Review of "The Predator" by The Headless Critic
Watching Movies – Without Your Head
The Predator – 2018
Production by: Laundry Films, Davis Entertainment
in association with: TSG Entertainment, Dark Castle Entertainment, Canada Film Capital
Distribution by: 20th Century Fox
The universe's most notorious predator comes back to our home. When a Predator crash lands on Earth, U.S. military has thirty years of preparation to stop it. It isn’t enough. A creature born to hunt has evolved and no one is prepared for what comes next. It’s up to a group of fallen soldiers from the pysch ward to stop the next evolution of the greatest predator mankind has ever known.
“The hunt has evolved.” The problem is, there was nothing wrong with it before. As the Alien franchise devolves from Alien to Creator, The Predator evolves from Man vs Predator to Predator Hunter vs 11 foot Predator. It’s Hollywood at its finest and I mean that in the most sarcastic and truthful way possible.
From the creative minds of Fred Dekker the writer and director of Night of the Creeps and The Monster Squad and Shane Black writer of Lethal Weapon and Iron Man 3 and writer and director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys comes the latest rendition of The Predator franchise. It’s 80’s action horror at its best with modern day big budget movie-making at its worst.
The best thing I can say about The Predator is that after a rough beginning lead actor Boyd Holbrook won me over. He isn’t Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weather or even Jesse Ventura but I do catch glimpses of a young Mel Gibson and Marvel star Jeremy Renner in him as he comes off as a true action lead. I also enjoyed the addition of Jake Busey, the son of Predator 2 co-star Gary Busey.
From the opening scene of a Predator flying its ship through space, I knew the sequel to an unattached piece of my childhood was not going to be for me. The latest addition to the Predator franchise falls hard to every stereotype I hate in modern day sequels, remakes, re-imaginings or whatever word you want to attach to it.
Of course they have to go bigger with an eleven foot Predator to roll your eyes at. The script is bigger as well, over complicated compared to the original film of soldiers hunting a predator who’s hunting them back. The practical effects used in the 80’s are largely replaced by CGI. The blood, fire and at times “space dogs” mostly look bad. Bad CGI takes you out of any movie but is an ultimate sin for a film with such a multi-million dollar budget.
After a rough opening there is about thirty to fourty-five minutes of an acceptable movie. When the eleven foot Predator drops in all is lost as Hollywood takes over producing another bigger, “better” and highly uninspired sequel.
I like Thomas Jane as an actor but his character here is a joke. His mutual death with his life partner in the film Keegan-Michael Key is one of the worst deaths I’ve seen in a franchise horror movie and that’s saying a lot. Cliché movie moments of the guy, the girl and the kid surviving are so predictable. The Predator Hunter ending is absolutely awful and if this is the direction future films are taking I’ll only be watching if it’s for a review. Though I ended up enjoying him in the film Boyd Holbrook’s final line was one of the worst frat boy, one-liner endings of a movie I’ve seen in a long time. This movie may appease fans looking for explosions and kills but I don't think its horror foundation will follow. The latest Predator is a joke.
Available Now in Theaters
2 out of 5 Headless Critics