How far have we drifted for the Predator franchise to stoop this low? With Shane Black behind the director’s chair, I had some hope that this might turn out to be ok. He’s directed some good movies and was even an actor in the original Predator. This is far from the original and disrespects it in so many ways. I really didn’t expect it to be one of my least favourite movies of 2018.
Following the events of Predator and Predator 2, humanity is still being hunted, but a secret government organisation called Project Stargazer is now wise to the predators. After capturing one of the predators, they’re shocked to discover it has human DNA. As well as being a hunted by a bigger, nastier predator.
The critics haven’t been very nice to this movie, with reviews ranging from average to bad. For starters, I at least wanted this movie to be fun, average but fun. It couldn’t even get that right. The story is extremely by the numbers, with everything happening just for the benefits of moving the plot along. I can’t talk much about it because of spoiler reasons, but all I’ll say is the story is incredibly dumb and not the fun kind. Characters make decisions that will hurt your brain, and the directing will make you feel even worse. There’s literally a character in the movie that we’re told is incredibly smart, that’s fine, but somehow he knows alien language and knows the predator’s password to access his ship. Whatever happened to just badass humans fighting badass aliens?
The characters are not at all interesting. Boyd Holbrook is lame, boring and doesn’t do much to warrant one of Earths mightiest warriors. As much as it surprised me, Adrian Brody was more badass than this guy. The only remotely interesting actors are Keegan Michael Key and Thomas Jane. Only because they’re the only two to get a little bit of backstory. Not a very interesting one but I’m trying to find a needle in a haystack here.
Well, how is the predator? You’re probably asking yourself and hugely disappointing is the answer. The cool predator is in the movie for about 30 minutes and sadly the ten-foot, CGI abomination is our predator for the majority of the film. Who thought making the predator CG was a good idea. One of the coolest things about all the Predator movies was the practical effects used to create the predators. The Predator throws all that out the window and replaces its amazing practical work with horrendous looking CGI. Did they not learn from their mistakes when they made the Xenomorphs CG?
The lighting is god awful and what makes it worse is that the gore is there but you can’t see any of it. There’s a few good scenes worth of gore but the vast majority of it is plagued by awful lighting and cinematography. What we see is cool but what we don’t see could have been even cooler.
Overall, The Predator is one of the worst movies of 2018. The action is bad, the lighting and cinematography are awful, the story is boring, characters are poorly written, and worst of all the predator himself sucks. Shane Black has delivered the worst entry to hit the Predator franchise. Sadly, I don’t want to see another Predator movie for a very, very long time.
Director: Shane Black
Runtime: 107 Minutes