldier now employed as a merc, mom Emily (Yvonne Strahovski), and their young son Rory (Jacob Tremblay).

Both families, bring this Predator film a bit closer to reality which has been lacking from the series which excels the cast to another level. Shane Black (Iron Man 3) uses a solid ensemble cast to their most significant potential. With each actor giving dynamic and comedic performances - providing a fantastic shout out to the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator) film.

The Predator follows Quinn McKenna (Holbrook), an elite military sniper who gets into unlikely battle against a crash-landed alien species during his combat mission. After he manages to survive his encounter, he is held by a secret US government group who knows of the existence of the creature and will do anything to keep the secret hidden. Meanwhile, Dr Bracket (Olivia Munn) is doing scientific experience on predators (yeah, I know it sounds super cliche), trying to utilise the creatures DNA on super soldiers to help defeat each threat. But, the whole thing blows up when it’s revealed that the predator that attacked McKenna’s team was on the run from another more significant predator.

Story continues below

Does this plot sound convoluted? Well, It's even more confusing on screen as Shane Black rushes through expiation for dumb action set pieces. Something which feels like an unintentional not to straight-to-DVD movies from the past - with poorly developed characters introduced to pad the already lengthy runtime. Our, just there is way too much going on with the script and feels like a cheap attempt at stuffing the film with nonsensical scenes.

But the film’s best elements all stem from the engaging dialogue between actors, despite having completely forgettable characters and that alone propels this from a terrible experience. Olivia Munn’s scientist role is the biggest sin here, as for some ungodly reason has trained weapon skills and fights the Predator in the ridiculous way ever seen in the franchise. The problem with this character, is none of her scenes matches up with her terrible character development.

However, I adored the sublime performance of Jacob Tremblay (Room) as he can excel despite playing a quite offensive Aspergers stereotype - which ties in with the film's plot. No, I’m not joking. Shane Black (Iron Man 3) uses disability as the film’s driving conversation about human evolution, that sounds like a bold idea on paper but is quite distasteful on screen. Feeling a bit to forced and doesn’t suit the whole movie tonally.

Verdict

Look, it’s not all bad as the delightful violence and gore all pay respectful nods to the original film - delivering on the whole 80’s action movie vibe. Despite having iffy CGI in the final half, Shane Black (Iron Man 3) understands how to use the predator's powers in action and doesn’t skim back on their immense brutality. Something which should be commended in a generation of tame Hollywood violence.

But, in honesty, The Predator (2018) feels like a bland and uninspired homage to classic 80’s films - with no attempts to be an original iteration of these classic monsters. Shane Black (Iron Man 3) directs the film decently enough, but there is so much missed potential which should have been expanded upon and would set apart from the classic film’s legacy. I was pretty disappointed in the end with The Preator (2018), despite having a fun time nothing felt earned and retreat on old sci-fi conversations.

The Predator

  • 3
A bland and uninspired homage to classic 80’s films - with no attempts to be an original iteration of these classic monsters.

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