You had me at more of this dreadlocked, crab-mouthed, yellow-eyed, badass, ugly motherfucker!
Yeah, you know what you’re in for. One of the most iconic extraterrestrials in cinematic history is back! The Predator incorporates the best things from the 80s version, standing the test of time, and adds hard-mode upgrades. Shane Black delivers an action-packed, brutal and incredibly funny addition to the mythology of the Alien’s worst enemy.
My excitement for this movie already became obvious in our post about this year’s SDCC where it had its own panel. I won’t bore you with plot points because the conflict is simple: to be or not to be killed by a Predator. This time, Earth has stocked up in technology and, mainly, awareness of the alien species killing anything that moves for fun (yes, the name paradox has been pointed out in the movie). Their unwelcome visits are increasing in frequency, so an army unit of some random rogues and the biologist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) team up to shoo them off like a bunch of raccoons.
If only it were that easy. Get ready for an even more advanced and reckless adversary – bigger and better, equivalent to the Blockbuster mantra? I would argue that, yes, this movie succeeds in building on the other movies. Right off the bat, you’ll get thrown into the action with a crash landing from space that has a certain Star Wars feel to it, if I dare claim such a thing. The characters are mostly well-developed and actually offer some progressive representation.
The group of army guys led by Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) consits of quite diverse individuals that cover Tourette’s, PTSD, suicide, catholicism and homosexuality. Jacob Tremblay plays McKenna’s son who is on the Aspergers spectrum and, through that, seems to understand all of the crazy things going down way better than anyone else. Now, to some this might be a feeble attempt to be “inclusive” but I appreciated those details that bring the underlying 80s action movie into modern day.
Also, this movie is genuinely funny. And Keegan-Michael Key (Coyle) is not the only comical person. Awkward-pause-kind-of humor causes the sweet slow-burning stages of: breathing out through your nose, chuckling and then a big HAH! The one-liners also work, even if they probably won’t ever be as iconic as anything that came out of Arnie’s mouth. I will say that the timing was a little wonky at times but there is no boring moment. My fists and buttcheeks were in a clenched state for quite some time.
If you’ve seen at least one previous movie with a Predator in it, you will not be disappointed and get a fair share of winks, easter eggs, insider foreshadowing and fan-theories unfolding in your head. For all the new folks: there is no thank you, Captain Obvious, painful dragging kind of exposition but, believe me, it’s not as complicated as quantum physics. I’ve been waiting for a good swirl of action thriller with gore and horror on top – The Predator is it.