It’s like having fond memories of a friend, but don’t really want to spend anymore time with them for fear of their future opinions and values
Everything about Shane Black’s The Predator screams terrible, as another seemingly over extended franchise has a money injection pumped into its veins, bringing to life a very dead carcass of a film series. But this carcass, walking around with a completely undeserved spring in its step, is actually entertaining to watch, yet it still remains an admission that feels awful to say out loud.
Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) is a top level sniper, working for the American army busting drug cartels in the jungles of Mexico. However, Quinn’s cover is blown by the landing of a strange ship carrying a predatory alien species directly on his shooting position, making him fight for his life. Surviving the alien’s combat attempts, Quinn goes back home only to be deemed mentally unstable, with the army sending him to a camp to save himself from his apparent mental deficiencies.
Even the furore surrounding the film, between Director Shane Black and lead Olivia Munn, pushes The Predator into deeper water, giving the film a particularly unneeded flavour of distaste. Yet still, it works. Only on one level, but it does. There seems to be a complete understanding of what the film is, and an unabashed attitude towards promoting that, becoming terribly good at being a predator film in the process.
Lead Holbrook and Trevante Rhodes bubble like a chemistry set, and with them offering much of the film’s more entertaining moments, The Predator is carried through its calmer, less impactful sequences. The story keeps itself grounded and believable for long enough to pull off a sense of individuality and character.
None of it is incredible, with some of it ridiculous, but enough of it makes sense, at least in the eyes of an action film. Without want for something more mentally stimulating, The Predator does the job of a ‘brute force’ film with only half a brain. It’s like having fond memories of a friend, but don’t really want to spend anymore time with them for fear of their future opinions and values.
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