Saturday, October 6, 2018

Review ThePredator (2018)

Shane Black returns to the ‘Predator’ franchise, having appeared in a supporting role in the 1987 original, to co-write and direct The Predator. The film acts as a continuation of the film series set in the present day. It’s fair to say that The Predator is something of a mixed bag though; in fact, the film feels like a sporadic collection of sequences stitched together. As you’d probably expect from a Shane Black film, there is a lot of humour throughout also, perhaps a little too much.

The opening to the film does feel very Predator-like however, complete with the original score from 87’s ‘Predator’. Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) witnesses the crash-landing of an alien vessel whilst on a mission, even encountering the cloaked beast for the first time. It’s thrilling, it’s eerie. Slowly but surely though, Black cranks the comedy up to the max, making the film feel like more of an action comedy. Although portions of the humour are genuinely entertaining and funny, it does take some of the sting out of the plot, culminating in a final third that lacks real tension.

Of course, Black is as loyal to the films as he can be, with nods to all three previous Predator films, complete with lines of dialogue feeling very familiar, and Gary Busey’s real life son playing his on-screen son. There are also plenty of inventive blood-splattered kills, more so as we reach the conclusion. Ultimately though, The Predator will be judged on its gutsy narrative directions, decisions that really had to be made for the good of the franchise and Predator story, which in truth has not really progressed in the last 30 years.

All in all, The Predator is a decent ‘Predator’ sequel and a fun popcorn film, not only staying true to its roots but also making bold moves for the future, bringing the franchise into the here and now; but that’s not to say it won’t split opinion or even insult hardcore fans of the Predator character and lore.


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