Verdict: A delightfully fresh take on the deadly aliens.
Predator is one of those movies that’s gained cult status over the years. It’s counted among the best action films to hit the theatres in the ’80s. Now, Shane Black – who even appeared in a small role in the first film – is here to reimagine the franchise. And he does this with an abundance of violence and jokes.
What’s The Predator About:
Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) is a military sniper on a mission to take out some cartel members when a spaceship crashlands near them and a Predator escapes alive. The Predator quickly kills off humans in the vicinity but McKenna somehow manages to survive and salvage some of the alien’s tech, which he sends back home as evidence of what he actually saw. It’s this device that his son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) soon finds and accidentally triggers an alert that brings an even bigger Predator to Earth. McKenna is captured by the government and grouped with other military veterans with various issues who call themselves the Loonies. Eventually, they have to team up with an evolutionary biologist, Casey (Olivia Munn), to go against the government agent (Sterling K. Brown) who won’t mind killing them off to reach his ultimate goal – finding the spaceship and what’s inside it.
You don’t need to have seen any of the earlier Predator films to appreciate Shane Black’s version. Co-written and directed by Shane Black (who’s also helmed Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys), The Predator is equal parts violent and funny. After all, there can’t be a Shane Black film without his trademark humor.
The Predator does take inspiration from the original but it’s eventually its own thing. The characters aren’t all ’80s macho action guys. Our main unit is a bunch of flawed ex-soldiers and they’re extremely likable. This group consists of Baxley (Thomas Jane), Lynch (Alfie Allen), Nettles (Augusto Aguilera), and Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key), with Nebraska Williams (Trevante Rhodes) as their leader. When McKenna and Casey join them, the real fun begins. They’re all wisecracking heroes who find humor even in the face of deadly space aliens.
Boyd Holbrook plays a charming lead, especially with how the dynamics of his relationships with his other characters play out. He’s not just a military guy, he’s also a father. Jacob Tremblay plays the role of Rory, who has Asperger’s, with sensitivity and finesse. Sterling K. Brown is another actor who stands out. Even when he’s giving orders to kill off our good guys, he’s having fun being bad which makes him a delight to watch.
As for our titular Predator, you’ll see the aliens decapitate even more humans than before now that they’ve evolved. They get to wreak havoc not just in dark jungles, but even in the suburbs. Predators have always been more advanced – they have heat-vision, fancy gadgets, and they’re just stronger. There will be limbs torn apart, insides ripped out, and heads will roll. It’s some good, gory fun.
What Could Have Been Better:
There are points in the film where the characters could have made better decisions. But The Predator isn’t something that needs close scrutiny as long as you enjoy the ride.
Why You Should Watch:
If you want to see space aliens decimating people with jokes along the way, this is the film for you. But most importantly, The Predator is the film to watch if you want to have a blast at the theatres.