‘The Predator’ IS Absurd, Goofy & Fun 80’s Cheese (Movie Review)

The Predator Movie ReviewThe Predator is a sequel that feels like it was a long time coming.  Like Alien it’s such a lucrative franchise and almost a guaranteed success for Fox, but regardless all we really have is four of them now to enjoy.  And yes, this is the fourth installment in the film franchise, which succeeds Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990) and Predators (2010).  Notice I did not say anything about the two Alien vs. Predator films, and rightfully so.  They were for the most part awful.  The first one was rated PG-13 and the second was so bad that I’d like to forget much like they do with the bad entries in the X-Men series.  Time travel solves everything!  Speaking of time travel how do these various Predators (at least from the two first entries) get here?  Hold that thought as I utilize it to segue into my next talking point.

Believe it or not there’s actually a book that serves as a prequel to this film.  Gerard Iribe, a longtime reviewer on the site, forced me to read it and like Mikey in the Life commercials I liked it!  It actually made me excited to watch The Predator, which beforehand I wasn’t really feeling despite being a longtime fan of the series.  It also addresses the question I posed up above.  The Predator: Hunters And Hunted Official Movie Prequel, which is available for purchase here, dives into the mythology of the first two Predator films and does two things right.  First, it puts us in the drivers seat of what it’s like being the Predator from his point of view.  And second, it answers questions for me such as how many times throughout written history had these aliens visited Earth and even reveals what their race is called.  Now these revelations may have appeared in books and comics prior, but for me it was brand new information to collect.

The Predator Movie Review

I guess you could say that our feature film here, The Predator, is a reunion of sorts.  It’s not only directed by legendary Hollywood screenwriter Shane Black, but also written by him too (with help from Fred Dekker).  Now if that name doesn’t sound familiar to you, then I can’t help you.  However, if you’re a Predator fan, it should!  He had a supporting role in the first Predator movie within Schwarzenegger’s troop.  He’s reunited here with producer John Davis (not the Korn lead singer) who returns here as producer from the first three installments.  Furthermore, The Predator stars Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen and Sterling K. Brown, and follows a team of mercenaries who must protect a small town from an invading group of Predators.  And yes!  I said Predators, which means more than one!  That ladies and gentlemen is not a spoiler.

Instead of focussing on Olivia Munn calling out Shane Black’s sex offender friend or the report that the entire third act was supposedly reshot over the summer due to poor test screenings let’s dive into the meat and potatoes of what we have here.  I won’t spoil anything, but it’s a real sci-fi treat the way this adventures kicks off in the opening sequence.  Shane wastes no time at all dropping you into the middle of things here, which is much appreciated.  After all, we all know what a Predator is and what they do.  If you don’t, then Brandon Peter’s Blu-ray review of them all is mandatory reading homework and purchase for you here.

The Predator Movie Review

After our protagonist is identified and somewhat fleshed out we return to a smaller scale where let’s just say Predator artifacts are accidentally turned on and triggers a signal to another Predator in outer space who just so happens to be looking for the first Predator seen in this film.  Too much?  Well, wait!  This other Predator in outer space just so happens to be both stronger and deadlier than ever.  I’ll leave the how and why that is out of this review and leave you with this instead.  He let’s the dogs out!  That’s right, baby!  We have Predator dogs!  There’s not a big enough font to express how cute they really are!

Now I already mentioned the protagonist was identified, but I didn’t talk about the ragtag crew of soldiers Shane assembles to combat this alien invasion.  This is the fun and games of the story as not since the first Predator in 1987 have we had this kind of misfit comradeship.  I use that word in the loosest sense too as these guys are all whack jobs, albeit in the most lovable and adoring sense of the matter.  Shane wastes no time in both introducing them and making each as vastly different from the next as possible, and low and behold you just can’t help to laugh along with them.  That’s both the fun and goofiness I speak of in the title of my review up above.

Equally as absurd, fun and goofy is the inclusion of Olivia Munn’s biologist character throughout.  This is the most I have ever been exposed to Munn in a film and I had a blast with her character.  She’s not only easy on the eyes at all times, but quite funny and raunchy too.  However, audiences should beware.  There is nothing accurate about this film whatsoever.  Despite the absurdity of everything happening onscreen it’s all about having a good, cheesy time just like we all did in the 80’s with hotblooded, hard-R action adventures.  In other words it’s like the good old days of action movies with F-bombs dropping almost every sentence and sometimes twice within a sentence.  Love and embrace it!  With that being said though I can completely get how others may call this a conglomerate, hot mess at the same time.  You gotta take the good with the bad and for me there’s so much fun to be had that the good completely outweighs the bad.

The Predator Movie Review

So there you have it folks.  There’s really no reason that The Predator exists, but to milk and invigorate the franchise and God willing have a good time with it.  Dialogue is cheesy, atrocious and forced at times, but the fun factor outshines everything else.  And then there’s the kill scenes.  Rest assured there’s plenty of them and they’re a bloody good time.  You can’t achieve this with a PG-13 rating.  I’m sorry, but a fact is a fact there.  The body count is what “counts” in this one.  It would have been funny to see a counter like they employ in the legendary horror spoof Student Bodies every time someone dies.  I’m just saying that would be cool!  Those are my sentiments and I’m sticking to them.

If I had just one complaint with The Predator, it would be this.  I expected some wild twists and turns from Shane Black, but this one’s pretty tame and straightforward.  There was only one moment where I was like oh that was a cool twist, but it’s nothing akin to the stunt he pulled in Iron Man 3.  The film’s final ending is where I would have went in a different direction, but it is what is.  That’s why Shane gets paid the millions and I don’t.   I ultimately feel the product itself is greater as whole than where the ending left us.  I’m not sure where they go from here, but I sure hope there’s more to come!

The Predator Movie



Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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