the predator | shane black | fred dekker | boyd holbrook | trevante rhodes | jacob tremblay | predator | alien | aliens | action | adventure | sci-fi | sci fi | thriller | keegan-michael key | olivia munn | sterling k. brown | thomas jane | alfie allen | sequel
Film: The Predator
Director: Shane Black
Writer: Fred Dekker and Shane Black
Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes and Jacob Tremblay
I was quite intrigued when I heard they were making this sequel. I am a big fan of the original film, but had soured a bit on some of the films in the series. The official synopsis is when a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’ return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.
We start off this film with a sniper, Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) lining up his shot. They are trying to rescue hostages from a cartel in Mexico. This is interrupted by a spaceship as it crashes. Quinn checks it out and is attacked by a Predator (Brian A. Prince). He defeats the creature and takes some of the gear to keep himself safe. He sends it to a PO Box he has back in the States.
Also back in the states is his family. He is estranged from his wife, Emily (Yvonne Strahovski). They also have a child together, Rory (Jacob Tremblay). We soon learn that he is on the spectrum with autism. I really liked this concept to the film, as a doctor in the film, Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn), points out there are beliefs that autism is actually the next evolutionary growth for humans. This could make sense, especially with how Rory understands things and his memory is uncanny. He is bullied though in school.
Casey is picked up by the government. This gets a little awkward due to the scene that was removed by Munn’s request. We never actually get introduced to her. She is a leading biologist who focuses on evolutionary changes. She is brought in to help with the study of the Predator. Leading the investigation on them is Treager (Sterling K. Brown). He seems to know quite a bit about these species.
In order to cover up, so none of the information about this gets out, Quinn is going to be locked away in a veterans psyche ward. He gets on a bus with Nebraska Williams (Trevante Rhodes), Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key), Baxley (Thomas Jane), Lynch (Alfie Allen) and Nettles (Augusto Aguilera). They are all good soldiers, but the effects of war have messed with them.
We end up learning that the first Predator we saw is being chased by another one, one that is much larger and dangerous. The question becomes, why? I do feel that the film actually is paced pretty well, but there are just some scenes missing. Much like Casey, we never get introduced to Emily. The characters end up with an RV and I’m not sure how. During the climax, some of the characters kind of disappear for stretches and it just doesn’t flow completely correct like it should. I do feel that the tension builds and we get a pretty satisfying payoff at the end, but it just still has some pacing issues.
This film actually has some really good acting performances. I thought Holbrook was fine as the male lead in the film. We get to know his character and he plays the part well. Rhodes I thought was solid in support of Holbrook. He actually was a fun character that I quite enjoyed. I’m still blown away by how good of an actor Tremblay is. It is just mind-blowing for how young he is. I picked up immediately from his performance that he was autistic and I like how his character develops. Munn I also thought was solid as the biologist. She kind of disappears a bit in the film, which I didn’t really like. Brown was also good as the villainous government agent. The rest of the cast round out the film very well for what they needed.
As for the effects of the film, for the most part I was on board. I liked the look of both of the Predators. One was clearly more CGI due to the size of it, but I didn’t mind that. I did have some problems with the CGI in this film though. Any time they needed to show blood, whether it was human or alien, it looked fake. I was disappointed at how bad this actually looked. The dog like aliens also didn’t look great. Other than that though, I thought the film looked good. I thought that was a strong portion of the film.
The last thing to touch on would be the soundtrack to the film. It doesn’t stick out to me, but for a film like this it didn’t need to. It fit the scenes and helped to build the tension during the battle or firefights. I didn’t have any issues with the film here.
Now with that said this film I came in expecting it to be fun and that’s what I got. It has its issues, which I do think holding it back to be better. The film though does have a good story. I would buy that this alien race would be doing what they are. I liked the concepts of evolution and how it can be connected to autism possible. This film does bring up an issue that is debated in politics, which I could have done without. I do think this film did have some pacing issues. Not in that it doesn’t build the necessary tension, because I think it succeed there, also having a satisfying payoff in the end. There are just some scenes missing throughout that make the film confusing. The acting though was really good as were some of the effects. Some of the CGI though doesn’t look good and it was quite noticeable. I would also say that the score of the film fit what they needed it to. Overall, if you like the series, I would give this one a viewing as it is fun. I do think this film is slightly above average.
My Rating: 7 out of 10