Published on September 11th, 2018 | by gareth0
Writer/Director Shane Black returns to the Predator franchise and looks to jumpstart the franchise in “The Predator”. Black played Hawkins in the classic original film and has since gone on to find success on the other side of the camera with hits like “Iron Man 3”, “The Nice Guys” and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”. Black has also written many genre action films so his take on the iconic Predator has been eagerly awaited by fans who are eager to see the series get back on track.
The film centers on a crashed Predator ship which is witnessed by an American Sniper on assignment named “McKenna” (Boyd Holbrook). While able to recover artifacts from the crashed ships escape pod, McKenna also sees his team brutally taken out by the pilot and soon finds himself targeted by a secret organization due to his knowledge of the otherworldly guest.
At the same time, a Biologist named Casey (Olivia Munn), is brought to a secret locale where she gets an up close encounter with the ship’s pilot in captivity and learns that a government organization has been tracking the visitors and that their visits have increased in recent years.
At the same time McKenna is ushered off to a bus full of unhinged soldiers who are to be locked away due to their numerous issues. Unbeknownst to his superiors; McKenna has mailed the recovered technology to his son who thanks to being on the Autism Spectrum, is able to figure out aspects of the tech which he believes to be a game.
This all leads to a series of brutal encounters as an enhanced Predator arrives and with two of the deadly creatures on the loose, the unhinged soldiers are largely the best hope humanity has of surviving what is to come.
While aspects of the plot seem a bit muddled and at times a bit to linear; the film for the most part works for what fans want and in many places gives them the sequel they have waited for. There is a lot of humor in the film which reportedly divided early test audiences but the action is as brutal and graphic as one would want and expect from the series.
The film does have some big gaps in logic such as how a Biologist can be so comfy and skilled with Assault Weapons and seems to have no issues throwing herself into combat situations and the larger plot points of the Predator objective is intriguing and will open up much debate amongst fans.
The last third of the film was reshot and you can tell at times how parts seem a bit out of synch from early parts of the film especially in the appearance of some characters whose look changes during the film which clearly indicates when segments of the film were shot.
I know the film will likely divide some fans who do not like the humor and wanted a more evade and survive style plot but Black has crafted an interesting opening chapter which is said to be the first of a planned trilogy.
While far from perfect, “The Predator” does give fans some interesting characters and plenty of laughs to go with the action and is a worthy entry into the series as long as you are willing to overlook the issues and enjoy the ride.
3.5 stars out of 5.