The Predator follows in the footsteps of the Predator franchise, as another hunter alien arrives on Earth, but with surprising motives. When yet another larger Predator lands, a rag-tag team of dishonorably discharged soldiers must find a way to stop its pursuit to end the lives within its vicinity.
The Predator Review
I have a deep love for all things Predator and Alien. They are two of my favorite franchises and I tend to back them to a fault. I defend even the most panned of the respective franchises. I love Alien 3. I think Alien Resurrection, Prometheus, and Alien: Covenant have entertainment merit despite their significant flaws. I think Predator 2 is a great sequel to the original. I think that while AVP should have been R, the finished product was better than I was expecting. Yes, I hate the Predator teaming up with the human too, but I think the xenomorph and predator fights were very well done. Even Predators with the awkward Adrien Brody action hero has plenty to love.
To this point, the low bar was set by the hot garbage that was AVP: Requiem. And even that one, I must admit, I own and have seen more than once. So when I see The Predator getting terrible reviews, I figure it can't possibly be worse than that, and I can still find ways to enjoy that...
But I was wrong. There's a way to do worse than Requiem. And that's truly surprising considering my love for director Shane Black. I was okay with a take on Predator that may inevitably satirize the franchise if it had Black's cleverness and wit. But somewhere along the way, this film became a dumpster fire of poor execution from script to effects. No appreciation for Keegan Michael Key, Thomas Jane, or Boyd Holbrook could save a plot with major holes and scene-to-scene fragmentation that has a complete lack of explanation or sense.
I have to mention that a particular concept in the plot was very interesting to me, but it's poorly executed, and I'm going to spoil it here. While the idea that an alien race would hunt other planet's apex species for sport stands on its own, I loved the idea of tweaking the motive of the aliens just slightly to give more substance to it. By hunting the apex species to then hybridize with the best of the best into the predator's own genes is a very interesting concept. But the concept is brutalized by Independence Day-level extinction unnecessarily and awful visual execution. The visual execution is even more depressing when you see the promise of some of the concept art.
I'm blown away this movie made it to release. The studio must have been praying that the franchise held enough value in name to fill seats enough to match the cost of production.
I'm devastated by this review because all the people out there that say, "do we need another predator and/or alien movie?" My answer is always emphatically yes! They are franchises that have potential for all sorts of scenarios, it just takes not overthinking it, I guess...or underthinking it...it requires just the right amount of thinking! But films like this make it harder and harder for the franchises to find another stride.
I am solemnly hopeful that Neill Blomkamp's Alien 5 could be made, but Black's flop in the Predator franchise only hurts those already impossible odds even more.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 5/10
Film Quality: 2/10