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The ‘Predator’ review

The Predator
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
The Predator

“The Predator” is the latest in “The Predator” franchise directed by Shane Black who played Hawkins in the first “Predator” movie. It follows the story of an Army Ranger, his son and his unit as they attempt to kill a rogue Predator roaming the Tennessee suburbs.
The movie has surprisingly good acting, some hit or miss humor, and a plot that falls to pieces as it progresses. That being said, I believe that it is a prime example of a movie so bad it’s actually good. It is a call-back to what the original “Predator” movie was, one of the best ’80s action movies of its time.
“The Predator” started out fairly competent, introducing fairly organic and likeable characters. The movie establishes that the U.S. government has not only known about the existence of the Predator, but has also have been researching them for the past 31 years. I really enjoyed this little bit of backstory. It felt good to know that the government didn’t just disregard the reports of the Predator as those of a crazy person, but in fact took the accounts of Dutch (Schwarzenegger) and Danny Glover’s characters seriously.
The humor in this movie was one of the most unique aspects; I would describe this movie as a sci-fi action film, yet there was a plethora of legitimately funny jokes. These jokes weren’t like the cheesy yet entertaining dialogue from the original Predator, but still felt fairly fresh and most flowed well with the actions of the characters. However, there were some that didn’t land as well and went on for much too long.
Though it is a minor concern and should not at all be indicative of my own beliefs, there was a political aspect of the movie that didn’t fit within the motif or the actions of the Predators. Without going into spoilers, it is announced that the Predators have started to come to Earth due to climate change on our planet. While it’s a good thing to raise awareness of climate change, the reasons given for why the Predators are increasing their visits to Earth do not align with what the audience already knows of the Predators and their hunts. The film implies that the Predators will eventually attempt to invade Earth due to dwindling resources and increasing temperature. however, from what we know about the Predators as a species, they don’t really seem to have any expansionist plans when they hunt on Earth. In fact, the hunting of humans (and in the “Alien vs. Predator” movies, Xenomorphs) seems to be based in rites of passages and honorable rituals, not imperialism.
The first two acts of the movie, though at times flawed, were reasonably good. They were competent and grounded. Unfortunately, in the third act, the whole movie falls apart. Nothing the human characters or the Predator do makes much sense. At one point, the Predator tells the characters that he is going to hunt them, but because he respects them, he is going to give them time to prepare and evade him, which is one of the only parts of the third act that I thought worked well. It goes along with the Predator species’ sense of honor that we have seen in the past movies.
However, the logic of all of the characters after this doesn’t make sense. If the human characters know that the Predator is going to hunt them, and they know where he is and where he is going to be, why don’t they set up a machine gun nest outside of that position and just kill the Predator the second he comes out? That’s what Charles Bronson or anyone with an ounce of common sense would have done!
“The Predator” is a fun, dumb and fairly average movie that is moderately enjoyable, but you probably shouldn’t be in a rush to see it. Though I don’t think this was intentional, it is almost an homage to the old so-bad-they’re-good action movies of the 1980s.
If you’re a fan of “The Predator” franchise, then you’ll probably like this movie. However, if you’re not familiar with it, you probably won’t appreciate it as much.
2.5/5 stars

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