I’m not going to sugar-coat it. ‘The Predator’ is awful and I’ll tell you why. ‘The Predator’ is both sequel and reboot continuing the series which started with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987. The film doesn’t write over the past, referring to the previous film as past incidents in the storyline, advising that the visits of the Predators have become more and more frequent since.
In the film, we meet Quinn MacKenna played by Boyd Holbrook who is an army range sniper that crosses paths with a Predator within the first few minutes of the film. MacKenna steals weapons from the alien, ships these items to his family and then goes to debriefing. To cover-up and put a lid on the alien situation, MacKenna is handcuffed and dumped on a bus with other government captives. At the same time, Dr Casey Brackett played by Olivia Munn is an evolutionary biologist and is invited to help research the species on a heavily sedated Predator the government have captured. Naturally, chaos ensues when the Predator escapes, but so does MacKenna and his fellow bus loonies. It is only when MacKenna realises his actions have put his autistic son in danger does the film attempt to get interesting.
I found the pacing inconsistent and was very bored and frustrated during most parts of the film. The humour is unnecessary and overly goofy to the point where the film no longer feels like an official addition to the franchise, but a parody of the series instead. This was especially the case when the film attempted to make little nods to its predecessors with silly lines which felt more like cringe-worthy puns. ‘The Predator’ felt like one big stain and insult on an otherwise beloved cult sci-fi film franchise. While the costuming of the alien itself is impressive, the film loses its magic when the story introduces a much bigger CGI alien that towers over the original we’ve all grown to know and love. It is even more ridiculous that this newer, larger creature is considered the ‘upgraded’ version, yet is taken down so easily. I’d also like to note that despite this fact, there are very few action sequences. The ones we do see are violent, gory and gruesome, but the film overall spends more time with characters bickering than fighting for their lives. I wanted to see more action, more explosions, not stupid time-wasting bickering. Nobody goes to a sci-fi film with a desire to see characters bickering.
What I loved about the original 1987 film is the suspense, the chemistry between the hunter and hunted, and the character development as the story progresses. We get none of this in the 2018 instalment. I didn’t care for any of the characters, I didn’t even remember any of the character’s names half the time. I was not on the edge of my seat and nothing in this film excited me. Apart from liking Jacob Tremblay’s performance of autistic child, Rory MacKenna, who is a very impressive young actor, everything else in this film was terrible. Would I recommend seeing this film? Absolutely not. While I don’t regret seeing it, thinking about how the film ends really makes me ANGRY. Honestly though, if you’re that curious, just wait for it to come out on DVD. It’s not worth seeing on the big screen.