Shane Black returns to the Predator franchise but not to reprise his role as Rick Hawkins, only this time directing the film for its third reboot/sequel. “I’m sorry I grew up the way you didn’t want to”, is a reflection on how a once dark sci-fi action thriller is turned into a comedy/action movie “blockbuster” riddled with countless movie cliches, a confusing plot and ill timed one-liners.
Some may find the film’s subtle charm only due to Shane Black’s signature dark humour which is riddled throughout the movie but even then it couldn’t save the films appalling ending result. The writing wasn’t even the issue of the film, but rather the horrible casting decisions on Black’s part.
Particularly the lead character Quinn McKenna played by Boyd Holbrook who’s character as an army soldier running from the government comes across as arrogant and egocentric compared to the heroic badass of a lead, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the franchise’s first film. The other main character and terribly so the most important is Quinn’s Son Rory McKenna played by Jacob Tremblay who’s lifeless performance of being the “real” hero was the second biggest downfall with most of the film surrounding around the fact that his son was the only one capable of the alien technology.
The films subplot has been butchered to death by which the government tries to exploit the Predator and really become the antagonists, mostly played out by the prick of an agent Will Traeger played by Sterling K. Brown who’s weasley and cowardly tactics, to capture Quinn and his son, gave his character a love to hate feeling and actually had a satisfying comeuppance.The films other lead character Casey Brackett, played by Olivia Munn, is a scientist who examines and studies the Predator and ends up joining Quinns ragtag team of misfits once predator escapes and was sort of pushed to be Mckenna’s love interest but you wouldn’t tell because there was zero chemistry between the two and out of all the characters she has the least character development with countless plot holes like her marksmanship and her ability to try and go one on one with Predator when she’s just a biology scientist.
The only saving grace from giving this film no stars is its incredible supporting cast. In the plot, the government is looking for Predators missing gear but finds out that Quinn has taken it somewhere else so they bring him to a prison/research center called Project Stargazer where he’s imprisoned. Quinn explains his story to the agents and is ridiculed enough where he’s taken to the mentally ill section of the prison and is transported in a bus to their cells where he meets his partners in crime who call themselves the “loonies”. Trevante Rhodes, Alfie Allen, Augusto Aguilero,Thomas Jane and Keegan-Michael Key are the actors who portray the “loonies” and do a superb job by giving the movie its actual comedic value. The biggest nod goes to Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Jane’s chemistry with each other portraying best friends who actually give memorable jokes and constantly throw witty jabs to the others throughout the film.
The movie “The Predator” is another Hollywood reboot destined to fail given to a director who simply couldn’t do more to enhance the film from it’s abysmal plot of basically just being a rescue mission with countless plot holes to its plain and simple crap writing. The film had a lot of potential in the beginning from its gripping first 10 minutes and instantly takes a nosedive for the rest of the films hour and forty five minute runtime and sadly couldn’t find its footing teetering either on the insane gore aspect or Black’s confusion in thinking its a comedy. If the film wasn’t given such a chopped and screwed production style and let the film breathe on its own, then it would be a decent film. As another action film it could’ve probably been a bigger hit but since it’s tied to one of sci-fi’s best franchises, it ultimately didn’t deliver by any means. I rate this film 4/10.