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A Short Review of 'The Predator'

A Review

First we had Predator (1987, John McTiernan). A cheesy, fun, action filled Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi film loved by many, including myself. Then we had Predator 2 (1990, Stephen Hopkins), which consisted of Gary Busey going mental, Bill Paxton being a douche bag, Danny Glover calling the alien hunter a, quote, 'Pussyface,' and a raunchy sex scene disrupted by some typical violence associated with the Predators usual M.O. (Yes, that is literally all I remember from Predator 2).  Then we had the rather underrated crossover, Alien vs Predator (2004, Paul W. S. Anderson). Not a great film but still quite a decent and an engaging one.

Then came its detestable sequel, Alien vs Predator: Requiem (2007, Greg Strause and Colin Strause). A truly atrocious film filled with bad dialogue, mediocre acting, poor storytelling, and stereotypical, bland, and completely undeveloped characters who cannot be sympathised with whatsoever. Luckily the Lighting Technician and Colourist were clearly blindfolded, as the majority of the film is so bloody dark, you cannot see the embarrassingly atrocious scenario happening on screen. Then we got Predators (2010, Nimród Antal). Which was boring. And confusing. That's all I have to say about it.

Now we have director Shane Black (who also played Hawkins in the original film), bringing us The Predator in 2018. So can this film save the Predators checkered past? Errrrr.....well they gave it their best shot. It's not a good film but its not disappointing either. As it's pretty much how I expected it to turn out. Its main problem, is the film is trying to be both a serious, action filled, military sci-fi, attempting to bring new material to the Predator lore and an over the top, cheesy, comedic, action filled sci-fi, like the original, both at the same time and it completely messed things up.

The, to be quite frank, unneeded jokes were an embarrassing, mismatched mix of dark, awkward and cheesy comedy. Which all just felt completely out of place and just randomly popped out of nowhere. Now I don't mind the fact they were adding jokes into a film like this, what I do mind is that they were poorly executed. Which is a shame because overall the film is very competent, the filmmakers have really done a good job on the production but unfortunately the tones and atmosphere are completely mismatched, making it a really unfulfilling experience.

The story overall felt to me to be very underwhelming. Now that's not to say that its particularly bad, I just think that it could have been done a lot better. Certain elements could and should have been done differently, like for example the big twist. Which is admittedly an interesting direction to take the Predator lore but it just seemed to me to not have a great impact on the story and conflicted with the Predator lore itself. In fact I think it conflicts with one or two of the films own plot details, in fact even details of the actual franchise.

The story ends in typical mainstream, blockbuster fashion with a bit of  sequel bait but considering how unfulfilling I found it and the reviews it's been getting and the general audience opinion, I find it unlikely to be moving onto a sequel any time soon. Or at least it means again we'll be waiting quite a few years before we get another Predator sequel but honestly, I don't think we need one. Honestly, want my advice. Stick to the original. It's got the action, the fun, the humour well balanced with the serious element, the delightful Arnold and still manages to be an intense sci-fi film, that can be easily enjoyed by all. The Predator, unfortunately has not decided what it wants to be. So because of that it really hasn't saved the Predator franchise. It was a good attempt and was definitely better than some of the other installments but it really isn't what it could have been.

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A Short Review of 'The Predator'
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