The Predator is a movie that I am going to watch constantly on HBO in about a year. That isn’t necessarily the best compliment for a movie, as I tend to have HBO on as background noise while I write reviews or go to sleep. The movies I tend to choose for my background noise are movies that I love dearly that I’ve seen dozens of times or movies that I don’t have to think about but enjoy a few set pieces and some of the dialog. The Predator falls into the later category. This movie is a complete and utter mess with a tons of under-developed characters, too many story lines, and a lot of chaos, but god damn, did I have fun watching it.
The Predator is the fourth Predator film, following the original 1987 classic, the 1990 sequel, and the 2010 failed relaunch attempt, though I thought that movie was rather cool (and no, I didn’t forget about AVP, as those don’t need to be brought up, ever). This plot is all over the place, but i’ll try and some it up. This time around, while on a mission, soldier Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) encounters an alien space craft that is being flown by the Predator. McKenna was able to defend himself from the Predator, and even took some of Predator’s armor and mailed it to his son, Rory (Jacob Tremblay). Due to what McKenna saw, he is taken in by a mysterious government sector for questioning and is eventually put on a bus with a bunch of lunatic soldiers who are being sent somewhere that was either never explained or something that went completely over my head.
Meanwhile, the government sector, led by a man named Traeger (Sterling K. Brown), a man who I have no idea what he does, but he shows up literally everywhere, has taken the Predator in for research, which you already know is a terrible idea, and is being looked at by Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn), a biologist who is fascinated with extra terrestrials. Eventually, the Predator breaks free and causes chaos in the lab, killing everyone in site.
With Predator on the lose and on the search for his missing armor, the busload of crazy soldiers and Bracket go to save McKenna’s son before Predator gets to him and before Traeger finds all of them and kills them for knowing too much. While battling the Predator, and even bigger Predator crashes into Earth, causing even more chaos and terror. Explaining why the even bigger Predator has invaded Earth is one of the film’s twists, so I don’t want spoil anything. With the new Predator on the lose, Traeger running around in violent rage, and Predator armor on the lose, this group of soldiers must band together to save themselves and Earth.
The plot is a lot to digest, but none of it matters, which is why it is going to be a great movie for background noise. You can not pay attention to this movie for fifteen minutes and you would figure out within twenty seconds what is going on. It also helps that writer/director Shane Black develops none of the characters, so you don’t really care who dies or who is doing what. The actors in the movie are all good actors in their own right and all fit the role that they are in. I particularly enjoyed the performances from Devonte Rhodes, who literally needs to be in more things, and Sterling K. Brown, who’s performance is so over the top and weird that I loved every moment of it. I don’t exactly know what his motivation was for this film, but it was off-the-rails.
But all this movie is is some military dudes shoot up some aliens while reciting some zippy dialog, and I had a great time watching it. The action sequences are thrilling, the giant Predator is cool to look at and it just a straight badass, and I loved the testosterone fueled energy throughout every inch of this movie. Black’s dialog is one of Hollywood’s most unique, and he plays it up to fit this schlocky actioner. This isn’t an action classic like the original, but I did like it than the other two films, and by good margin. It’s just a fun, dumb movie with enough thrills and action to entertain for the two hour run time. I cannot wait to have this movie on constant rotation on my T.V. come 2019.