The Predator is borderline horrendous and you should be mad about it. Ignore the AVP films since they’re basically two violent excursions into rocket propelled and orifice swelling cases of diarrhea that shat their way down into the sewer and were flushed into non-existence, but the Predator franchise is basically three films; Predator, Predator 2, and Predators. Say what you will about the two sequels, but the original film is still held in high regard. Considering co-writer/director Shane Black’s track record, The Predator should have been amusing with great action especially since Black portrayed Hawkins in the original Predator film and had something to prove returning to the franchise 30 years later. So what the fuck happened and why is The Predator so bad?
The best part of the new film is the giant predator. You’ll know him when you see him because he towers over everyone and everything. Do you remember in the Mortal Kombat games where there used to be a cheat code to play every fatality back to back? This predator is like a walking version of that cheat code. He decapitates another predator with his bare hands and uses alien weaponry to slice and dismember everyone solely because he can. He also comes to earth with two dogs and one of them refuses to die and just kind of trails the humans for the remainder of the film. It’s sad and kind of adorable and holy shit let’s breed and adopt some predadogs right now.
Every other aspect of the film is either disappointing or downright awful. The Predator boasts an incredible cast with the likes of Logan’s Boyd Holbrook, Room’s Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, and Tom Jane, but how is it that they have no chemistry whatsoever? Writers Black and Fred Dekker have basically written every character as frat boy douches who try to out-asshole one another in every scene. The main storyline doesn’t really make much sense. Why did the predator who first comes to earth steal the technology that everyone is after and why is that scene at the end of the film other than to reference Black’s time on Iron Man 3?
The gore would be a lot more entertaining if you could see more of it. Black was adamant about only being a part of this if it was R-rated without pulling away from kills, but the kills are too dark to fully appreciate. Thankfully, a predator’s green blood glows in the dark and makes it super easy to track in such a dark film that mostly takes place at night. The film constantly argues over why these aliens are called predators when it should be called something else. This is something that was settled three decades ago, guys. Let it go. We don’t need a, “get to the chopper,” reference in every new Predator film either.
Walking out of The Predator, you realize you’re most disappointed in the fact that you were bored the entire time. The screenplay is weak, the humor is lame, the action is this clusterfuck of dizzying darkness and poor CGI, and you don’t care about any of these new characters. There’s this secondary storyline devoted to bullying that seems to justify violence and killing as an anti-bullying technique. This was one of my most anticipated of the year and it left me feeling lethargic and bored regarding where this franchise goes from here. It’s a sad day when you have to admit that a new Predator film is barely better than the AVP films, but The Predator rips the spinal column out of this franchise and chooses stupidity and redundancy over an actual evolution. 1.5/5 Intestine-Sliding Bibles.