The galaxy’s biggest badass is back and the hunt is on in The Predator!
From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home. The universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag mercenary (Boyd Holbrook) and a disgruntled scientist (Olivia Munn) can prevent the end of the human race.
If you love sci-fi horror then you love the Predator franchise and this unstoppable interstellar killing machine has returned to our planet and he’s ready to go to work! Since 1987 the Predator has been the go-to alien when audiences have wanted equal parts action and gore, and after a long absence from our screen this extreme hunter is back to wreck plenty of havoc…and this time it comes with with a fair few twists.
Director Shane Black (The Nice Guys, Iron Man 3) is in the directors chair this time and for him this film has been a long time coming. Not only did he have a supporting role in the original film as Spec Ops soldier Hawkins, but he also contributed to the script as a ghost writer while on the set and has had a lasting impact on this character and the savage world it inhabits. Now Black finally gets his chance to bring everything that he loves about the Predator to the big screen and the result is a film that is packed out with macho action and a lot of solid throwback to the popcorn cinema blockbusters of the 1980s.
Not only does Black find the right balance between the film’s action, horror, sci-fi and comedic elements, but he also addresses a lot of the insight into who the Predators are and just why they keep coming back to Earth. Black does this in an interesting way and teases out their culture and species giving you just enough information to be informed, while also allowing your own ‘theatre of the mind’ to draw out other backstories. As a director his sense of narrative and storytelling is simply first class and he throws you right into the action from the very first frame.
I was also impressed by Black’s eye for talent and casting here and was very excited when it was announced that Boyd Holbrook would be leading the cast. I loved what he did in Narcos and Logan and here he gives another solid performance as Quinn McKenna, a Special Forces Ranger sniper who finds himself in a whole lot of trouble and having to bring his deadly skills to bare against an even deadlier adversary in the form of the Predator. It’s a solid role for Holbrook and he does a great job of carrying this film and getting into action man shape. He knows how to handle a weapon and really takes it to both the bad guys and the Predator in this one.
I’ve also gotta give a big shout out to The Loonies! Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Alfie Allen, Augusto Aguilera and Thomas Jane are a bunch of absolutely batshit crazy sidekicks, all with their own unique ticks and issues, who bring plenty of outlandish moments to the film. If you’re looking for crazy comedy, well, you’ll find it with these guys. It’s a case of never knowing whats going to come next and their performances blew me away. I personally have to give the scene stealer award to Keegan-Michael Key as Coyle, ‘the mouth’ of the group who comes up with a stream of outlandish gags and his performance will really get you giddy.
But when it comes down to The Predator there’s one factor we have to discuss and that is the master hunter himself. And this time we don’t just get a single Predator: WE GET TWO THEM. The Predator and the Alpha Predator wage war on screen and it certainly is a bloody sight to behold. Black has taken the chains off these alien beasts and let them go to work and the carnage really does show up on screen.
The director and his team really did a great job of unleashing the Predator here and the make-up and movement of this hunter is pretty cool to watch. It’s definitely a sleek creature and you fully buy that this onscreen beast is from another planet. Its movements are particularly intriguing to observe and it has this real ninja feel to it as it stalks its trophies from the shadows.
And then you’ve got the Alpha Predator. A colossal killing beast that really puts the fear back into the Predator franchise. While I don’t want to get into too many specifics about its on-screen role I will say that you’ve never seen anything like this before! The Alpha Predator is a true beast and it REALLY lets loose up on screen.
In throwing everything back to the 1980s Black also really goes for the macho quality of the action films of that era and it shows up on screen. The emphasis is on practical effects, big guns, plenty of bullets, large explosions and a whole lot of badass swagger. If you grew up on this kind of filmmaking like I did you’ll be well impressed what what you see before you.
All and all The Predator is a rocking good ride of action cinema and it packs a serious punch! Guns, bullets, adrenaline and a good helping of gore are packed into this one and you’ll seriously love the ride so make sure you check it out ASAP.
Image: 20th Century Fox.