The Predator (2018)

Cinemaster Score: 3.5/10

Overall Review

The Predator is a dangerous mix to say the least. A script full of cliché and contradictory moments. A talented director turning an action franchise into an uninspired mess. Poorly acted characters that are static and unrealistic. A badly paced, conceived and bloated plot. And the inability to entertain a single target audience who watches this film. Everything that is good about this movie (of which there is very, very little), is severely undermined by all the negative aspects (of which there is a lot of). If you want a quality movie – or at least an entertaining one – stay away from The Predator.

The Breakdown

Acting; The Predator’s actors do little to make their characters feel relatable – often drifting their characters into the cliché territory. They try to give their characters quirks in the movie to make them seem funny or unique but it ends up feeling very forced and unrealistic. The main character for instance, Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), is the typical badass stereotype and struggles to show any genuine emotion in every scene he’s in. This is a problem for most of the actors, as they seem like they’re phoning it in for the majority of their scenes. When compared to the original cast, the actors are a major step down.

Script; The script for The Predator is terrible. Nothing about it really works – especially when it proves how hard it’s trying to be the original film by using one if its most iconic lines, and missing the mark by a long shot. But the biggest problem with this film’s script is how contradicting it is. There are so many occasions in which the things said go against what has previously been said or shown. While some of the lines are funny, most of them were shown in the trailers – giving the movie itself next to nothing to work off of with the audience. All-in-all the script is just as one-dimensional and unoriginal as its characters.

Characters; Characters in The Predator are just about as bad as they could have been. One of the most important pieces of making a movie is to have characters that the audience can feel connected to. Not one character in The Predator really has this trait though, and it keeps the majority of audiences from fully caring about the film. The characters feel completely hollow and have no growth throughout the entire film. They are laughably vulgar to help entertain the crowd but in the end the characters are static and expendable.

Direction; Shane Black (Director) was originally cast in the original Predator (1987) movie and is a distinguished director known for his excellent writing skills and unique style of direction. That’s why it’s such a surprise that this movie was as forgettable and ponderous as it was. It seemed like he just told the actors to improvise every scene they were in – and if they weren’t doing that, they were stealing lines from past Predator movies. Black doesn’t provide any interesting direction for the film as he opts for much more cliché character interactions and doesn’t make any interesting changes to the franchise formula. As always, Black uses some form of dark humor to make his characters feel unique. But, his style is getting old and doesn’t fit in this film series. Black took less chances with his directing and went with the safe route, never taking the opportunity to reinvigorate a dying franchise.

Story; Convoluted is the one word I would use to describe the story in this movie. It tries so hard to balance between so many different plots that, by the time it’s over, nothing has time to fully flesh out. Between the relationship with the main character and his family, to the conflict between the military and the Predator, to the group of men that band together to fight it, to the son that has a form of mental disability, to the inclusion of a second Predator. The story tries to tell so many different stories that it loses its core plot in the process. If more time was taken to fully explore the story instead of pointless throw-away subplots, it would have been a great help to this film.

Enjoyment; The Predator is enjoyable if you are one of two things: not a fan of the Predator franchise and movie plots making sense, or if you don’t watch it. This film is painful to watch. There is nothing heartfelt to care about in The Predator. There is no good nostalgia to put a smile on the faces of longtime fans either. Sure, The Predator can be entertaining to watch but after watching it, when you think back, it’s likely you’ll realize it did nothing more than entertain. The Predator can take up a solid 2 hours of your life and you probably won’t be bored during that time. But, it won’t be especially enjoyable and if you are a fan of the franchise then it’ll probably be an eyesore humdrum of an experience. It’s good for a CGI blood-fest filled with vulgar humor if that’s all you’re looking for in a movie but other than that, The Predator offers very little to viewers.

Personal Review

David: “Having not watched this film on release, I had a neutral set of expectations from a plethora of people. That being said, The Predator was an extreme dissappointment. The concept of the franchise is great and it takes up a genre of its own between action and thriller but this movie proves the point that some franchises should just live and let die.”

 JP: “I expected so much more from this movie. It had a director I liked, it had Boyd Holbrook who impressed me in Logan (2017), and it was supposedly going to be a new take on the Predator.  I was not expecting it to be the total mess it was, and I am fearful for the future of the franchise”

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