April 16, 2024

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Watson Reviews: The Predator (Spoiler Free)

The first film, an Ah-nuld classic, was released in 1987. There were two sequels (1990 and 2010) in addition to a pair of films battling the monsters from the Alien series.

As the Alien series seems to have petered out, I had series concerns about the durability of the Predator series. How would this one do?

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

When a special forces team’s mission in Mexico is interrupted by an alien attack, an Army sniper Quinn McKenna is brought into a world of military conspiracy.

To bury the story, Quinn is sent to a mental health facility on a bus with several other soldiers.

While on the bus, the alien attacks intensify, Quinn and his new friends must pair with a badass scientist to beat the invasion and save his son.

WHAT WORKED:

  • Halloween meets Predator. I like the scenario where the Predator comes to the small town at Halloween as an evil menace. There are times where you could practically hear Michael Meyers’ theme music.
  • It was a good crew of grunts. Boyd Holbrook (Logan) was a passable lead and the rest of the crew were solid, but it was Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight) that really grabbed my attention. He had great onscreen presence.
  • More about the Predators. I enjoyed getting a little peak behind the veil of Predator society. They have long been this vague and menacing threat. Here we see a little about their politics and civil action.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK:

  • The Ghost of Christmas (Jones) Past. I like Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse) and enjoyed her in this at times, but did not buy her as a top scientist who happens to be able to use machine guns as well as trained soldiers. It harkened back to Denise Richards’ Christmas Jones in the James Bond stinker The World Is Not Enough.
  • The director likes young boys? Why is there always a precious kid in the films of Shane Black (Iron Man 3). This reminded me of Tony Stark’s sidekick. At least Black had this one set at Halloween instead of Christmas…
  • Don’t work in the series messaging. It falls flat when the film tries to work in serious message about global warming and mental health. It’s a dumb movie, so don’t get out of your swim lane. The treatment of mental health was actually a little insulting and insensitive.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I liked the film and enjoyed the cast’s chemistry. The action and production values were solid.

The bar may be low, but this was the best Predator film since the first one.

Overall, I give The Predator a score of 8 “Choppas!” out of 10.