Photo courtesy of Wired
Story by Isaac Arthur / Contributing Writer
While “The Predator” does stay true to its sci-fi/action roots, its story is jumbled and its characters are dull.
Director Shane Black has many impressive films under his belt. In the past, he has written action classics like “Lethal Weapon,” directed “Iron Man 3” and he even had a supporting role in the original “Predator” film, just to name a few of his accomplishments. Despite his impressive history, “The Predator” falls flat when compared to his previous works and to the franchise as a whole.
The story of “The Predator” is a complete mess. From the beginning, you are questioning what is going on. The question of what is going on is treated in pieces throughout the movie but never fully answered. Each scene seems to take on a life of its own and not necessarily in a good way. Each scene feels only slightly connected to the last, and this leads to a lot of inconsistencies and plot holes within the story. The plot is also fast-paced, and the scenes in the film often feel rushed with no real chemistry felt between characters or even a real sense of setting.
The setting/settings of this movie are never directly clarified. In one scene, the setting is in the backwoods of what seems like a rural area where a Predator ship has crashed. The next, it is set in a small town on Halloween night. Next, a laboratory where scientists are researching alien technology. On top of questioning what is going on, you also question where the film is taking place at almost every moment.
With bad writing and editing, the characters in the film are almost hilariously unbelievable. They are not the kind of characters you want to see in an action film. While the main character, Quinn McKenna, played by Boyd Holbrook, tries his best to be the action hero this film needs, he is let down by the others within the film. However, it seems as though every other character is a sort of comic relief. The characters around him are too funny to be taken seriously, and this makes Holbrook’s character a sort of bad comic relief himself. “The Predator” series is no stranger to humor, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous one-liners from the first film, but the best jokes and one-liners are given to the other characters within the film. It is difficult to take any action film seriously when the characters are only humorous and lack a great backstory.
While the film is a wreck, there are many enjoyable moments in ‘The Predator.’ The action is on point. The famous extraterrestrial hunters are more dangerous than they were in previous installments, as they have upgraded their species to be perfect killers. While the humor in the movie is excessive, there are many times where you find yourself laughing with it. Some of the jokes are great and perfectly timed. However, sometimes you also catch yourself unintentionally laughing at “The Predator” because of its ridiculous amount of flaws. However, these moments are not enough to save the film from it being labeled as “bad.”
It is a new take on the franchise. While newer fans of the franchise may enjoy it, older fans of the franchise will feel slapped in the face. It is quite possible that “The Predator” has activated the self-destruct device for the franchise itself.
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