The Predator (2018) Review

the predator

If you are a Predator “purist” or, in other words, are in any way emotionally invested in what a Predator movie “ought to be” or “ought to aspire to”, then I would ask you: why? I also ask you this because it is not the recommended emotional state to enter this new Predator movie. Predator (1987), the original movie, was only ever an excuse for Arnold Schwarzenegger to show his biceps. The whole concept was pulled out of someone’s nose and therefore, as far as I am concerned, free for interpretation in any way that it is useful for screenwriters who are looking for a fun SF story.

The Predator (2018), then, reinterprets things, and functions like a fresh start in what could be the jumping board for sequels to come. Its story actually makes no sense at all. The movie invents new reasons for the predators to come to Earth, and adds some other subplots involving human-predator hybrids and there is some speculative nonsense about Asperger and about the future of the human race; and all these subplots click together like molten Lego bricks, then taped together, and still fall apart in the end. But who cares? Just like in the original, it is only ever an excuse for blood and explosions.

Now, even if you take all of this into account, and enter the movie with the sole expectation of a wild ride of action and SF, then there is still one major factor that will decide whether you will like this movie or not. And that is its sense of comedy.

Because… this is mostly a comedy. This is closer to a Goosebumps movie than Alien. This is similar to The Expendables (2010) or similar to Con Air (1997), but with a joke happening every few minutes. There are no scenes with tension. Instead, we have a crew of mentally ill “loonies” who are just soooo crazy. They’re kah_razy. One guy is the Tourette guy who keeps yelling cusswords, another guy is just grinning and rolling his eyeballs all the time. It’s a 50/50 chance whether you will enjoy this or be terribly annoyed by it. It’s pretty divisive.

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised at times. For this I salute director Shane Black, who also directed The Nice Guys (2016) and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), and some of the same sharpness of comedy and dialogue translated over to The Predator. I can fully admit that it is dumb and it is crass. The main character is one of those typical heroes with the depth of a puddle, the kind of hero who says: “I’m here to kick ass and chew bubblegum…”, but it held just the right tempo and it had just enough funny twists that this was an enjoyable movie.


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2 Responses to The Predator (2018) Review

  1. Bookstooge says:

    Humor, in a predator movie? Does not compute…

    I like the Predator franchise and as long as there are predators and humans and lots of killing, the storyline isn’t very important to me. But I don’t like humor where violence is supposed to be the main thing. They don’t mix or provide a good experience imo…

    Liked by 1 person

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