The Predator is directed by Shane Black and if you didn’t know he actually played a character called Hawkins in the 1988 original. For that reason, I think a lot of people (including myself) were hopeful that this might not actually suck, unlike so many of the sequels and reboots that have come before. I mean not just that but Shane Black, on the whole, is a fairly respectable director, although of course his work on the third and final Iron Man film was met with mixed reviews to say the least.
Who knows perhaps in time there will be a small following for this too, people who will stand up and sing its praises, just know that I won’t be one of them. In the beginning, everything seemed like it might be alright, there were a few half decent laughs to be had, the pacing was good. But eventually, The Predator’s humour became more and more prominent until it started to feel like some kind of YouTube parody that just wouldn’t end. By the halfway point I had well and truly kissed goodbye to any hopes of this being a worthy addition to the franchise and instead began to accept the fact that it would just be going straight to the bargain bin at your local department store.
I find it so frustrating though, it shouldn’t be that difficult to make another Predator film when you already have so much to work with. Predator really is the stuff of nightmares, the creature art and the lure that goes with it is still just as good a concept as it was all the way back in the late 80’s. You’d think that for the most part you would be able to coast mostly off of that alone, but The Predator barely even seems to make any attempts at creating tension and dread. I can only really recall one sequence from the entire film that made me feel the slightest bit unnerved, the rest was just a firework display of CGI effects and characters so hollow and unaffected by what’s happening around them.
Obviously, I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but The Predator’s ending has got to be up there with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom as one of the stupidest endings I’ve seen this year. Why are studios so obsessed nowadays with taking concepts and pushing them to their very limits, just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should for goodness sake! The whole thought process of making everything bigger, more guns, more explosions… It’s honestly like a group of school children brainstorming with a set of crayons and yet the finished product would probably still end up being something a little more compelling.
As always I’ll advise you to check this out for yourself and make up your own mind if you’ve got some spare time on your hands. However, I wouldn’t worry about making a special effort to see The Predator while it’s still showing in cinemas. It’s certainly not the worst this franchise has ever seen, but it definitely could have been so much better, especially with someone such as Shane Black at the helm.