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The Predator Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest box office hits like A Simple Favor, The Predator, and The Nun! To see all showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!

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While this wasn’t one of my most anticipated movies of the year, I was definitely looking forward to it. I love the original Predator film from 1987, but I don’t particularly care for either of the sequels or either of the Alien v. Predator movies, so this isn’t a franchise I’m seriously invested in. I am, however, a pretty big fan of Shane Black. I think that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys are two of the most underappreciated movies of this century. He also directed Iron Man 3, which definitely has flaws, but is still a very competently made blockbuster. I was excited to see what he could do with a franchise that he has been with since the beginning!

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The Predator is directed by Shane Black and stars Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Trevante Rhodes and Jacob Tremblay. When Predators take out Quinn McKenna’s military squad, it becomes his responsibility to defend Earth from this threat from outer space. Of course, the government needs its piece of the pie, and McKenna brings his family into the picture when he sends a vital piece of Predator equipment to his home, so the biggest Predator to date is now shredding through suburban areas in search of its lost weapon.

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I try to go into most movies without expectations, but I had to be prepared in some way for what I was getting into with The Predator. I think that a lot of it hits, and I think that a lot of it misses, and that’s about exactly what I thought we’d get with this new Predator movie. It’s definitely funnier than I expected it to be. Shane Black is extremely smart and witty, so I can typically count on him to deliver the laughs. He does just that, almost to the point where I would consider this a comedy. Yes, it has plenty of graphic action and sci-fi themes, but the comedy seems to be the heart of this movie, and it worked to a certain extent. The cast was perfect for the tone that Shane Black brought to the film. I don’t think that Boyd Holbrook is necessarily known for his comedic chops, but he does have a few great moments that cracked me up. The film’s most seasoned vet of the comedy world is probably Keegan-Michael Key, who is definitely playing a character, but his commitment to the role and his willingness to say just about anything really worked. I thought that the entire team worked, especially when they’re all put together to make an even greater whole.

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Black also did a good job with the action and the gore. It’s absolutely an R-rated movie, and that R isn’t just for language. There is some really gory action in this film, and I thought the action worked well with the comedic tone. You aren’t going to get the kind of action you’d see in John Wick or Atomic Blonde, but it completely embraces the idea of suspension of disbelief, and it found a way to satisfy my action craving that way. The Predator looked great, it was scary, it had some excellent kills, and I loved that the movie was able to build on the mythology of the Predator race. If you go out and see this movie over the weekend, you’ll probably be able to see a sequel coming from a mile away, and even though I don’t think that The Predator earned a sequel from a narrative standpoint, I’m definitely not opposed to getting more of this action and comedy.

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Fun aside, the story is a jumbled, inconsistent mess. I’m probably not going to catch this one again in theaters, but I could go over more holes in its story than a block of Swiss cheese. A lot of transitions feel extremely rough, and it’s lacking a lot of causality that lets action rise and build. Shane Black is a better storyteller than he proves to be in The Predator, and suffice it to say that I was let down by the movie’s plot. The story itself isn’t awful, but it’s mistimed, jumbled, and feels like it’s missing key scenes. Maybe certain sequences were cut for time purposes, and maybe we’ll see them in some sort of director’s cut, but purely based on what I saw, I wouldn’t advise going to see The Predator if weak storytelling bothers you. I also felt that it was inconsistent from a tonal perspective. The comedy works, but when it tries to bounce back and have a serious moment between two characters, it doesn’t work. It either feels forced or cartoony, and I couldn’t tell if the movie intended for me to not take those scenes seriously or it intended for me to laugh at them. Finally, I had a few issues with character arcs in the film. The most notable arc that feels amiss is the villain’s. I won’t say who the villain is just in case you’ve stayed away from marketing, but it took me a while to realize that this person was an antagonist as compared to another jokey side character.

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Overall, The Predator isn’t a great movie, and I don’t necessarily think it’s that good, but it excels in a few areas that I hoped it would have. It has great comedy, a trademark of Shane Black’s work, and it has great action, which is hopefully a reason you’re considering seeing the movie if you’re considering it at all. If you’re reading this, I’d imagine you’re at least considering it. The Predator did a great job of taking me back to 80s R-rated action, and I think it captured the spirit of the time period of the original movie. It’s extremely entertaining, and I need that sometimes. I don’t always need to walk out of the theater with a new outlook on life. Sometimes this is all I want, but even when a movie is fun, I do look for strong plot elements, and The Predator is really lacking them. There isn’t a great balance in tone or ideology, so the plot follows the same inconsistency with holes and moments that completely miss what I assume was the intended mark. I’m going to give The Predator a 5.2/10.

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Will you be seeing The Predator? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm