The Predator (2018)
I have the feeling that a lot of this movie ended up on the cutting room floor, because this film didn’t make any sense to me. It’s an action comedy/slasher movie/warning about climate change/government conspiracy film. It’s like Shane Black and his creative team had a whole bunch of ideas for a Predator film, and decided to use them all. And when Fox studios saw what they came up with, they hacked it into a barely over ninety-minute film to ensure they’d get plenty of screenings.
Individually, any of these ideas might have worked, and there are a few isolated moments of fun to be had here. The banter between the gang of misfit soldiers is entertaining, and the visual effects are decent. It was also cool to see Jake Busey appear as Keyes, a clear connection to the last good Predator movie, Predator 2 (fight me, I loved the sequel!).
On the other hand, however, Olivia Munn isn’t credible at all as either the alien loving scientist or an action hero, and Sterling K. Brown is wasted as the over the top cartoonish villain, Traeger. The action is okay, but because of the way the movie was edited, I kept spotting continuity issues. Elements in the action that you think are going to play a bigger role later on, are just forgotten, and bullets bounce off the predator, until they don’t need to anymore.
In the end, this was a poorly thought out and executed film. It sets up the possibility of a sequel (rather optimistically I feel at this point) but I’m not sure who’s going to care about this franchise after seeing this first installment. The Predator is a great movie monster, but I think Hollywood’s attempts to give it a ‘backstory’ have failed.
Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key
Directed by: Shane Black
Written by: Shane Black, Fred Dekker
Rating: R Running Time: 1 hr 41 min.