Review: ‘Predator’ provides nonsensical and sluggish plot


Courtesy of IMDb

Shane Black, director of “The Predator” has also directed films like “Iron Man 3”, “Lethal Weapon”, and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”.

Grant Vogel, Staff Writer

“The Predator” proves that Hollywood will reboot any recognizable intellectual property instead of taking time to make an actual good movie.

The film is written and directed by Shane Black who has made great films before such as: “Iron Man 3,” “The Nice Guys,” “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “Lethal Weapon,” and also helped rewrite parts of the screenplay for the original “Predator” in 1987. Despite having an impressive track record as a filmmaker, Black’s newest feature feels more like a Michael Bay or Brett Ratner blockbuster than the well-thought-out action-adventure movie he usually makes.

The 2018 version, unlike the original (which takes time to develop the setting, the conflict, and the characters), just starts without introducing who most of the characters are and why we should care about them.

All of the characters in the film act like they are from “Die Hard,” just normal people experiencing explosive and extremely dangerous situations but still managing to extraordinarily emerge unscathed. Olivia Munn’s character is apparently a biologist (with no military training that the audience knows of), who for no reason whatsoever is motivated to go after the Predator even though he has killed about two dozen people. The audience never knows why she is jumping off of buildings and putting her scientist life in danger just to get a sample of the Predator’s blood, which the scientists already have.

The main character, Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) plays the role of the stereotypical soldier so bland and flatline that he might as well be in a “G.I. Joe” movie. His son is played by Jacob Tremblay (“Room,” “The Book of Henry”) who is developmentally challenged which, following the cliche of other movies (“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” “Rain Man”), makes him a computer genius who can even understand alien technology despite being just 10 years old.

The film also lacks consistency with Tremblay’s character. Earlier in the story, it is established he gets very bothered by loud noises. But later in the film, dogs are barking and guns are fired right next to him, and he seems to be completely fine. Thomas Jane’s character also has Tourette syndrome which, apparently to the filmmakers, means he must shout expletives uncontrollably as loud as he can.

There’s almost no reason to even try to describe the plot of the movie as it is completely nonsensical. Instead of developing an easy-to-follow story where an evil alien hunts soldiers in a jungle like the original, Shane Black goes over the rails with this sequel-reboot managing to include too many different plot points and senseless characters. Some scenes with the Predator are pretty fun to watch, but.

That being said, audiences should skip this sluggish mess of a motion picture and just go watch the original.  

Rating: F+