The Predator (2018) Review
Published on May 19, 2019
September 7, 2018
Those jacked-up, blood sporting, ugly motherf*%kers from outer space have returned and this time their spaceship has crash-landed centre stage during a hostage retrieval mission. Unlike the previous movies, these bad boys have been genetically upgraded and nothing and nobody will stand in the way of their quest to obliterate the human race...
Twentieth Century Fox
'Predator' and its sequel (1990) are unbeatable cinematic cattle prods that combined high energy suspense and relentless action all built around traditional horror and Sci-Fi fixtures and fittings. 'Predator 2' moved the audience from the atmospheric jungle to the grey skyline of war-torn Los Angeles and built
additional threats for its
"The film again opens in a jungle then swiftly relocates to the city, but unlike the previous legendary celluloid feature films the action and character motivations here are a sore point and often lost in translation. Black’s direction hits all the right notes but the bigger, meaner, gorier outing is hollow in comparison to John McTiernan and Stephen Hopkins’ (Lost in Space) science fiction classics."
central character, played by Danny Glover (Die Hard), even before the city’s new nemesis showed up in grandiose style leaving audiences on edge from the outset. The ante was raised, tension increased, and its savage hunter was more violent and genuinely unnerving than the last. 'Predator 2' distinguished itself from its predecessor and won me over, becoming my favourite of the franchise to date. Since Predator’s iconic appearance on celluloid in the late 80s several directors and writers have tried to rebuild the infamous template created by director John McTiernan (Die Hard) and writers Jim and John Thomas (Behind Enemy Lines) but failed in their valiant attempts to capture audiences’ hearts, which begs the million dollar question, did we actually need another sequel, and is the reboot really necessary?
Whether or not it was a necessary move by the studio, on September 6, 2018 the fourth entry in the ever-multiplying franchise finally saw the light of day, with the latest gamble being written by Fred Dekker (RoboCop 3) and directed by Shane Black (Iron Man 3). 'The Predator' (2018) once more takes the step, like many franchise reboots, of ignoring aspects that went before it. 'The Predator' specifically
ignores 'Predators' (2010) and the two 'Alien vs. Predator' spin-offs. 'Predators', while not a terrible film, seemingly forgot the source material and moved the vehicle to a hostile planet with a bunch of rag-tag elite warriors being headhunted by an army of aliens. The film all-in-all was predictable and focused far too much on its celebration of pulp action and excessive gore with little in between. Now, eight years on and with two sequels under their belt, you would think 20th Century Fox would have learned their lesson when it came to the series formula, but sadly the makers haven’t tried to infuse any elements of novelty into their latest adventure or their new batch of bloodthirsty hunters, and our new heroes are devoid of all empathy.
The emote, tensionless take on the most lethal hunters in movie history takes place in the present day, beginning shortly after a Predator’s spaceship crashes down into our atmosphere. Thereon in we are introduced to Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), who encounters the spaceship’s pilot during a hostage retrieval mission. The Predator is quick to kill Quinn’s men before Quinn manages to incapacitate the creature, allowing the government to capture the Predator for testing. But aware that his bosses will do whatever is needed to keep the incident under wraps, Quinn secretly takes some of the Predator’s armour as leverage, mailing it to his ex-wife Emily (Yvonne Strahovski) and son Rory (Jacob Tremblay), an extremely senseless afterthought that he’d live to regret when Rory triggers the Predator’s and their dogs’ return to the suburbs of earth, but these hunters are not your average aliens – they are genetically upgraded, smarter, stronger, deadlier and really, REALLY pissed off.
Like the 1987 vehicle, 'The Predator' 2018 is a self-contained story arc that evidently tries hard to bring back some of the mystique that made the creatures so popular the first two times around, but fails by amping the creatures up to maximum velocity early on in the proceedings. The film again opens in a jungle then swiftly relocates to the city, but unlike the previous legendary celluloid feature films the action and character motivations here are a sore point and often lost in translation. Black’s direction hits all the right notes but the bigger, meaner, gorier outing is hollow in comparison to John McTiernan and Stephen Hopkins’ (Lost in Space) science fiction classics. Dekker and Black do build on the original lore in a fascinating way that fans of the earlier films might appreciate, but the choppiness of its delivery derails their solid ideas. No secret has been made of the problems faced by the film during its making, which included several reshoots this year after a test screening of the first cut left its audience unimpressed. I’d have hoped that, with their feedback the second time around they would have wisened up, or at least livened up, the film that feels largely uneven in tone for the most part.