The Predator (2018)
The fourth entry in the Predator series, if you don’t count AVP (2004/07) since they aren’t canon, following some things and people when a predator comes to Earth again. Vague? Well this film is too convoluted to sum up, and not good enough to even put in the effort. Now despite none of the films fairing too well with critics, I quite like both the original Predator (1987) and Predators (2010), and I dislike Predator 2 (1990) so much, I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever finished watching it. But now we have a new Predator, and it’s bigger, more something, and for some reason, a heck of a lot funnier. Because it it’s two things we wanted in this series, it’s a really big Predator, and lots of comedy.
Let’s start with some things I didn’t utterly hate. The performances were- fine. Nobody impressed me, and a few probably overacted here and there, but all in all, I can’t fault the actors for characters. The visuals were fine when it wasn’t too dark to tell what was going on. And honestly, it’s a predator movie, so I found myself quite entertained throughout. Granted that entertainment significantly diminished as the film goes on. And yeah, I laughed a few times. I was more distracted by the comedy being there than I was actually entertained by it, but I’m trying to be fair to this movie as much as possible. Why? Because I saw The Meg (2018) right before it, and I can’t tell which one is actually a better movie, the big dumb shark movie, or the big dumb alien movie.
Yeah, the writing in The Predator is all over the place, and I now know why Arnold said he wouldn’t do it until they worked on the script. A thing they obviously did not do. I can get behind suburban Predator. I can even get behind suburban and a bigger Predator. What I cannot get behind is behind suburban and a bigger Predator and different objectives for all the characters, and several minor plot lines that exist to justify them, even if that justification I absolutely ridiculous. Okay I have to spoil a little thing. I promise it’s nothing important, but if you still want to see it blind, stop now, and know that my review consists of me not liking it. Good? Good. So at one point, a character mentions the original Predator visit in 1987, and the second on in 1990. He also mentions a visit in what I believe was 2010, but I would like to me mistaken there, since a no Predator sets foot on Earth in that movie. That character then notes that the visits are becoming more frequent. Wha- No, they are not. If anything, this means they are more infrequent! Now even pretending they came to Earth in Predators (2010), which again, did not happen, this means that the span between the four visits goes: three years, twenty years, eight years. Tell me how that math means they are visiting more based on the most recent visit. If you really want to look at those numbers in a pattern, that means the next Predator visit should be in something like forty-eight years.
Look, if all you want from a Predator movie is violence, action, and comedy, knock yourself out. I however like my Predator movies with at least some conflict that matters, or even any sort of tension presented in all three prior films. The Predator lacks what makes especially the first film great, substituting tension for comedy, a simple story for one too complex, and a nonexistent learning curve for all of its characters. Even when it comes to being a Predator film, the one least like the original, being Predators, does a bafflingly better job. I’m not saying I hated every minute of The Predator, but I certainly didn’t like it more than I disliked it, and doubt I’ll care to watch it again. 5/10
-review by Ryan Prince