Shane Black’s The Predator is a mixed bag of great and bad. When it’s running on all cylinders the film delivers some great action set pieces. However when its bad it showcases some wonky story plots and an even weirder ending.
You can’t blame Black for trying something new with the franchise. This film is a much better version of 2010’s Predators but that’s not saying it revolutionizes it. Boyd Holbrook is serviceable as the stand in Arnold Schwarzenegger but it’s the team of group 2 namely Nebraska (Trevante Rhodes) Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key) Baxley (Thomas Jane) Lynch (Alfie Allen) and Nettles (Augusto Aguilera) who not only have some hilarious banter but easily steal the whole film.
The action and gore does not hold back. The film really pushes the R rating as the Predator uses brutal and inventive tactics we’ve never seen it use it previous films.
The low lights of the film is Sterling K. Brown’s villainous government agent Traeger who is pretty much just there to chew scenery with laughably bad lines. Olivia Munn doesn’t fare that much better. I don’t know what it is with Munn but she just isn’t convincing as a scientist, action star, or actress. I mean she looks like a movie star but something always seems off with every role she is in. Another low point is the addition of the kid factor. It tetters on Freeform territory. Young actor, Jacob Tremblay, does a good job as a child prodigy suffering from autism, but his scenes bring back bad memories of Alien Vs Predator Requiem. The idea of Predators experimenting to create a predator hybrid is interesting but never fully realized in the end.
The biggest missed opportunity of the film comes in its closing moments. When it’s discovered the fugitive predator left behind a ”predator killer” a capsule opens to reveal a piece of weaponry that resembles an Iron Man/Predator suit mashup. A monumental missed opportunity to reintroduce the Xenomorph and set up Alien vs Predator… But done right.
With that said, HipsterZOMBIEJoint gives The Predator a 6.5 out of 10.