*MOVIE RECAP: THE PREDATOR

So this is probably the worst Predator film I’ve ever seen, and that includes the Alien vs. Predator movies.

The original Predator (1987) film is a sci/fi classic. The sequel Predator 2 (1990) wasn’t as well-received as the original Predator, but I don’t really think it was a bad movie, especially when you compare it to some awful sequels out there. It was a fun movie with some interesting elements, and I always felt that those elements could potentially be used to build around future Predator movies.

In 2009, Robert Rodriguez directed Predators, which wasn’t really appreciated as much as it should have been when it first came out; however, it is now beginning to develop a cult following within Predator and sci/fi fans. I enjoyed it, and I found it to be a very refreshing and fun addition to the Predator franchise.

The Predator, directed by Shane Black, is the latest installment into the Predator franchise, and it brings to the big screen a complete disaster of a movie. The original Predator movie directed by John McTiernan was an excellent exercise in suspense, full of engaging and believable action sequences. This latest installment has zero moments of tension and plenty of over the top action sequences. Here is a quick breakdown of how this movie fails to deliver the goods.

The Parts I hated the most:

Garbage dialogue that feels dry and unfunny. It never really establishes any type of substantial, believable dialogue. It’s all very cartoonish as far as dialogue is concerned. Olivia Mum’s character was another head-scratcher; her character immediately transforms herself from a Biologist into a fully trained combat soldier. Suddenly, she knows how to use military weapons like a trained mercenary. Her back story is never really developed into the final cut of this theatrical release; I assume there was a backstory for her character somewhere in the screenplay. Maybe there was a military background in her story before becoming a Scientist. The audience is left to wonder.

Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) was annoying and uninteresting. The loony squad was all about unfunny jokes every chance they got. Rory McKenna (Jacob Tremblay) was completely unnecessary; the entire film would’ve been served much better without his inclusion. I also have some questions; Why wasn’t Major Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) brought back? What about Lt. Harrigan (Danny Glover)? What the hell is this Predator suit nonsense? It looks awesome, but are they actually turning the Predators into an Iron Man type of series?….. It is important to note that Shane Black-directed Iron Man 3.

The parts I liked or hated the least:

Jake Busey playing scientist Sean Keyes, who we assume is the son of special agent Peter Keyes, from Predator 2 (played by Gary Busey); Peter Keyes was the lead agent tasked with tracking down capturing the Predator in Predator 2. This is one of the many plot holes and miss-opportunities from this latest installment; at first glance, you can tell that Sean Keyes lacks the tenacity and viciousness of his father’s character, and we barely got to hear directly from him about his personal connection and involvement into the Stargazer project. This Sean Keyes Character had the potential to become the main antagonist here, to find a way to establish his own personal quest to avenge his father and to continue on as the main villain in the upcoming movies.

Sterling K. Brown’s character, agent Will Traeger as the head of the Stargazer project, is essentially the same archetype of agent Peter Keyes in Predator 2, which worked well in both films, so I found Traeger’s villainous character to be a fun and exciting addition to this movie. The Predator dogs was an excellent addition to connect this movie with Robert Rodriguez’s Predators. 

The “Super Predator” was probably the best thing about this movie. The awesomeness of his power, his size, and his look was the most outstanding and original concept from this movie. The idea that the Predators are upgrading themselves and there is a rogue faction of the Predators fighting each other is an exciting development in the series.

The future of the Predator franchise

First, bring back Arnold Schwarzenegger in some capacity for the sake of all that it is sacred. Secondly, kill off Quinn & Rory McKenna, then bring back Danny Glover in maybe a small cameo. Third, provide this franchise with some clear direction, and create an established outline of what the endgame for this particular version of the Predator will be. Lastly, they need to have some type of continuity as far as the storyline is concerned and bring a visionary director onboard to helm all future films. Someone like a Denis Villeneuve, or Neill Blomkamp….or maybe even bring back John McTiernan to direct the next installments. The best example of how one visionary director can create a clear outline of where a movie franchise will eventually end up is precisely what Ridley Scott is doing with the Alien franchise. Both Prometheus and Alien: Covenant are clearly taking us to a specific place within the Alien franchise universe, and this is precisely how future Predator films should be approached.

THE PREDATOR (2018) Two out of Five Popcorn Bags  🍿🍿

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