The Predator has landed back on Earth, and this time his target is a small autistic boy, his father, and a ragtag bunch of soldiers all receiving psychiatric treatment. Together, they prepare to hunt down the infamous dreadlocked villain.
If this sounds like it could have the potential to be offensive, you’d be right. Shane Black’s humour is pretty cruel, but often very funny – when it’s delivered by likeable characters that is. Unfortunately, none of these characters have much to be liked by, and although some of the more absurd jokes land, the general humour gives off the impression that writers are rather lazily aiming at easy targets, scattering jokes about autism and mental health throughout.
Sterling K Brown and Trevante Rhodes are the film’s standout performers. Naturally charismatic, they make at least some of the jokes land and manage to make their characters seem a touch more three dimensional than the piece of paper they were written on. Olivia Munn also delivers an entertaining performance as a biologist who ends up along for the ride when she’s called in to examine samples from the Predator’s ship.
The story also seems fairly vague and spread across several different narrative threads that never quite add up. No one has a clear motive, including the Predator himself, and this makes for confusing, tensionless viewing. Even the final fight scene lacks tension as the team shoot from a safe distance, resulting in an audio onslaught of gunfire that begins to grate on the senses very quickly.
The Predator has some good ideas that could have turned into a fresh and thrilling take, but this film has got tangled in its fishnet stockings, resulting in a messy, overlong and forgettable reboot.
CAST: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K Brown
WRITERS: Fred Dekker, Shane Black
DIRECTOR: Shane Black
SYNOPSIS: When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’ return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.