20th Century Fox has added yet another film to the popular sci-fi/horror franchise based on the 1987 classic Predator, with the brand new, creatively named The Predator.
Temper your expectations for this one because it’s certainly not going to be winning any Academy Awards. However, if you’re looking for a fun, action-packed adventure, this is the movie for you.
The movie wastes no time jumping right into some cheesy CGI and introducing some familiar, dare I say overused, military characters. The CGI unfortunately never really gets better but the characters do. Aside from our hero Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) and the clumsy doctor Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn), who are both a bit problematic, the cast is filled with fun characters.
The “Loonies,” as they’re affectionately referred to in the film, steal the show, with Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Jane teaming up to get most of the films laughs. Sterling K. Brown delivers in a big way as a villain of sorts, and several times throughout the movie serves as the character that draws you back into the story.
If you’re a fan of the Predator films and the Predator as a movie monster, it has a lot of fun moments. It gives plenty of nods to the original film and even reuses quotes, including the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger line, “get to the chopper.” It even references Disney’s Haunted Mansion, with a nameless solider quoting the stretching room scene.
With that being said, it also seems to disrespect the Predator as a monster a bit. The whole premise of this film is about the Predators evolving as a species and fearing the possibility of humans using a specific weapon. Previous films always made me believe the Predators feared nothing and were always up for a challenge. And they certainly didn’t need to make themselves any better to take out humans.
This movie leans heavily on the popularity of the franchise, which is fine, but it also leans on the idea that people want to become invested in the characters the Predator is hunting, which I don’t believe is the case.
Just give us a group of people we know nothing about, drop them in the woods and let us watch them try to survive while you sprinkle in some backstory throughout. That’s what the 2010 film Predators did, and I personally believe it worked.
The Predator does eventually get to that point, but it takes a long time to get there. The hunt sequence is fun and it gives this film the feel of the original, but it doesn’t last long enough and is used more as a means to just end the film as opposed to entertaining the audience.
That’s not to say this film isn’t entertaining. It certainly has a fair share of action and some pretty good laughs. Plus, whenever you get to see a Predator fight another Predator, that’s a win.
For a film that focused heavily on the characters fighting to survive the Predator’s attacks, it left a lot to be desired in terms of wrapping up their stories. It does set up for a sequel, but unfortunately, it does so in a way that seems like a desperate reach toward the still-booming superhero genre instead of just giving us more Predator.
Still, I’m always up for couple hours of watching the Predator do his thing while a band of misfits tries to survive. If you’re with me on that, you will enjoy this movie. If you’re looking for something more, you might want to see something else.
The Predator is in theaters now.