Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Predator - Movie Review

The Movie: The Predator

The Director: Shane Black

The Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Sterling K. Brown,  Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey, Yvonne Strahovski, Brian Prince

The Story: Predators are back and they're bigger than ever!

The Review:
Shane Black has a pretty solid track record as a director having been responsible for Iron Man 3 which is one of the top grossing movies of all time and, most recently The Nice Guys, which was a hilariously clever movie. While he normally has a knack for blending comedy with action, he falls well short of the mark with this continuation of the classic franchise. Don't get me wrong, the Predator series hasn't been the finest examples of cinematic greatness over the years, but the first installment is one of the iconic action movies of the 80's so there is a bit of a pedigree to uphold.

The action is pretty solid with lots of guns, lasers, blades, grenades, and other various forms of destruction and most of the predator's victims are killed off in gruesomely satisfying ways. Spines are ripped out of bodies, heads are decapitated, impalements send body parts flying in various directions, and there's more blood splattering round than I thought we might see so that was actually pretty cool. There are also several callbacks to the original movie including blatant repeats of dialog along with more subtle references although there was no hiding the fact that the creative team wanted this to be as closely attached to the first movie as possible.

Where this movie falls well short of the mark is in its efforts to add way too much comedy into what should be a more straight laced action movie. A lot of it feels out of place and unnecessary and other moments just feel silly and awkward. I get what Black was going for as it worked perfectly in The Nice Guys but that film was tailor made for the particular blend of comedy and action and the actors were much better suited to take that on. While Boyd Holbrook has proven to be a solid actor in smaller roles, I'm not sure he's ready to lead the charge in a movie like this. Olivia Munn also gave a valiant effort but she looks so uncomfortable through the whole movie I feel like she really didn't want to be there.

The Verdict:
The Predator is a mid sized action spectacle that doesn't quite hit the mark. The action is great but the story is lacking in a lot of different ways and the comedy often feels out of place. I would say, if you are a fan of the franchise, there's a lot to like, just know what you are getting into. Otherwise I would say just wait to watch it at home, there's nothing about the movie that demands viewing on a big theater screen.

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