Predator, a classic Sci-Fi actioner, was released in 1987 and ever since studio execs have been trying to recapture the same magic but to no success. (I’m leaving out Predator 2) First they thought a watered down teen friendly approach was the best choice but even just typing that irritates the hell out of me. And Paul W.S. Anderson as director?! *Cue vomiting montage* Then keeping the style of AVP but upping the gore factor as expected it changed nothing about the quality of the content which AVP: Requiem is comprised of nothing but shit. 2010 came around with another attempt cleverly titled Predator(s) starring nose turned actor Adrien Brody who with an eclectic group of actors delivered the best addition to the franchise since the original. Make no mistake, Predators is no great feat but it provided enough visceral thrill and humor with a nice helping of horror to make it the best Predator film since 1987. And now… 2018.
Shane Black as director!? Hawkins is revived to helm the new incarnation of the Predator franchise!? Needless to say I was excited when he decided to take over directing duties for this new addition. The Nice Guys, a Black directed comedy, is one of my favorites films of the last decade. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is an underrated gem that demands a second chance. He’s a talented filmmaker and in my opinion one of the best writers of dialogue since Tarantino. So, I wonder, how could this all have fallen off the tracks so completely? The Predator (2018) features likeable, kooky characters that are equally damaged and heroic. Their verbal exchanges throughout the film are hilarious and one of the strongest attributes to this mess of a film. But even the characters themselves, despite their charming qualities, do not evoke a desire to see them survive. When certain characters inevitably perish it means nothing as their presence was merely for comical effect. Basically they’re funny and not much else.
As for the Predator itself (themselves) it feels like a character not in on the joke. The Predator is neither intimidating nor all that entertaining. When it kills, yeah it’s violent and will certainly satisfy bloodlust but none of what or how it kills is memorable. And its purpose for being on our planet is weak and disposable. It’s a haphazard excuse to get this creature on Earth to create chaos and carnage.
A major complaint I have about the overall product is the pacing, it is rushed to the point of being jarring. Before you know it a hollow reason is unveiled as to why these things are happening and then it’s just mindless dismemberment and funny quips. Before you have any time to realize something about this story feels pointless or implausible you get another CGI filled action scene that is filmed well enough but again creates nothing but unenthusiastic visual entertainment at bare minimum. By the third act I was laughing for reasons not intended by those behind and in front of the camera.
There are things about this film to admire but those qualities are far too few compared to the incessant issues from pacing to weak plot points to disposable characters to mindless, uninspired action scenes. I can’t outright call this film a failure but considering the talent that created it I can’t help but wonder what happened. I guess it’s just a matter of being human and being imperfect, call it a misstep among the rest of Shane Black’s stronger efforts. Overall, The Predator (2018) is another missed target in the franchise despite strong attributes ultimately making for a forgettable experience.
Rated R For: strong bloody violence, language throughout, and crude sexual references
Runtime: 107 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror
Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn
Directed By: Shane Black
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2/ Acting: 3/ Directing: 3.5/ Visuals: 3.5
OVERALL: 2.5 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: No
Check out the trailer below:
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