The Predator – Movie Review
author: ethan butterfield | a&c editor
A sci-fi film worth seeing.
So this is what it’s come to, huh? Eight years since the last Predator movie has been released and this is the type of hand that we’ve been dealt. Well, I for one am disgusted by the lack of care and passion that they put into this film. Where’s the heart? Where’s the motivation? It’s almost like the director, a Mr. Shane Black, didn’t even try to emulate the success of the original 1987 film. Everybody knows that first one is the best, so why do anything different? Why try to do something new and exciting when he could’ve just made the original again? It truly doesn’t make any sense to me why anyone would try to make anything fresh when they could just reuse the same material. Crazy, I know.
Now, just to clarify, what I have stated above is definitely sarcasm. I really don’t care if the newest installment isn’t on the same level as the original. You know why? Because I can enjoy films regardless of their overall quality (unless it’s Winchester, I mean Jesus fucking Christ). That being said, however, there were a couple of things from The Predator that I thought were kind of absurd, but it’s a movie about aliens fighting humans so I’m pretty sure I can be a little bit lenient on it. Moving right along though, let’s get into the actual film review itself, shall we?
So The Predator, what can I say that hasn’t already been said? Well… a lot actually, but that’s beside the point. Starting off with the plot, the storyline for this film is fairly basic and yet weirdly absorbing at the same time. To go into more detail, if a movie’s story is pretty generic or easy to predict, than it’s quite likely that the audience will just stop giving a shit at some point. With The Predator, though, the story is certainly your generic “humans most survive alien attack” plot, but the characters and stakes make things feel bigger than they seem at surface level. Things like the dialogue, the pacing of the film, and the overall conflict, are all support beams that help carry the plot along, which is normally the opposite for other films, where the story would carry them along instead.
Keeping on the characters, there are some real solid actors on display in this film. Two of my personal favourites, Thomas Jane (known for 2004’s The Punisher) and Keegan-Michael Key (known for Keanu) actually had bigger roles than I thought they would. They, as well as most of the other cast members, play war veterans on their way to be detained by Sterling K. Brown’s (Gordon Walker from Supernatural) government agent types. Unfortunately, although Thomas and Keegan do have a lengthy enough role in the film, they don’t have main roles. No, that honour goes to both Boyd Holbrook (Logan, Gone Girl) and Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse, Deliver Us From Evil) who are terrific in their own unique ways. Boyd does wonderful work as the brave leading the brave–type character that you see in most every action film, while Munn does an amazing job portraying the sassy scientist with a heart of gold–type character that you see in most every action film. Jokes aside, these two actually have great chemistry onscreen, so that’s something certainly worth checking out.
Taking off from characters, though, I’d like to take some time to focus on the director himself. Now Shane Black is someone that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed in films for years, his movies always have a lighter tone to them, regardless of how gut–wrenching the material is. As well, there’s almost always clever banter between the characters, and there‘s a real human reaction to what’s going on. The Predator is no exception to Shane Black’s rules of film. Actually, in a more direct sense, I mentioned earlier that there were military personal going to be detained by the government, what I didn’t mention is that all these soldiers have different symptoms of illnesses. Now, well at least one of these illnesses is played for laughs (that lighter tone making an appearance), they’re still represented accurately and with respect throughout the film.
All and all, despite the crude humour, The Predator is certainly a film that has a lot going for it. If you get the chance, or if you’re a hesitant fan, then by all means check it out. Yeah, it’s not as good as the original, but this is a chance to experience something new. If you want the original film, though, then here’s a quick tip for you: just watch the original! It’s that simple.