Movie Review: The Predator
Its been quite some time since the Predators franchise has been on the big screen and Shane Black brings it back with The Predator, now playing in theaters.
From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home. The universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biologist can prevent the end of the human race.
While the plot is pretty simple, The Predator does introduce a few new elements to the Predator universe, like the Predator dogs which are somehow kind of adorable. One of the great things about this film is that it doesn’t overuse boring explosives during its runtime. When the movie begins, we see the Predator, soon after that, we meet the hero. And thankfully there are no shots that drag out way too long or “fancy” slo-mo shots in the middle of all the action. These moments are suspenseful, as the heroes are constantly in dire situations and their reactions are natural, making things that much more believable.
This new film is more of a comedy than a thriller, but what else do expect from a Shane Black film (Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys). Black makes the film his own by adding a little bit of humor in each scene, and you know what – it works. He manages to keep a solid blend of laughs and action.
What helps with this is due to the films stellar cast. The heroes (or the “Loonies” as they like to be called) follows Boyd Holbrook (Logan) and other big names like Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse) and Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones). Thomas Jane (1922) dominates his role as a disgruntled soldier who suffers from Tourettes, and is probably one of the funniest characters in the film, mainly due to his exceptional chemistry with Key.
But, its really 11-year-old Jacob Tremblay who steals the film, and his character fits in perfectly. He uses his gifts of being on the spectrum as a way of helping in the fight against the Predator, and it’s just as cool as it sounds.
As far as bad guys go, Sterling K. Brown (This is Us) plays a shady government agent who has predictable motives. What makes his character interesting, however, is that his motives are more logical than your usual villain. He is very smart when it comes to his decision making, avoiding those typical traps villains set for the heroes.
One of my favorite moments occurs in the opening when you see blood dripping on the Predator’s invisible body and the blood unveils what the creature looks like underneath its mask. The Predator’s really scary, but just how that particular scene was filmed gives off a chilling visual. The film’s CGI effects were rather exceptional. The opening scene shows why the Predator’s ship crash lands on Earth, and the shots are beautiful. And the way Black maintained the Predator’s effects, suit and face make them look all the more threatening.
The Predator is a great entry in the film’s franchise and is able to hold its own as a stellar action/thriller with a sprinkle of humor making it worth a trip to the movies.