FILM REVIEW: THE PREDATOR
BY RALPH LINARDIC
Director Shane Black has crafted two of my favorite films in recent memory. From 2016’s underrated The Nice Guys, to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Black is a fantastic director that I trust in handling the Predator franchise. It wouldn’t be his first take on a franchise, giving a refreshing take on Marvel’s Iron Man 3, so it would be interesting to see if he could do his own take here as well.
This new entry in the franchise stars Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn and Jacob Tremblay. The plot? Simple enough, The Predator(s) come to Earth and wreck’s havoc. Nothing we haven’t seen it before, so there’s no need to go into further detail. However just because the audience is familiar with the concepts does not mean that the story should lack. From what I can see, Shane Black wrote this story in about five minutes. In fact, he never finished the screenplay. He just outlined story points and figured out where all his one liner’s fit. The movie has such an incompetent story that it forgets to bring back plot points mentioned in the first act. Forget having structure, let alone a pleasing ending.
Predator’s weak story is topped by its horrendous tone. Is the movie a comedy, an action movie or a drama? That is still a mystery to me as all three tones were consistently present during the entire run-time. Shane Black is known for his comedy, but he didn’t know how to handle the imaginary It’s completely TV remote style of filming; every two minutes he changed the channel from action-comedy to serious war drama. You can’t just mesh three tones in and expect it to land. You must get the audience invested in the characters and then sprinkle in the other tones for it to work.
The Predator is one of the worst film’s I’ve seen this year, but it had one quality that I didn’t hate. Despite the jokes being placed awfully in the film, Shane Black’s comedy had potential in this film. If every joke wasn’t poorly placed and spammed at us, it could’ve given other elements of the film a pass. However, every time there was a joke, it felt jarring. It’s the equivalent of spending every second of the day with a loved one. You love them but spending all day with anyone will be irritating.
Honestly, the negatives don’t just stop at the story and misplaced tones, the special effects were underwhelming. This might be a nit-pick, but big-budget-franchise sequel’s have all the time in the world to make film’s look visually appealing. This doesn’t affect the film’s quality, but it certainly affect’s the customer’s experience. For the audience viewer who just wants a standard popcorn flick, this will be a letdown for them.
The Predator is an irritating experience. Sure, some of the jokes land, but it’s an incompetent mess. Going into a Predator movie, I want Mad Max: Fury Road, not 21 Jump Street While Moonlighting into Jurassic World. If you want to see a film this weekend, check out A Simple Favor per CineSportsTalk’s Kyle Arango.