Critiquing Film, Television, and More

Shane Black’s The Predator is a Disorganized Cluster of a Reboot

This viewing has reassured my decision last night to go see Mandy instead of The Predator. Should’ve bought Mandy on Prime and rewatched it in the comforts of my humble abode tonight. Should’ve done that. By the way, buy Mandy on Prime if you haven’t already! Gracias! 

I’ve got plenty to spill, so I’m going to start off with the positives—that graciously saved this movie from being truly unwatchable—before I ramble on. 

The Predator withholds charming anthropomorphic (human-like) character chemistry throughout a peaking bulk of its runtime. This comes into huge play in terms of my degree of recreation for this flick. Particularly in the second act—which is arguably the most pleasant allocation of this entire entry—there’s a sequence that takes place in a Hotel Room that had me nonstop laughing. During this moment, you could sense a radiance of connection and fraternity from this group of wacky soldiers + Olivia Munn. It was delightful. When the comedy does work, it works sublimely. This goes to show that most of the casting was on point with Black’s initial themes, chiefly from some stand-outs like Jacob Tremblay and Trevante Rhodes—actors who are way too high of talented calibers to be working on a project like this. Also, The OG Predator—the one that wasn’t one of those CGI critters (we’ll get more into this later on)—looks imposingly practical and has some genuinely grotesque encounters.

Now, here comes the rambling…

You can see what Shane Black was trying to accomplish when watching this. I’m about 99.9% sure creative differences with the studio and control disputes got in the way of Black’s vision being spellbound into possible triumph. This is a factor that has unfortunately, leveled The Predator to be a vastly incoherent mess of a film. This is a Frankenstein of a movie, coinciding way too many story elements (good or bad) and transfixing them into way too enclosed of a time span. This is a lazy, lazy movie that is all over the place in terms of its storyline and minor complexes. It’s a spill of sore, unwarranted ideas that have no rightful reason to be promulgated, especially in an already dying franchise like this. The end product appears incomplete, and that’s absolutely unacceptable. It’s melancholy to see this occurring so often and so recently within Hollywood businesses. 

The first seven minutes actually were buoyant, I was on board, there was hope, an essence of optimism. But after that time-mark, the whole compound derails and becomes what it will be known for years to come. 

Remember when I said that the comedy was solid when it worked? Well, the 70% of moments when it didn’t fixate for me, mainly occurred around the first act after those few hospitable minutes. The inserts of MCU styled quips just don’t mesh with the presented story elements being expressed from sequence to sequence. This can especially be nauseating when the story is jumping from A to B so rapid-fire-like. I’d assume that you’re mindset isn’t wishing for light-hardiness, but rather, for an explanation, commentary, and justification. 

The editing and camera work in The Predator is purely jarring. So much feels cut out and misplaced making it indeed difficult to keep track of what is occurring. 

And that third act. That third act got out of control. It got full on “f*** the audience and fans, let’s just do whatever the hell comes to mind first” out of control. Some of the laziest storytelling in a climax/finale I’ve seen all, freaking, year.

I couldn’t dig the new Alpha Predator or those Predator dogs. Not necessarily cause they were composed of CGI elements, it’s just that their presence felt uncanny, and their reason for existence was not excusable enough for their appearance in this particular film. Well, their reason was there, it was present, but just, in my humble opinion, immensely shortsighted. I have no idea what the writers were thinking when developing a good chunk of these plot-pieces. 

There’s additionally, no potency to this movie, nearly, at all. Come on, this a damn Predator flick! At least have some intense, white-knuckled schemes! I know it’s trying to go full comedy-mode on us, but at least have some recognition and respect for the predecessors’ trademarks!

And also *screw* the last 5 minutes of The Predator that are plainly dedicated to setting up a sequel. Most likely, we ain’t gettin’ it—at the mere least, a sequel that doesn’t follow what this film set out to set up—thanks to the Box Office Stats (so far). Hopefully… 

All in all, it can be said that I much rather would’ve preferred if Shane Black worked on crafting a Nice Guys 2. I’ll even take a Lethal Weapon 5 since I’m so unapologetically desperate at this point. So yeah, The Predator is by far the worst Predator movie in the franchise—not including those AVP films. Go figure. (Verdict: D+)

“You’re one beautiful motherf***er.” 

“Get into the chopper(s).”

“If your mom’s ****** were a video game, it’d be rated E for…” Wait. That wasn’t an uninspired and toneally lazy callback to the original?

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