The Predator is a silly, forgettable addition to the Predator series. What it lacks in substance, it makes up for using the kind of outlandish gore and crude, yet funny jokes seen in movies like Deadpool. The Predator doesn’t attempt to shift the status quo or distance itself from its series predecessors. Instead, it embraces its cult following and gives you what you’ve come to expect— a banal monster movie you can enjoy while snacking on overpriced popcorn.
Directed by Shane Black (The Nice Guys, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), The Predator relies heavily on its crew of misfit veterans including Quinn (Boyd Holbrook), Nebraska (Trevante Rhodes), Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key), Baxley (Thomas Jane), Lynch (Alfie Allen), and Nettles (Augusto Aguilera). Other key players include biologist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn), Quinn’s son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) and resident bad guy Traeger (Sterling K. Brown). When a Predator crashes on earth, Quinn, Casey and the other former soldiers fight to keep Rory, Quinn’s highly intelligent son, safe from being kidnapped by the Predator while also evading Traeger and his government lackeys.
The plot is the least interesting thing about the movie. However, a close second is the movie’s lead character, Quinn. I’m tired of watching another generic-looking male caucasian with mediocre talent save the world from extinction, particularly when there are probable sequels in the future. Quinn has some of the cheesiest lines in the entire movie, and Holbrook’s inept delivery of these lines made me squirm in my seat.
I was also unimpressed with how few women there are in this testosterone-fueled movie. I find this even more alarming given the recent controversy surrounding Olivia Munn’s outspokenness about Shane Black casting a known convicted sex offender in the movie and later feeling ostracized by her mostly male cast for being so outspoken. Admittedly, I read about the controversy a day or so before seeing The Predator so my feelings toward the movie are largely influenced by the controversy.
That said, even though the movie is flawed in multiple ways, I still enjoyed it. There are a few laugh out loud moments, specifically when the veterans are either bantering back and forth amongst themselves or with Casey. The jokes are clever, quick and packed with sarcasm and the cast delivers these zingers perfectly. The gore—and there is lots of it— is also a source of comedic relief. The deaths in this movie are both graphic and ridiculous, but I loved every minute of it.
If you’re a fan of the original, or just looking to turn off your brain for a couple of hours while sitting in a dark theater, go see The Predator this weekend.