Chad Reviews "The Predator"
In the summer of 1987, fledgling director John McTiernan cut his teeth on the summer blockbuster formula with a film that would not only spawn a franchise and become a pop culture icon, giving a catch phrase that would apply to ANY situation needed to be done with EXTREME urgency in “get to da choppa”. “Predator” would not only continue to establish Arnold Schwarzenegger as a guaranteed box office draw, but it would also cement the title character as an instant classic movie monster thanks largely to the special effects wizardry of the late great Stan Winston. Unleashed to admirable box office success, it became a quintessential entry as one of the greatest action films of all time. After two direct sequels and another two crossover films with the “Alien” franchise, the camouflaged alien with a chip on one shoulder and a rocket launcher on the other is back to resume the hunt with “The Predator,” directed by a former co-star of the original film in the franchise in Shane Black.
Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) is an Army Ranger sniper who during a covert op stumbles upon a crashed spacecraft containing a few pieces of alien technology that he quickly ships back home to his estranged wife, Emily (Yvonne Strahovski), and son, Rory (Jacob Tremblay), knowing that NOBODY will believe what he has found is real. When the Predator awakens after an examination from biologist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) at the behest of slimy government agent Will Traeger (Sterling K. Brown), Rory ends up activating a tracking device that immediately draws the Predator to his location. Once Quinn realizes his family is in danger, he teams up with Casey and a group of military misfits to stop the alien that threatens to wipe out the entire human race.
While I will admit that I was excited when this film was announced, my enthusiasm was quickly tempered at the sight of the first trailer. It seemed to recall more of the spirit of the inferior first sequel rather than the original film (as well as the ill-received “AVP: Requiem”). While it was interesting to see the cast interact with each other, revealing their individual quirks and then bonding as a team when they realize they’re doomed if they don’t, the uniqueness begins to wear off and becomes a fairly average action film, as characters you barely got a chance to get to know are dispatched left and right. This simply ends up as a high-octane slasher film with an empty headed ending that left me groaning and rolling my eyes. I had high hopes for this franchise’s return (and I still do), but THIS is not what I was hoping for.