By Matt Cunningham
Hollywood continues to make a lot of movies that people recognize; whether it’s sequels, reboots, or prequels. This trend continues with Hollywood’s latest blockbuster, The Predator. The movie was released on September 14, and is currently still playing in most movie theaters. The film was directed by Shane Black, an actor from the original Predator from 1987. There were high hopes for the film, as Shane Black was a fairly popular choice to direct when it was announced. That is why this is one of the most shocking cinematic experiences I have been to in recent memory. This film is so filled to the brim with comedic one-liners that it should be classified as a comedy.
The original classic, Predator, brought loads of suspense with a unique and interesting plot. It came out on June 12, 1987, and brought a sense of originality that the new film failed to achieve. An extremely tough and intelligent group of people are sent to investigate a jungle where there has been suspicious activity, but it all goes horribly wrong when they encounter the menacing Predator. The original also had some A-list acting, with Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the lead role.
In the 2018 film, the acting and plot has sadly taken a severe turn for the worse. The Predator in 2018, feels that audiences will be pleased with the idea of originality if the film puts in a bigger predator. The vast majority of the plot centers around the fact that there is a bigger predator, with the same exact look and feel of the original-sized predator. The only reason that the bigger predator comes to Earth, is because Jacob Tremblay’s character, Rory, finds the predator mask in the mail.
Boyd Holbrook, who had an astounding performance in 2017’s Logan, plays the main protagonist, Quinn McKenna. This character is supposed to be a guy the audience is rooting for during the movie. The only arc that is given to his hollow personality is that he becomes closer to his estranged son by the end of the film. There is no other attempt to develop his character, which was a bitter disappointment.
On an even worse note, his kid may have been the worst child acting performance I’ve seen in a big-budget film. Jacob Tremblay, who has shown he has excellent acting chops in films such as Room and Wonder, plays Rory. He clearly was miscast for this character. He is continuously not phased by a frightening alien in the Predator, itself. Keep in mind, this kid is probably around 10 or 11 years old. Jacob Tremblay’s performance wasn’t right for this movie, and it feels like they cast him solely because of his previous work.
The major question is how well the Predator’s costume and effects hold up. Yes, it looks stellar and is clearly designed by a talented group of people. When the Predator is ripping people to shreds in a brutally bloody fashion, it can be entertaining.
However, all suspense is alleviated when Keegan Michael Key’s (Why Him? and Horrible Bosses 2) character, Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight), or anyone else on screen makes a witty one-liner. For example, Trevante Rhodes’ character in the opening sequence of the movie says,
“Be careful, this thing’s idea of tourism is fucking you up.” It can’t be denied that these one-liners are extremely funny, because they really are hilarious. There is sadly such a minute amount of skill being portrayed by the cast and the director, that it just makes this movie so bad that it’s good.
The Predator stands as one of the worst films of the year, sure. However, there are so many outrageously laugh-out-loud moments that it makes this movie a joy to watch. Whether or not the writers were going for comedic moments, this movie is hysterically awful. The film is nowhere near worth the price of admission, but it would be a heck of a time to watch it with some friends on Netflix in the future.
No Predator film has ever lived up to the original, but 2018’s version is one that I will remember as one of the best bad movies I’ve ever seen. While some people will want to “get to the chopper” to escape the asininity of this film, I will still recommend it for the hilarity of it all. I’ll give The Predator a C-.