The Predator is the fourth film in the series or the sixth if we count those two hybrids with Alien. However, all of them after Arnie’s from 1987 were not even close, either in terms of quality or popularity. The second one can pass because he kept part of the atmosphere of the first one, while the others went to flatter the audience and deviated from the original, primarily creepy atmosphere that adorned him. This last The Predator can be put in the same basket, which did not live up to expectations, at least when it comes to the Predator movie.
Directed and written by Shane Black, known for his special action style of films such as Lethal Weapon, Last Action Hero, Irom Man 3, The Nice Guys, etc. He even played a minor role in the original Predator. His films are full of action and humor, and we had a great time with them. However, this may be one of the main problems when it comes to The Predator.
The original Predator was a film that gained cult status as soon as it appeared. Action sci-fi / horror with a great setup, story and a mysterious and deadly monster. The effects were the highlight, and when you look at the Predator even today, it is not far behind the most expensive blockbusters of today, technically speaking. They would say, well, the last one has it all. The only difference is that the first Predator had a creepy atmosphere that few movies repeated afterwards. The atmosphere that was the essence of other cult achievements of a similar genre, such as Alien, The Thing, etc. An atmosphere that nails you to a chair from the very beginning and doesn’t let go until the end. The special one that is etched in your memory and you look for it, mostly without success, in the movies afterwards. That’s exactly what’s not in The Predator and that’s exactly his biggest problem as a Predator movie.
Not to be confused, for everyone who likes a blockbuster full of action and humor, without too much thinking, The Predator has a lot to offer. The story is dynamic and, as they say, drives at full speed. Despite certain illogicalities and superficialities, it will provide real cinema fun for everyone who decides to spend two hours with popcorn and adrenaline. The team is great with a few exceptions. That excellence primarily refers to a team of lunatics who function perfectly with the ubiquitous chemistry needed for such a thing. The problem, unfortunately, as far as the cast is concerned, is in the title male and female roles.
Boyd Holbrook, known to us from the Narcos series and the movie Logan, simply does not manage in the role of a badass action hero. He stands out from the rest of the team and does not have the charisma in leading a company of lunatics, as Arnie had with his team. You get the feeling that he is there by force and he can’t click with the role in any way, whether it’s the role of an action hero, or it’s about the moments when he should show the humorous side of the same. All of this is in disharmony with the rest, and thus his reactions to certain events in the film cause the emotions needed for the same to somehow dissipate and not respond. Choosing another actor for the role of a charismatic action hero, such as Bruce Willis and the like, would greatly raise the quality and overall impression of the film.
Olivia Munn has a similar or even bigger problem in the title role of a woman. She looks like she fell from Mars and by no means finds herself in her role. Her expressions and emotional response to the story that is happening are completely out of balance and, just like Boyd, differs from the others. Hand on heart, her character primarily has a problem with how it is written, superficially and confused.
The Predator, for all fans of the original, will be mostly a disappointment, as it was for me. It primarily owes this to its creator Shane Black, who, instead of devoting himself to the original material and everything that made it a cult film, decided to push his style and completely change the very essence of what Predator is. I can’t say it’s completely wrong, because The Predator will find its audience and fans. Especially in the younger population and new generations, accustomed to such blockbusters in recent years.