Let’s face it: after a great first movie, the Predator has not really been used well over the years.
But now, a new version from writer/director Shane Black hits screens. Can he break the Predator curse with The Predator?
After an opening involving alien Predators shooting at each other, we come to Earth where Army sniper Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) is on the job, assassinating people who need to die, when a Predator’s escape pod comes crashing down nearby. He manages to get some stuff from the inside before the sudden appearance of mystery government agent type Traeger (Sterling K Brown). Thanks in part to the sudden appearance of the Predators and McKenna’s own actions, things soon involve biologist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn), McKenna’s autistic son Rory (Jacob Tremblay), and a bus full of military men headed for a mental hospital, a group that includes Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key, Alfie Allen, and Trevante Rhodes as they battle the predator and Traeger by turns.
The Predator is in many ways a Shane Black movie (even if he set it around a different holiday this time). While it lacks the tension and scares of the original, and no one would ever mistake Holbrook for Arnold Schwarzenegger, it does have Black’s rather darkly humorous trademark dialogue and even with the rather numerous plots and characters at the start of the movie, it does eventually come together to something that makes some homages to the original film’s iconic lines, music, and moments. It’s probably not something that would hold up to too much thought, but I found myself entertained for the run of the movie. It moves too fast to notice the dumber moments in many cases. This one is pure brain candy. 8.5 out of 10 predator dogs.