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Review: The Predator

Image from 20th Century Fox's THE PREDATOR

There’s always a place for a good Predator movie. That’s why I was open to this release from Shane Black. It seemed to have an interesting cast to go along with the monster made famous back in the 1980’s in one of the movies that helped turn Arnold Schwarzenegger into a star. In being reasonable, I wasn’t asking for them to remake that movie or even the sequel. However, I did want the bloody and gory action that those two flicks were known for.

After an unimaginable meeting with a deadly alien from outer-space, a soldier (Boyd Holbrook) finds himself running and gunning alongside a bunch of ex-soldiers to take it down. Not only must they battle with this extremely fearsome hunter from another planet, they also must contend with a band of scientists who are looking to get more information on the hunters that they call Predators. While it’s a fight for survival for all involved, the evolution and potential success of the creature may mean the end of the human race.

You’re anticipating a great deal of action from a movie like this one, but that’s not all you’re getting here. Oddly enough, there may be more jokes here than action. That could be a problem for some based on that alone, but what hurts it the most in my eyes is that for the comedy doesn’t work as much as they probably would have wanted it to. While some of it goes over well, there are plenty of instances where the jokes miss and are greeted with no response.

The action that we are being given is also not as well done as it should have been. Some of the scenes are nicely done throughout, but there are also times where what’s going on is hard to see and are difficult to figure out. One of the reasons is because some of it is so quick and in such a dark setting, that it’s difficult to tell what’s taking place all the time.

There’s also a good bit of down time here in between anything that’s remotely interesting. This starts off in the very first act as they take their time building things up. There’s a lot of chatting going on when we wanted to get into the action as fast as possible. This isn’t always a negative thing, but in this case it is since we’re not here for that. I also didn’t find myself being all that interested in the characters. If you’re going to take the time to include all of this stuff in a movie like this one, you should be focusing on building the characters a bit more than they do.

In reality, a lot of the dialogue is here to help us understand what’s going on, but a lot of it is just nonsense that most wouldn’t care about. It’s there to help set up the current situation as well as the future of the franchise they’re clearly planning on. They’re also trying to tell us about this new, evolved version of the predator. What you’ll find is that much of this is unnecessarily complicated since we’re only watching to see the predator be what he’s always been. There’s no reason to add all of this on to something that doesn’t need it.

There are some entertaining sections, but The Predator should have been more fun than it actually ends up being. You have all the parts to accomplish that, but Shane Black wasn’t able to get out of his own way. This just needed to be slimmed down. The job of the first movie of this continuation should have been to get us back into what we enjoyed about the earlier movies. You can focus on including some of this other stuff at some other time.

When looking at this as a whole, The Predator disappoints in a way that will leave you wishing it had more of what we wanted and less of the nonsense. I still think people can have a fun time with it, but there isn’t enough to make this stand out from the average generic action movie. In the end, I think people will likely leave their theaters thinking that there were probably worse ways to spend their time and money. That’s not horrible, but I’m sure everyone involved were hoping for more.

Rating: R

Director: Shane Black

Boyd Holbrook
Trevante Rhodes
Jacob Tremblay
Keegan-Michael Key
Olivia Munn
Sterling K. Brown
Thomas Jane
Alfie Allen
Augusto Aguilera
Jake Busey
Yvonne Strahovski

Film Length: 101 minutes

Release Date: September 14, 2018

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

  • 6/10
    Score - 6/10
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