The Predator



21 September 2018| No Comments on The Predator     by Sean Chavel



Whenever I look at an item like The Predator which is a long-gestated sequel, I wonder what is the point of making it if it cannot live up to the quality of the original, or give us a bigger terrain to work with than the original, or give us a hero as larger than life than the original (in 1987, Arnold Schwarzenegger was at his most Herculean in what was a terrific, compulsively rewatchable pop thriller). Also, it must be said, you shouldn’t be able to make an alien creature less fearsome than he was an installment ago. Anyway, it was to my surprise that there are quite a few hilariously gross bits, some early geeky fun intrigue with a Predator trapped in a science lab, predator dogs more curious than hungry, and a host of devil may care characters with some one-liner chops.

University scientist Casey Brackett (Olivia Munn) has an affinity for foreign creatures and so is brought in to analyze the trapped Predator, a specimen who is supposedly under anesthetics but not. She’s one of those wonkish, creative, alluring, but resilient movie babes that holds the screen surprisingly well, and is quite resourceful when the Predator breaks the restraints and all hell does break loose. Munn aims for the head when she shoots the alien, and dispatches stupid males with cast off insults. She’s a real piece of work. I kind of want to see Munn team up with Russell Crowe in a different action thriller, but let’s save that for another time.

The main male character is Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), a former sniper who is bound for the loony bin because the Army wants to keep his knowledge of aliens under wraps. He’s no Schwarzenegger, but he’s got a tougher than Charlie Hunnam quality and he never runs away from danger. He runs into danger. Huh? Even Schwarzenegger knew he had to run from this badass mo-fo from outer space.

Somehow Quinn and a lot of other rejects headed for the loony bin (including Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, and Augusto Aguilera) all team up with Dr. Brackett, or I should say, convince her to team up with them. Quinn has to save his son (Jacob Tremblay), the squad of misfits have to save a small town from a Predator attack which partly takes place on a baseball field and then an empty school during Halloween night, and so far, along with some boys will be boys jesting, “The Predator” is so not bad for B-movie fare. I was grinning. I nearly forgot to mention, it’s good for a belly-laugh to see Jake Busey play a fastidious geek scientist and see – he actually looks the part!

So how annoyed was I that the movie goes very wrong in the last third where none of the action makes sense. We have a team trying to take the Predators down, but there’s a self-serving government agent (Sterling K. Brown) who only wants to do things his way – even if that means putting the human race at risk. Here’s the thing: In his vainglorious intentions, what exactly is Traeger trying to accomplish for himself? He wants the Predator helmet which has value in its scientific advancements, but why try to kill other soldiers when you need as much manpower as possible to, uh, uh, defeat this badass mo-fo from outer space?

Directed and co-written by Shane Black (whose “The Nice Guys” was cool, and who was also an actor who gets killed off fast in 1987’s “Predator), all of the action is sewn together from earlier “Predator” movies and a man atop a moving wing-tipping spaceship as he tries to force a landing is a gimmick taken from “Prometheus,” which was truly thrilling. Sure, there certainly have been more cretinous sequels pumped out of the Hollywood factory. Here we have sci-fi pulp with its dirty-fun sense of humor, that nearly seduced me in its mid-section before it became just another regurgitation of a ton of Alien and Predator product that has already come before it. It’s in no way bigger, better, badder. Some style nearly saves it, but too action junk doesn’t make sense. But Munn does get a great reaction line when she gathers why the Predators are comprised partly by human DNA, a line delivery so funny it made me nearly ignore the fact that “The Predator” is rather a waste of time.

107 Minutes. Rated R.


Film Cousins: “Predator” (1987); “Predator 2” (1990); “Alien vs Predator” (2004); “Predators” (2010).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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