The Horizon

The Predator hunts his way into theaters

Loads of quips and over-the-top action can’t save it from being an unnecessary, underwhelming venture

Bryce Shreve, Staff Reporter

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After a summer that featured new films from franchises like The Avengers, Star Wars and Mission Impossible, director Shane Black and 20th Century Fox hope to cash in on our nostalgia fix with 2018’s “The Predator.”

However, September is not usually known for incredible box office offerings. Summer blockbuster season is finished, and most studios are saving their Oscar-bait for December or early January.

“The Predator” is no exception to this rule. As the fourth film in the Predator franchise, it stars Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Olivia Munn, and Sterling K. Brown.

I enjoyed the 1987 “Predator” film but enjoyed the two sequels significantly less, so my expectations going in were low. And thankfully so.

“The Predator” is packed with crowd-satisfying action and constant comedic quips, but the film as a whole is a jumbled, messy disappointment.

Another Incoherent Popcorn Movie

While it’s true that big-budget action movies are known to require the audience “turn their brain off” and not think about anything, that shouldn’t be the mold by which studios measure their films. Good — even just passable — action movies are possible, I mean, look at 1987’s “Predator.”

“The Predator” in 2018 doesn’t try to break this mold. Numerous stretches of the film feature scenes that didn’t make sense together. The timing and pace of the final act are noticeably off. Much of the 107-minute runtime makes no sense, and ultimately feels    unnecessary.

Another let down of the film was the lack of good homages to the original films. Yes, a few one-liners were uttered, but they felt incredibly forced. Yes, we got some amazing Predator kills and action sequences, but they were few and far between.

Under-utilization of the Predator

One expectation I hoped to have fulfilled was footage showing of the Predator’s abilities — mainly his thermal vision and the suspense associated with those scenes. As I saw the end credits rolling, that expectation died.

One would think that with the technology we have in 2018, we could have shots of Predator’s thermal vision point-of-view, updated from the dated 1987 technology. But “The Predator” drops the ball on this by centering the film on surface-level campy drama instead of suspenseful dread created by the Predator.

Overall, “The Predator” is disappointing, following the lead of each Predator sequel that came before. Wide audiences will enjoy the intense action and frequent moments of comic relief, but they should really ask more of their action films. We deserve better than this.

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