One of the greatest scifi franchises gets an explosive reinvention in Shane Black’s reboot/ sequel, “The Predator”. This time, the hunt comes home from the outer reaches of space to the backwoods of Southern Georgia, as the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before.
Only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor can prevent the end of the human race in the fourth installment of the hit film series, following the first “Predator” back in 1987. The film stars Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen with Sterling Brown, distributed by 20th Century Fox.
Just like all other scifi flicks that preceded it, we find here a group of strangers fighting together for one purpose- to save the world. It may sound dramatic and cliché, but this film doesn’t care at all. Because it knows what it is and fully embraces it- a straightforward scifi B-movie. And that’s when the fun starts.
Although the film forgets that the franchise it came from was a scifi horror flick and turns itself into a full-throttle action movie, the film will definitely please fans of the series and other audiences alike with its non-stop thrills that come fast and furious. Although be warned: this may not be for the fainthearted as it features gloriously excessive amount of blood and gore from all the stabbing, slashing and other forms of mutilations.
The best part of this reboot/ sequel is the human characters themselves. We have here a crew of wild characters from Boyd Holbrook as Quinn McKenna a.k.a “certified badass”; Trevante Rhodes as Nebraska, a.k.a “the muscle”; Keegan-Michael Key as Coyle, a.k.a “the mouth”; then we have Lynch, Nettles and Baxley, who are played by Alfie Allen, Augusto Aguilera and Thomas Jane.
This three are described as “crazy, crazier and craziest” which are all true. Then, we have a badass female heroine ala-Ellen Ripley in the form of Casey Bracket, a science teacher and biologist played by Olivia Munn. She is joined by Quinn’s son Rory (played by Jacob Tremblay ) who becomes a key player in the fight due to his unnatural ability to learn languages. These characters each have their own unique background and appeal, from the unbreakable bromance of Coyle and Baxley to the hilariously adorable Jesus freak Nettles. They’re a bunch of likable characters from the get-go, brought to life with the amazing chemistry among the cast.
Admittedly, it is not a perfect film as it suffers some plot holes mostly caused by editing. Like when Casey Bracket is introduced to audiences, she just sprouted out of nowhere and felt out of place. This is probably because of a scene that 20th Century Fox had removed from the final cut of the film during the last minute, as per the request of actress Olivia Munn (after she found out that the actor she shared the scene with was a registered sex offender, causing a big controversy in the US). That scene that got deleted was most likely her introduction to the story, but removing it affected the way her character entered the story. Despite that, there’s Shane Black’s trademark brand of comedy to compensate for this slip. His distinguished brand of pitch dark humor perfectly matched the film’s unapologetic violence. Plus, the script which he co-wrote with Fred Dekker is full of witty banter and hilarious one liners.
Shane Black’s “The Predator” is something that demands to be seen on the big screen with its visceral action, joyful thrills and blockbuster spectacle. It perfectly encapsulates the tone and spirit from the bygone era of the testosterone-fueled 1987 original, at the same time making it fun and wildly entertaining for the new generation.
5 – Excellent
4 – Very Good
3 – Good
2 – Tolerable
1 – Terrible
“The Predator” is Now Showing in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox.