Movie Review: The Predator (2018)

Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes and Olivia Munn

Directed by: Shane Black

Having genetically modified themselves with the DNA from other species to make themselves bigger and stronger than they ever have been, the predator returns to Earth seeking the next step in human evolution. Only a small group of ex-soldiers and a scientist stand in the way of the predator achieving his mission.

I’m a huge fan of the original Arnold Schwarzenegger Predator movie and I really enjoyed the Danny Glover sequel too but from Predator 2 the franchise has somewhat taken a turn for the worse. The Alien vs. Predator movies were poor when they had the potential to be great and although Predators starring Adrien Brody was a reasonable attempt at bringing the deadly hunter back to our screens, it still felt a little lack lustre. Having seen the trailer a few times now for The Predator I remained skeptical and when my wife and I finally decided to head to the cinema to check it out I didn’t expect much but hoped that Shane Black would be able to prove me wrong.

Unfortunately The Predator was an extremely mixed bag of good and bad so I’ll start positively and begin with what I enjoyed. Firstly, I found myself greatly enjoying the characters and the bond that the ragtag group of former US soldiers shared. Thomas Jane’s relationship with funnyman Keegan Michael-Key was particularly enjoyable and the love hate relationship they shared was definitely one of the highlights of the movie. Some of the action sequences were pretty good to watch although some did suffer from having slight continuity problems but for the most part the combative scenes were good. My final point of positivity was that I was pleased that The Predator didn’t try and force some kind of romantic angle within the story as so many times in action movies the writers try and force the audience to watch a horribly inappropriate love scenario unfold which thankfully did not happen here.

I’d love to be able to just tell you all the highlights of the movie but unfortunately there were a fair few flaws that affected my overall enjoyment of the movie. The main problem that The Predator had was the inconsistencies and lack of depth with both the story and the characters. The movie vaguely revealed the predators true purpose and that was they travel to each planet and kill the best of the best that the planet has to offer to be able to harvest the DNA from the elite combatants they come across to be able to enhance themselves to make themselves bigger, stronger, smarter and overall a better hunting machine. The way the movie discussed this huge revelation was very swift and in such a lack of detail as the movie just casually moved on without fully exploring that aspect of the predators purpose. Also, The Predator has fallen foul to one of my biggest gripes in Hollywood at the moment that everything has to be bigger than it was before as if to suggest that the audience needs to be wowed by something larger than what they’ve seen previously otherwise they’d be disinterested. The predator character is great enough in my opinion and didn’t need a size upgrade but here we see an 11ft mega predator which needed an unrealistic amount of damage before it was even close to being defeated. For me bigger isn’t necessarily better and I think this is definitely the case here as the original predator in the first Predator movie is and probably always will be the deadliest and most dangerous predator. Finally, there were a lot of ridiculous action flaws and failures throughout the movie with the main one being the distance that Olivia Munn’s character must have had to travel in order to feature in the final sequence which was absurd and an impossible feat.

Overall, The Predator was a mixed bag like I said and as much as I wanted another brilliant Predator movie to rival the quality of the original, this one just failed to compete. The characters were much more enjoyable than the story and not even the “get to the choppers” line worked very well here which was a shame.

5/10

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