Sigh, another re-boot? Thirty years after it’s original release, the Predator franchise has returned, whether we wanted it to or not.
At the helm of the re-boot is Shane Black and for me, he’s something of an enigma. Earlier in his career, Shane wrote many action classics (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Last Action Hero) that excelled at avoiding genre driven clichés. In time, the Hollywood machine monetized Shane’s creations and in turn delivered predictable cookie cutter sequels that were less than inspiring.
The decision to bring Shane back to the Predator franchise he helped start is an interesting one. While he has a proven track record with big productions, the risk of integrating comedy into the sci-fi horror genre seems somewhat suspicious.
From the start, it’s apparent the re-booted Predator sucks butter-milk. The entire movie feels like an uneven skit that was driven by pointless sex jokes and recycled punch lines from Will Farrell movies.
The paper thin plot doesn’t help the film either.
Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) is an ex-military radical who while on a mission in Mexico is attacked by the Predator. Soon after, Quinn is apprehended by American government officials, who then attempt to keep him quiet. Realizing Quinn is not the quiet type, they incarcerate him.
While en route to a retainment facility, Quinn is introduced to “the Loonies” who are a bunch of ex-military misfits. As expected, each character feels disposable and only meant for cheap laughs. For example, Baxley (Thomas Jane) has Tourettes and yells continuous vulgar obscenities thought the film. Lynch (Alfie Allen) uses cheap card tricks to communicate with others in the group. The funniest character by far is Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key) who rips off one-liners and “yo-mamma” jokes every chance he can. The main leader of the group is Nebraska (Trevante Rhodes) who is a serious dude that never seems comfortable with living.
It’s apparent Shane wants the viewer to care about these characters. Each one has a story that is supposed to add to the fabric of the plot but instead feels uninspired and opportunistic. In the past Shane was great at creating character chemistry; in The Predator, that skill is nowhere to be found. I actually feel bad for the actors who signed up for this stink-fest!
Overall, the re-booted Predator is a confusing bit of cinema and I’m not sure who it’s marketed for. It’s not a good comedy and it sure as hell not a good sci-fi movie! Heck, the subpar Predator 2 is golden compared to this pile-of-dung. I wont even comment on the cheap special effects and poor character design (suit) of the Predator. Avoid this movie at all costs.
Rating: 1 star
From the outer reaches of space to the to the backwoods of southern Georgia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before. And only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor can prevent the end of the human race.
Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Alfie Allen, Thomas Jane, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey, Yvonne Strahovski
Written by Fred Dekker & Shane Black. Based on the characters created by Jim Thomas & John Thomas
Director: Shane Black