Hollywood has, in recent years, started to view reviving its old, somewhat beloved, box office hits as a business. With the advancement of today’s technology, they can recreate most things with a higher quality – visually. However, when it comes to quality, we cannot claim that Hollywood successfully captures the spirit of the past while visually reviving it. Both you and I can cite numerous examples of this. Unfortunately, “The Predator” falls into this category.
In 1987, the film, with Arnold in the lead role, set entirely in a jungle, was indeed a successful venture considering its era. I dare say it was innovative as well. The ’80s were years in which numerous innovations were made, and “Predator” was one of those unprecedented examples. Although I couldn’t have the chance to watch it in the cinema due to my age, I can comfortably assert that I’ve seen it on TV more than a couple of times. Yautja, the Predator from ’87, may have returned more visually impressive in terms of its physique after 21 years, but its spirit has aged. It may not have lost its savagery, but it has lost some of its meaning.
In short, let’s touch upon the plot… The Predator ship, forced to make an emergency landing in Mexico, disrupts all the plans of the American soldiers on duty at that time. The soldiers go to the crash site to check the fallen ship, but they encounter Yautja. Among those who manage to escape, Quinn kidnaps what they found at the scene and has it shipped to his home as evidence. Of course, the government captures Quinn and attempts to shut him up, labeling him as “crazy.” However, destiny somehow crosses his path again with the Predator that escapes from the lab. However, we later learn that the escaped Predator isn’t the real problem.
Shane Black, who directed “Predator” in 1987 and its 1990 sequel, is at the helm of the new model Predator. But, as far as I understand, the director seems to be a bit rusty because the film I watched was one of the worst works I’ve seen in terms of direction this year. Especially, the person responsible for editing the film should be fired. “Predator,” unfortunately, is a weak film that opts for a confusing, exhausting, and aesthetically unappealing editing/shooting style.
What’s even worse is that, while the producers wanted to design a Predator from scratch, Shane went back and convinced them to continue the sequel with the motto “Let’s delve into the Predator’s essence.” Let’s see, though, the characters are quite the opposite and are successful and enjoyable. With names like Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, and Yvonne Strahovski in its cast, the film is quite successful in character development. Although clichéd, the film is filled with solid and fun characters, promising a lot of entertainment.
“I mean, it’s Hollywood, what do you expect?” I don’t want to escape the discussion with that statement. Christopher Nolan is part of Hollywood, too. But Shane Black has turned a serious story into a fun, absurd piece, where even the extraterrestrial cracks jokes. While the world is shaken by an alien invasion, the government’s lack of involvement, the military’s nonchalance, the American president’s absence from the office, and a group of “crazy” former soldiers solving the whole thing are perhaps the most absurd aspects of the film.
In conclusion… “The Predator” is a visually enjoyable film that turns a survival story into comedy. It is weak in terms of the storyline, with little content that can be analyzed. The Whoopi Goldberg and Forrest Gump joke was really good; the characters are well-designed, but the script flounders in the middle, while the direction and especially the editing are pretty poor. If watching the monster that tears everyone apart with joy starts throwing the main character around -because the movie will end- won’t bother you, it is an entertaining film. It’s a film that you can watch with your popcorn, laugh, and have a good time, but you will probably forget it by the time you get home. Maybe that’s perfectly fine.
Cast & Crew
director: Shane Black
writers: Shane Black, Fred Dekker
starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Sterling K. Brown, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen
USA | 2018 | 107 MINUTES |