Jacob Van Houtan, Staff Writer
“The Predator” is not what would be expected compared to the previous films in the series. The first Predator is filled with many machismo action scenes, but also scenes in the film that build tension around our main villain. Even the less successful sequel has similar moments of fear and tension, but the latest film focuses more on creating an R-rated adventure.
We follow an army sniper, Quinn McKenna, played by Boyd Holbrook, who has an encounter with a Predator while on a mission. His son soon gets involved, and he and a group of ex-soldiers have to hunt down, kill the Predator and protect Quinn’s son.
The characters are so thinly written and portrayed that when the film tries to deliver any emotion, it falls flat. Each of the soldiers are written almost exclusively as comic relief, so when the film tries to make you feel like they actually had an emotional impact on the story, it doesn’t come across at all. All of the jokes are straightforward and lack depth. The entire film feels like a bunch of one-liners strung together with some scenes of exposition thrown in to make us understand the situation. I did laugh during the film and had some fun at its expense, but wouldn’t rewatch it.
The film moves very fast, so the films action scenes are very short and sporadic. Each action set piece feels very poorly shot and thrown together. The film never establishes the location and instead of being excited when people are killed, it just becomes more confusing. I don’t think the performances are bad by any stretch, but the characters are so stereotypical that no one really gets to put any character in their performance. I like that there is a character in the film who is there to represent the problems that many people on the health spectrum face every day, but it felt skin deep.
“The Predator” can be a lot of dumb fun. It lacks any intelligence about the series as a whole. Director Shane Black has produced good films before, but this film never allows itself to slow down long enough to create a genuine connection with the audience or characters. The experience wasn’t a bad one, but the film won’t have any lasting impact once you leave the theater.
This article first appeared in the Friday, September 21 edition of The Echo.