<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Shane Black. Starring Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K Brown, Alfie Allen, Thomas Jane, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey, Yvonne Strahovski

Running time: 1 hour 48 minutes


For a child of the 80s and 90s, films like Predator and Alien hold a special significance. They were our initiation into good sci-fi films and showed us what an action film really is. Not CGI or full of explosions, but a character-driven story that builds up to a satisfying finale of guts and glory.


Another thing those films and all good sci-fi has going for it is mystery. Something this movie has but never cashes in on.

The Predators have been visiting Earth for a long time now as we’ve seen in two original films in 1987 and 97 and then with the sequels and the Alien Vs Predator mashups. This time a Predator – they hunt for sport, so shouldn’t they be called Hunters? – crash lands on the planet and meets Marine Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) who manages to wound it and steal its helmet and a part of its control armour.


Quinn manages to get his battle spoils back home where his ‘on the spectrum’ (autistic but special) son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) discovers how to use the helmet and control armour. Little does he know a super upgraded Predator is in pursuit of the captured hunter. An underground government agency that has him doesn’t stand a chance. Surprisingly, their biological scientist Dr Casey Bracket (Oivia Munn) manages to escape the deadly Predator and even chase him around the base! At one point you wonder if she’s not more than just a scientist. But her background for all the badass action is never explained. And that’s fine, because she outshines most of the guys in that department.

Quinn must protect his son, fight the new Predator and his Predator doggies, take care of his ragtag band of new mercenary loonies and save the planet. He does all this while giving his son some good life advice.


Arnold Schwarzenegger was supposed to have a cameo in the film but he turned it down (The Real Reason Schwarzenegger Said No to The Predator).

What’s great about this new incarnation of The Predator is that it looks like the old ones. It has the same feel and humour as those did. The banter, the rough jokes, the machismo, the silliness that made us like those characters, and feel for each one that gets massacred being a hero. What happens so many times in the bravado military movies from Hollywood is that you don’t identify with the formula and stereotypical characters. That isn’t the case here. If anything, you sort of don’t have one single person to follow, which could also be a problem. Lead actor Holbrook is good but he’s no Arnie. Olivia Munn is nice too, but she’s too one-dimensional. Rory’s character is way too boring to care about him.


The Predator doesn’t give us anything new to play with and the finale looks more like it sets up a video game rather than a good sequel. I would have preferred an introduction to a new species of Aliens! They were always scarier than the Predators. Though this film has lots of blood and gore, it doesn’t really send a chill down your spine.

PS: There’s also a controversy that affected the films marketing involving Olivia Munn. Read about that here Olivia Munn Says She Was “Chastised” by Fox for Telling ‘Predator’ Co-Stars About Sex Offender Scene


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