The Predator (2018)
The Predator is a 2018 science fiction action thriller (and you could argue comedy) directed by Shane Black. It stars an ensemble cast of military goons and scoundrels (Thomas Jane is in this, for some reason), and in some way it feels more autentic than some of the other sequels and follow-ups to the original movie. This could have something to do with Shane Black’s connection to that movie, where he was supporting cast alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Make no mistake: The Predator cannot hold a candle, or anything else for that matter, to the original movie. But you could easily argue that it is better than Predator II or even Predators, and far better than the Alien vs Predator spin-offs.
Despite the action, humor and gore in The Predator, it misses the mark on what made the original movie so special. Much of the point of the original movie was to have heavily armed action heroes and strong-men, popular in movies at the time, meeting a superior foe. When it came out, it wasn’t unique for it’s action or creature effects, though it should be said that both were top of the line at that time. It was unique because it turned the military action hero trope on its head.
The Predator is an allright movie in itself, but it isn’t unique in any way. It panders to the fan boys and the nostalgic, but it can’t reach nearly high enough, despite a couple of very nice acting performances. So in the end, it becomes just another science fiction flick, not standing out.
The Predator knows it is a B-movie, and it plays up the cliches and callbacks to the original, often with tounge-in-cheek. It has alot of silly moments though, far passing into the realm of the goofy and unbelieveable, as it is sometimes hard to actually believe or understand why some characters act, or react, the way they do in the movie, even in a movie like this. However, Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Jane really bumps up the humor in the movie a few notches, with the banter and sillyness being spot on.
I should add that to me, it seems that this film has been recut a couple of times, as there are scenes that just doesn’t hold together or makes sense. A couple more editing passes in post producation would have been good for this film, I think. There may have been time constraints, budgets or other challenges I’m not aware of, but that doesn’t change the resulting impression.
All in all, this was good enough fun, but somewhat forgettable.