The Predator (2018 Film) would have been far better as a reboot of the 80s classic, instead of a continuation.
The Predator (2018 Film) Synopsis
Army Ranger Captain Quinn McKenna and his men are attacked by a Predator during a covert ops mission. McKenna’s men are killed but the captain manages to escape, taking with him also the Predator’s helmet and gauntlet. Later, McKenna’s young autistic son, Rory, receives the helmet and gauntlet from Quinn, while biologist Casey Bracket is recruited by the US government to investigate the Predator, which the US army has captured and sedated. Before long, the Predator overcomes the sedation and massacres the army laboratory. The intergalactic hunter then makes a beeline for young Rory, dead set on recovering his equipment.
I think there’s little argument about it. While there were some delightful gory moments, Shane Black’s The Predator (2018 Film) is by and large a terribly messy and haphazard affair. An episode that lands the “franchise” in an even weirder space.
There’s the fragmented story, which truly wasted the capabilities of the respectable cast by frenetically introducing new themes and developments. Only to dump these minutes later in favour of more themes and stories
There’s also the rather insipid portrayal of the Predator. As it seems, other than beefing up, it has gained little new abilities or toys since the Xeno days.
And then there’s Jacob Tremblay’s Rory, a kid portrayed as suffering from some sort of autism. (On the spectrum, as the movie says) My issue here is not with the rather mystical and irresponsible portrayal of autism as the next step in human evolution; this is a science fiction movie after all. It’s how Rory demonstrates himself to be quite the worldly kid once united with his dad. He would positively usurp Mike if thrown into the Stranger Things universe.
And so on.
In the face of this latest disappointment, some reviewers are now discussing whether there should or should not be a Predator franchise to begin with. Frankly, I tend to side with the negative. While it wasn’t a cinematic masterpiece, the first Predator movie in ’87 thrived on the terrifying enigma surrounding the Predator. A mystery that deliciously never received full resolution within the first movie.
What then happened was producers and writers stumbling in their heated efforts to expand the Predator mythos, to the extent of introducing galactic parasites from another movie series and suggesting (ahem) inter-species copulation. The end result is tragic. A universe that is so convoluted, the only way to continue the tale is to constantly introduce increasingly ludicrous developments.
Big question. Where is it all heading from now on? More integration with other movie franchises? Different grades and types of Predators? Honestly, it would have been far better for The Predator (2018) had it been a reboot of the ’87 story. This new entry is little more than garbled fan service. To some extent, I think it even degrades the original mythos.
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