The Alien Critic Reviews...
The Alien CriticReviews...

TAC Reviews...The Predator Franchise

 

The idea of superior hunters tracking down and killing lesser species is not unique, you humans have been doing it for years, and not surprisingly my people are also fans of hunting down and wiping out inferior races…like oh say…YOURS

 

Jungle Predator

 

Of course the easiest way to hunt anything is to do it from afar, wipe out your enemy from orbit with weapons that they have no defence against, that is the way that you destroy and entire race. However, genocide…er…aside…sometimes you just want to get up close and personal with your prey. You want to look them in the face as their life-force drains from their eyes, hunting an lesser race was what I did on the last birthday before I came to Earth, and it was great fun.

 

This seems to be the idea behind the Predator films, technologically superior aliens stalk humans, hunting them down and seeking out worth prey to fight against.

 

After watching the Alien films I heard about the Predator films and decided to check them out. The Predators in the films are fast, strong, and relentlessly hunting down their prey. But unlike the aliens the Predators have obvious intelligence behind their masks, I have no idea how smart a xenomorph from the Alien franchise actually is, but the Predators, they can build and fly spaceships. They have advanced cloaking technology and use their weaponry to seek out and battle anyone worthy enough.

 

Personally I wouldn’t base a society around hunting inferior races, and giving your enemies a sporting chance is a little quaint to be honest, but hell if it floats the boat of the Predators in these films, then, well to each their own I guess.

 

Below you will find reviews for:

 

Predator

Predator 2

Predators

The Predator

 

TAC Reviews...Predator

 

Whilst on a rescue mission in the South American jungle an eight man team of Special Forces soldiers are hunted down and picked off one by one. The hunter is an alien life form with an arsenal of sophisticated weapons at its disposal and a device that allow it to become almost invisible.

 

Predator Poster

 

Having treated the world to Aliens in 1986, audiences were keen for more alien monsters, only this time we weren’t going to have a bunch of scared men and women running scared as an alien life form relentlessly hunts them down. So in 1987 we got an alien hunter that is about to meet its match when it tangles with the wrong human…

 

But before we go on, let us have a look at the plot, such as it is.

 

Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his Special Forces team is ordered to rescue a presidential cabinet minister after being kidnapped by guerrilla forces in Val Verde. Joining the team is Dutch’s old army buddy and now CIA officer, George Dillon (Carl Weathers).

 

Once in the jungle the team find the skinned remains of another group of US soldiers. The soldiers have no business being in the country, but it is their grisly fate that unnerves Dutch’s group. Moving on they find a guerrilla camp and quickly destroy it, killing everyone there. It is only then that Dutch discovers that Dillon concocted the story about the cabinet minister in order to get Dutch’s team into the area so they could destroy the camp.

 

Later as the team head to the extraction point an unknown force, using thermal imaging, is following them. Without warning the creature starts to attack them, picking each member off one by one, with the survivors powerless to stop it…

 

Ask yourself one very simple question: You have a massive alien Predator, hunting down and skinning people alive, who could possibly go up against this vicious killer and hope to survive the encounter??

 

Personally I can only think of one man, and in 1987 this man was at the height of his fame and his physique – Arnold Schwarzenegger.

 

Predator is a film made during a time when aliens were starting to become hostile. Aliens had been made the previous year and the nice alien of ET was just a memory. Predator introduced a vicious alien that hunted human beings, and kept their skulls as a trophy. The predator itself is a physically imposing creature towering over Schwarzenegger (who is not exactly unimposing) with the actor in the suit (Kevin Peter Hall) standing at over 7 foot 2.

 

The Predator in this film is shrouded in mystery, it hunts the soldiers because it views them as being worthy prey, and it will not attack someone that cannot defend themselves. It does raise a little bit of a question though because at one point Arnie says to Anna (Elpidia Carrillo) that the alien did not attack her because she wasn’t armed, so…if that is how the Predator works, why do the rest of them carry guns??? If the Predator won’t fight them if they are unarmed, surely they should drop all their weapons and just walk out of the jungle without trying to fight it?? A bit of a plot hole yes, but then the powerhouses of this Special Forces Unit are undoubtedly more than capable of defending themselves regardless of whether they have guns or not.

 

The members of Dutch’s team are all muscular and are obviously tough. However, as the Predator picks them off one after another they begin to crack. They fire over 200 rounds from a mini-gun into the jungle after spotting the Predator and yet moments later they realise that they hit nothing.

 

The realisation that they are being hunted by an alien is slow and director John McTiernan keeps the tension at breaking point by only giving the audience brief glimpses of the Predator. At the time of release of course the audience has absolutely no idea what it is that is hunting them and why we keep switching to a thermal view of the team. Films in which the monster is revealed are never as frightening as the films in which the monster is only glimpsed. The Predator is a great creation and is more than a match for the Special Forces soldiers that it has discovered in the jungle.

 

In this film the Predator is obviously very tough and engages Dutch in a fist fight. It is also smart enough to not get lured into traps and can see trip wires. This is the best of the three Predator films, simply because Schwarzenegger is seen to bleed and struggles to escape from an opponent far stronger than himself.

 

All in all, Predator is a film that took the idea of hostile aliens to new territory and has since spawned a thousand cheap imitations.

 

Like the first Alien film, this was a classic, and my Thumb is Up because this film was original, unique, tense, and scary at times, everything that a good film should be before studios can knuckle down and really start ruining things.

 

 

9/10 - Outstanding example of sci-fi horror with an original story and vicious alien.

 

TAC Reviews...Predator 2

 

Ten years after Dutch and his team were hunted in the jungles of South America; a second Predator has arrived on Earth. But this time the alien is not out in the middle of nowhere hunting in the jungle, it has come to the sundrenched streets of Los Angeles.

 

Predator 2 Poster

 

With a successful film with a vicious alien already established, what were chances that this concept would be left alone so that it could stand as a single sci-fi classic?? That’s right, absolutely none.

 

An alien Predator once again returns to Earth for a spot of hunting, this time it doesn’t land in South America, it has come to quite a different jungle…

 

Set in 1997 during a heat-wave when the police are locked into a fierce battle with Colombian, and Jamaican drug gangs. During a shootout with members of the Colombian gang, police detectives Leona Cantrell (María Conchita Alonso) and Danny Archuleta (Ruben Blades) await the aid of their boss, veteran Lieutenant Michael Harrigan (Danny Glover). The police manage to force the gang members into a building, against orders the police follow them moments later. They discover that every one of the Colombians have been slaughtered. The police realise that they have got a new ‘player’ in town, little do they realise that the player is a Predator.

 

The Predator does not discriminate between the Colombians and Jamaicans hunting down and slaughtering members of both gangs. The police struggle to discover what is happening, with Harrigan even going as far as to seek out the leader of the Jamaicans King Willie (Calvin Lockhart) to see what he knows.

 

Harrigan’s efforts to discover what is killing the gangs and police are hampered by the presence of Special Agent Peter Keyes (Gary Busey), leader of a federal task force supposedly investigating the cartels.

 

After the successes of both The Terminator and Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger was spoiled for choice with regards to projects film makers wanted him to be a part of. Apparently he had a choice of two sequels, Terminator 2 or Predator 2, and as we know he opted for the legendarily excellent Terminator 2, leaving the Predator sequel to suffer in his absence…but we’ll get into that later…

 

With the exceptions of Kevin Peter Hall who reprises his role as the Predator and Elpidia Carrillo who played Anna (who has a cameo role) no one else from the original Predator returns.

 

Predator 2 suffers from no one from the original being in the film; however, unlike a lot of sequels the events of the first film are key to this one. As the film progresses it becomes obvious that Keyes is not investigating the gangs and is interested in capturing the Predator for its advanced technology. Although not see on screen in the wake of the events of Predator Dutch and Anna gave their statements regarding what happened and the government have obviously become interested in the technological advancements that a captured Predator might give them.

 

Danny Glover had recently played the straight family police officer Roger Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon and seems to enjoy getting to play the reckless cop instead of the straight cop to the crazy one. Glover works hard and Bill Paxton seems to have some fun here and is one of only two actors that have the dubious honour of being killed by a Terminator in Terminator in 1984, an Alien (another spoiler alert) in Aliens in 1986 and a Predator (spoiler alert) in Predator 2 in 1990.

 

Changing the backdrop from a jungle to a city means that the body count is far higher, but Predator 2 lacks the tension of the previous film. Dutch’s team were isolated as they were hunted leading them to slowly begin to crack up under the pressure. The audience are already aware of what the Predator is and so there is no slow discovery of its origin as there was in Predator although the lore of the Predator is expanded a little more here.

 

Now let’s consider the impact of replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger with Danny Glover, I have to say I like Danny Glover, but he is not Arnie. When Arnie engaged in a fist fight with the Predator he was beaten into a bloody pulp, and barely managed to escape with his life. I could not see the sequel giving us another one-on-one between our hero and the Predator, so it is surprising when we get one…er…of sorts. This time the final battle happens between Glover and the Predator, however, to even the playing field Glover has already used a bladed weapon he managed to take from the Predator to slice its arm off. So the final fight happens when the Predator has one hand behind its back, that is how the film makers make the final battle more believable, Glover fights the Predator when it has one hand behind its back…talk about giving the hero a fighting chance.

 

The concepts of the film are interesting, and whilst no one from the original appears (apart from the cameo) the original matters here. The angle of Keyes trying to capture the Predator, studying it, and using the information provided by the survivors of the original encounter to spring the trap is certainly showing that his organisation has at least some limited intelligence.

 

Obviously Glover lacks the forbidding presence of Schwarzenegger. He tries hard but the Predator looked more frightening opposite the physically imposing former Mr Universe. The additional cast are just targets for the Predator but none of them are as fleshed out as any of the soldiers from Predator.

 

The film isn’t getting away without a rating though, and whilst it is not brilliant it is so much better than a hundred other cash-ins that ride the success of the original so it is still getting a Thumbs Up.

 

 

7/10 - Not as good as the original and whilst it is a serviceable sequel it really lacks the tension, atmosphere and shock value of the original. Still having the Predator in a city is an interesting concept and does lift this above being nothing more than a mediocre sequel that cashes in on the success of the original.

 

TAC Reviews...Predators

 

The Predators get a third outing in 2010 and this time the setting is an alien planet used by the hunters as one giant game reserve. Nimród Antal directs the proceedings with Adrien Brody starring as the nameless (for most of the film) mercenary leading a rag-tag group of soldiers and criminals against the hunting predators.

 

Predators Poster

 

Oh dear, oh dear…[sigh]…why can’t film makers think up original ideas??

 

So the sequel to Predator was alright, it was entertaining enough, and the fact that the franchise started doing the Alien Vs Predator cross-overs suggested that as a stand alone concept, the Predator film was dead. Then in 2010 we got this…the title is a play on the sequel title to Alien because like the sequel Aliens this film is called Predators, why I hear you ask?? Simply put like Aliens there is no more than one Predator for our hapless band of mercenaries to contend with.

 

Have the Predators returned to Earth again…actually no, this time they’ve kidnapped humans and brought them to a reserve so they can hunt them down.

 

That is pretty much the plot but because I am nice Alien let me give you a little more…

 

A man (Adrien Brody) wakes up in freefall above a jungle, his parachute opens and he crashes into the soft earth. He encounters several others who have also been dropped into the jungle. The group includes Mexican drug cartel enforcer Cuchillo (Danny Trejo), Spetsnaz soldier Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov), Israel Defense Forces sniper Isabelle (Alice Braga), Revolutionary United Front officer Mombasa (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), death row inmate Stans (Walton Goggins), Yakuza enforcer Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien), and doctor Edwin (Topher Grace). None of them have any idea where they are or how they ended up in freefall above the dense jungle.

 

After being attacked by a group of bizarre alien dog-like creatures and finding their way to a clearing in the jungle they realise they are on an alien world being hunted.

 

The Predators pick off the group one by one as they try to stay one step ahead of the deadly hunters, whilst trying to figure out a way to get off the planet and back to their own world before the Predators kill them all.

 

[sigh…again]

 

Is it the time that we currently exist in?? Why were the 1970s and 1980s so creative?? Why were filmmakers pushing the boundaries of their creations, we had Alien, Predator, Terminator and effort honest to God effort was put into them and whilst the Predator sequel was nowhere near as good as Terminator 2 or Aliens at least it was trying…in recent years old franchises are being pulled up for their graves and shoved down our throats, in some cases by directors of the original films like Ridley Scott with Prometheus that have absolutely no reason to exist.

 

STOP DOING THIS FILM MAKERS!!!

 

On my home planet we have virtual reality simulators and if someone creates two bad ones in a row they get disintegrated, do you know why?? It is so creative entities have to be creative, they have to try, they don’t make something to wring more attention from the original concept, they do it because they want to create something great.

 

So what is Predators??

 

In truth it is an irritating waste of potential…and now I am going to tell you why…

 

The Predators here are not the same ones that the audience are familiar with, these predators are not honourable, and will attack an unarmed person. Bizarrely they still hunt the humans one at a time, you see the three Predators together in one scene but they never share the screen again. The film is essentially three mini Predator films rolled into one, a Predator stalks the group, and a couple die, then that Predator is killed, so another one takes over the stalking, kills a few then dies, before the third stalks them and kills a couple before…well it dies. That is the format of a Predator film, the Predator always looses, so why would anything be any different here?? It would have been more interesting if a Predator had survived but nope, they all get killed in various ways.  

 

Acting wise Adrien Brody is no Arnie and whilst he has beefed up for the role he still does not seem capable of taking on the more aggressive Predators seen here.

 

The special effects of the Predator’s technology is very impressive, regrettably the effects cannot save what is a by-the-numbers addition to the Predator franchise. The first film was brilliantly original, the second was entertaining because the Predator was in the city, this film is just a rehashing of the original with more than one Predator for the humans to worry about.

 

Now I am going to tell you why this film is a waste of potential and it has a lot to do with the trailer. In the trailer we saw the people on the planet being led along a ridge with what appeared to be a Predator at the head of them, only that is not what is happening, it is Laurence Fishburne’s character that is leading them. Now whilst I am going to talk about that wasted opportunity in a sec, what really annoys me is the scene in the trailer in which Adrian Brody’s character is standing still with maybe a dozen predator dots crossing his body.

 

This doesn’t happen!!!

 

There are THREE Predators, and by this point in the film one of them has already been killed, so why put this scene in unless it was designed to dick around the potential audience by intentionally misleading them??

 

Plus, this is a game reserve created by the Predators, so why is it just a simple jungle?? There was so much potential for variety, why aren’t there other areas, or zones to this reserve, why not hunt humans in a ruined city, or a desert?? Humans are intelligent prey, this is the point in hunting them, so why not create a scenario in which if the participants make it to the end alive they are taken home?? Or recognised as worthy prey?? Playing Call of Duty or some other shooter gets pretty dull when you are playing Deathmatches in the same environment, so why are the Predators content to hunt humans through jungles?? If they want to make it a challenge for themselves why don’t they dispense with their equipment and go mono-a-mono with their prey??

 

I hate wasted potential…

 

However, my biggest grip is Laurence Fishburne’s character because he is the best in the film, he stars as a man who has been surviving on the planet for years and has gone more than a little crackers. He had access to a Predator’s cloaking device, an unknown gun, and has been surviving on the planet for maybe a decade. He should have been a stone cold badass, fine he’s gone insane, but who cares?? Let’s see him equipping the others with more advanced weapons and them taking the fight back to the Predators but no, he tries to kill the others (spoiler alert) and when he tries to escape he is confronted by a Predator. Does he try and defend himself?? Nope, he just stands there whilst the Predator blows him apart, if he was not going to fight, then why has he been surviving so long?? Why did he just not kill himself or let the Predators find and kill him. It is such a waste and could have been so cool to see a human using Predator technology against the Predators.

 

I am tired of lazy sequels, and Predators is a lazy sequel, there is a twist but it makes no sense. We see a scalpel being covered with a toxin that paralyzes, but this is used against another person rather than against one of the Predators.

 

Ultimately this franchise has been declining since the original film and whilst I liked the second film this one is a very poor effort and is best ignored. The mystery of the Predators is gone and this film adds nothing to the lore. I gave Predator 2 a Thumbs Up and whilst the special effects are cool the setting is boring and overall this has wasted such a great concept that it has dragged my Thumb Down.

 

 

4/10 – A poorly executed waste of potential, this could have been brilliant, it could have been so creative. We could have seen factions of Predators battling one another with humans teaming up with one of the groups, we could have seen a human using Predator technology, we could have…we could have…only we didn’t we got this heap of uninteresting garbage.

 

TAC Reviews...The Predator

 

The Predator is a 2018 a sequel to 1987’s Predator and 1990’s Predator 2. You notice I didn’t say 2010 Predators because that film was set on an alien planet that had nothing to do with the films that have come before it. Originally conceived as a reboot of the franchise until director Shane Black joined the project and decided to do a sequel. Apparently he wanted to continue to explore the mythology of the Predators, which I guess couldn’t necessarily be done in a reboot. Black also co-wrote the film with Fred Dekker.

 

The Predator Offical Poster

 

Now I am not going to bore you with the timeline as my reviews of the Predator films are only a couple of clicks away (or above), but suffice it to say that Predator was awesome, Predator 2 was alright, and Predators was shit. The Aliens Vs Predator films were lazy efforts with the original giving three minutes of Alien Vs Predator action with nothing else, and the sequel Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem was so dark that it was hard to tell what the hell was going on most of the time.

 

The Predator had one major point in its favour, and that being director Shane Black who played Hawkins in the original film.

 

 

That’s right; this guy is sitting in the director’s chair.

 

So an actor from the original, and best, of the Predator films is now the one behind the camera. To me this was like putting Jonathan Frakes (Riker) in the director’s chair when making Star Trek First Contact, the best of the Star Trek films. After all who better to direct than someone who knows the subject matter inside out and back to front??

 

I was therefore feeling confident that The Predator would be a return to form for the franchise, and then I learned that Shane Black also directed Iron Man 3…which I was not overly impressed with. However, he also co-wrote the original Predator film, directed Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang which I liked and worked on numerous successful films like Lethal Weapon. Perhaps then this film would be more like one of the higher points in his career rather than a lower one. 

 

Was this a project that Black put his heart and soul into??

 

Was it something that he has been dreaming about since seeing the abominations that was Predators and the Alien Vs Predator films??

 

Join me as we start the hunt to find out…

 

The film opens in space with one Predator ship attacking another, the first ship escapes through a rift but is damaged and crashes in Mexico. At the same time an Army Ranger sniper Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) is in Mexico about to take out a drug cartel boss (because that is all they have in Mexico) when the ship crashes nearby. After discovering various alien technologies McKenna is able to disable the ship’s pilot and manages to steal several pieces of tech before the authorities arrive, taking the Predator into custody. McKenna knows that no one will believe what he saw so sends the technology to his ex-wife and son’s home as evidence if anyone tries to silence him for what he saw.

 

McKenna son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) is on the autism spectrum and has the preternatural ability to learn other languages. The postage on the parcel his father sent is not paid so the post office deliver it to the house, and Rory decides to have a look in the box to see what is in there. He accidentally activates several pieces of technology, which he thinks is a type of computer game.

 

The Predator is taken by Will Traeger (Sterling K Brown), to a secret government facility for study and experimentation that is being run by Sean Keyes (Jake Busey). They also recovered various pieces of the Predator’s armour from the crash site. Traeger recruits Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn), an evolutionary biologist to examine the Predator to determine what it is and where it has come from.

 

McKenna meanwhile has been arrested and thrown onto the “loony” bus, which is full of various military personnel, all suffering from various degrees of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. They share why they are there and naturally all laugh when McKenna tells them that he saw an alien.

 

The Predator awakens and breaks out of the lab killing numerous scientists and military personnel on the way. Bracket flees but gets trapped in a decontamination room, naked and terrified; the Predator simply looks at her before continuing its escape.

 

The loony bus is on the way to the facility to drop off McKenna when the soldiers witness the Predator escaping. Realising that McKenna had been telling the truth and they need to get out of there, they hijack the bus. Bracket flees as Traeger issues an order to kill all non-base personnel. The bus arrives just in time to save Bracket from execution; she is rendered unconscious and is taken from the base.

 

When she wakes up McKenna warns her that she is in danger from the military that will happily shoot her on sight to keep her quiet about what happened, and that if any of them are going to make it through the situation alive they need to get McKenna’s evidence from his former home.

 

Unfortunately by the time they arrive McKenna’s ex-wife tells them that Rory has gone trick or treating wearing the Predator mask and wrist gauntlet that McKenna sent them. McKenna and the others race to catch up with his son as the escaped Predator also sets its sights on getting its equipment back. But the second Predator ship arrives on Earth and brings with it a terrifying new threat…

 

I have gone on record as stating that I think the Predator franchise was effectively killed by Predators and the two AVP films. The first film was ground breaking and naturally every film since has suffered because the audience know what is hunting the hapless humans. Therefore the formula remains the same, something is hunting people down in the shadows, killing and often skinning them, and it takes the heroes an age to figure out what is going on. This happened in Predator obviously, and was repeated in Predator 2 and Predators. Now whilst I know a lot of people who weren’t exactly blown away by Predator 2 I actually quite liked it. One of the main reasons being because there was a shady government agency that knew of the Predator’s existence and were trying to capture it for study.

 

Typically with films like this the heroes end up in loony bins because no one believes them about what happened, and sadly as we have never seen Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) again after the first film this may be what happened to him. Still the idea that the government would want to capture such a creature if it ever returned to Earth was interesting. I have escaped the odd research facility in my time and let me tell you there is nothing quite as amusing as watching human authorities trying to figure out my anatomy or how to use my technology. Seriously I once spent a month in a facility in Nevada (you know the one I’m talking about) watching a group of fifty-three engineers try to figure out how to switch on my people’s equivalent of an electric toothbrush. Eventually I grew bored of watching them so slipped my shackles and escaped the facility, vaporising a dozen or so of them for good measure on my way out. My point is that investigating alien life-forms is always done on the quiet so the rest of you humans don’t catch on to the fact that we’re out there. The fact that the facility is run by Sean Keyes, the son of Peter Keyes, who was killed by the Predator he was hunting in Predator 2 was a really cool idea. Plus having Jake Busey, the son of Gary Busey, playing Peter Keyes’ son was inspired casting. Sadly the facility is only very briefly a part of the film, it exists so we see the Predator, Bracket can be called in, then the Predator escapes and we never see the facility again. Nor do we see Keyes. The cameo is pretty pointless in retrospect and makes you wonder why Black would go to the trouble of casting Jake Busey if he wasn’t actually going to do anything with him. Couldn’t we have had Keyes (Jr) seeking revenge for the death of his father, or having some kind of awe for the formidable creature that killed him?? Or something to explain why he was present aside from the fact that fans like me could point at the screen and say “Hey that’s Gary Busey’s son playing Peter Keyes’ son, cool”

 

Plus if we’re talking about characters from Predator 2 why wasn’t Adam Baldwin in this film, as he was the only member of Keyes’ original team to survive?? He was in the van when Keyes’ team tried to capture the second Predator and were slaughtered for their trouble. Wouldn’t it have been interesting to bring him back?? If Shane Black wrote the film and wanted to explore more of the Predator’s mythology then why not have other characters from the previous films returning?? Why not have Dutch and Harrigan (Danny Glover’s character from Predator 2) being in this film?? Both have come face-to-face with the Predators in the past so would having them on the staff be a good idea?? Only the events of the first two films seem relevant with thankfully no mention of the Alien Vs Predator films other than a throw away line about the Predator visits “becoming more frequent” in recent years and the weapon made from a xenomorph tail on a spear being in a glass cabinet on the wall of the facility. For a film that wants to explore more about the Predators we don’t seem to learning anything more about them other than the fact they use genetic engineering to make themselves better hunters.

 

The majority of the film is set on Halloween night and yet nothing is made of that fact, other than Rory going out trick or treating in the Predator mask so isn’t recognised by bullies. Am I the only one wondering why there wasn’t a single sequence of the Predator walking around un-cloaked with someone telling it that its costume looks great or something?? Why set the film on Halloween night if that fact has nothing to do with anything and it could have been set any other night for all the good it did. If the idea was so Rory is out of the house when McKenna arrives then why not have him taking the mask somewhere to show his friends or some den he has that he likes to hide in when the other kids pick on him??

 

If you’ve seen Predators (and if you have then you have my sympathies) then you’ll know that in that film there were two types of Predator, the “Classic” type and a bigger more aggressive version. This film expands that idea and we end up with two Predators, one the Classic design and the other is humongous and is a muscle bound powerhouse.

 

I guess the idea that there are different Predator factions within their society fighting against on another could be intriguing, but later on in the film things take a turn into loopy territory...

 

 

Okay, so we learn in this film that the Predator splice DNA from worthy species into their own genetic makeup to make them (presumably) better hunters, more resilient to attack and capable of adapting to their surroundings. Apparently this is done because Earth is changing due to climate change and once humans have died out the Predators are going to move in. I don’t know about you but I never got the impression that the Predators were interested in Earth not when they have the ability to go to any planet they wish, but hey-ho, I’ll roll with it. However, the Classic Predator came to Earth to give humans technology that they are capable of using to defend themselves, so...here’s my question...

 

If the Classic Predator came to Earth to help humans why does it attack and kill every human it comes across??

 

It escapes its confinement in a bloody manner, and is able to use its voice imitation equipment to escape the lab. What it does not do at any time is explain what it is doing on Earth; personally I would have never told any of the military personnel what my purpose on this planet is, because I am here to kill you all. But the Classic Predator in this film is here to help and yet he spends most of his time acting in standard Predator mode, slaughtering everyone in his path. Not the best plan if you are trying to convince people that you are here to help.

 

The Big predator (henceforth referred to as the Big Guy) has followed the Classic to Earth to kill it and prevent any technology from falling into human hands. Now if you thought the Predator in the original film was built like a brick-shithouse this one is even larger standing at least eleven feet tall. When it catches up to the Classic Predator, the two fight but the Classic is overwhelmed in seconds.

 

If the Classic is on Earth to help wouldn’t it have been more interesting to have it teaming up with the humans it is trying to save??

 

I heard that there were a series of comics in which the Xenomorphs became too widespread throughout the galaxy and the Predators forged an alliance with humans to stop them. Humans had Predator technology and this film could have been the beginning of a trilogy in which the Classic Predators join forces with humanity to wipe out the more brutal Big Guys. Instead we get the Classic hunting, being killed and the Big Guy taking over as he tries to recover the technology that the Classic stole.

 

On the subject of technology, apparently Rory’s autism gives him the ability to understand languages so he is able to decipher the Predator’s language.

 

 

Okay, so an autistic kid is capable of deciphering a language that presumably the most powerful computers have been unable to figure out. He is also described as potentially being the key to human evolution, and by the end of the film all of his issues seem to have been forgotten because people are now being nice to him.

 

Sure, why not.

 

Traeger has access to some Predator technology but manages to use it to blow his own head off...apparently the ray guns that the Predators have on their shoulders fire automatically when a target is located. Does it not have a safety measure which means it won’t blast the head off the operator if a target happens to be on the far side of them?? Honestly the moment happened to fast I did not realise how Traeger had met his end initially, when the Big Guy comes after the survivors of the facility and McKenna’s new friends I assumed the Big Guy killed Traeger, but no, he accidently exploded his own head.

 

On the subject of technology McKenna also manages to get his hands on an orb that cloaks him, which I don’t get as the Predators in the past have all used the control on their wrists to control the cloaks but whatever. He swallows the orb at the beginning of the film, shits it out a bit later, and it is inexplicably still functional. In the past the Predator’s cloaks have been rendered in operable by exposure to water; in Predator: Concrete Jungle (a game for the PS2) simple rain would prevent it from working. Yet this one manages to pass through a person’s digestive system without difficulty and is still working when it comes out of the other end. So water will stop it working but stomach acid doesn’t do squat, and fortunately it doesn’t activate when McKenna swallows it so he spends the entire film invisible.

 

I may have spent most of this review just pointing out all the things that felt were wrong with the film, but in truth it is the third best of the Predator films. Some of the ideas were good, the special effects are top notch and the film is not afraid to let things get bloody when necessary. Yes there is a fair amount of CGI but on the whole everything looks pretty good. The technology of the Predators has improved as film makers technology has gotten better allowing the audience to witness the evolution in the titular creature. The film calls itself a horror; however it is more of an action affair. It kept me entertained and whilst it isn’t without its problems at least Black is trying to do something decent rather than just a straight rehash the original or execute ideas as poorly as Predators.

 

Overall I think that The Predator breathes just enough life into the franchise to potentially warrant another film. I am curious where the future will go, still, the final scene would have worked better post-credits. I’ll give the film a little bit of a shaky Thumbs Up because it is alright unfortunately it has the problem of following after the original film and no sequel to this franchise is going to be able to surpass the original.

 

 

6.5/10 – The latest film in the series has potential, a sequel could be really good, however as far as The Predator goes it is worth a watch. Do what I intend to do, and ignore the Alien Vs Predator films and Predators then just imagine that there are only three films in this franchise.

 

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© Chris Sharman