Director: Shane Black
Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay
Alien or Predator? This is a question that gets put on the table quite a few times, but hands down it’ll always be that beautiful, lubed-up Xenomorph for me. Yes, Prometheus had story issues, but I still loved it. I also adored Alien Covenant so put your pitchforks down. Predator on the other hand is a great character, but unfortunately Shane Black kind of butchered the experience. Which is a shame because I am a fan of Shane Black’s work.
A Predator ship crash lands on earth bringing the fight home. These lethal hunters are smarter, deadlier and stronger than before after genetically upgrading themselves using DNA from other species. A young autistic boy triggers their return to earth causing a rag-tag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher to join forces to prevent the end of the human race.
From the first instance of taking a whiff of the cast, there was no doubt that it was going to be somewhat comedic. Saying this, The Predator was really funny, but I do think this took away any serious moments the film may have had. Having the Predator stalking the woods and running after you should be quite scary and dark, but unfortunately it wasn’t.
I think what took away some of the scare factor was the CGI. In a time like this, you’d think blood and decapitation would look real enough for you not to question if it was CGI or not. I have no idea what the budget was, but it looked very cheap and fake. 10 years ago, it may have been the best thing we’d ever seen on screen but for 2018… just no.
What held the film together and saved it from being a total disaster was the comedic tone. Looking back and trying to imagine The Predator without the comedy, the film would have been super dry. Donning a healthy cast, everyone had great one liners, but there were two standouts for me because there was a story behind their madness and that was Coyle and Baxley played by Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Jane.
There was a lot of action, humour and was entertaining for what it was, but it’s definitely forgettable and not a Predator film. It felt like I was watching a prime-time Sci-fi channel movie on a Saturday night.