‘The Predator’ gets it all wrong


He’s gonna shoot something. “The Predator” is in theaters now. Photo credit: imdb.com

Ulises Duenas

Making a good “Predator” movie shouldn’t be difficult. Just have an alien monster chase a bunch of military dudes around until the coolest one is left alive. “The Predator” feels like three different movie ideas jammed into one and it doesn’t pull any of them off well.

If you’re going to make a “Predator” movie in this day and age, you have no choice but to lean into the stupidity as much as possible. This one almost reaches the right level of fun mixed with dumb but doesn’t commit to it fully. In trying to add more heart the writers just put in a bunch of half-hearted distractions.

Some genius in Hollywood decided it would be a great idea to add a little kid to a “Predator” movie. The main character’s son has Asperger’s which apparently makes him a savant when it comes to alien technology. It’s an interesting idea but feels completely out of place in a movie like this. You can have a bunch of military dudes bro-ing it up while they fight an alien or you can have a little kid be the hero. You can’t have both.

The original “Predator” was the quintessential 80’s action movie. Blood, gore, guns, Arnold Schwarzenegger; it had it all. This movie aims for a more clever approach to that formula. Aside from a few moments of solid humor this new take on the sci-fi action movie doesn’t work out. The small talk between characters feels forced and the plot does too much explaining in a movie that doesn’t need explanation. Just have the scary alien monster kill people until someone kills it, it doesn’t get easier than that.

None of these characters leave any lasting impressions aside from Keegan-Michael Key and that’s because even this movie’s writing couldn’t kill his sense of humor. You’ll forget most of these characters even when they’re still on screen. Olivia Munn could have easily been the main character, serving as the Ellen Ripley of the movie. Unfortunately, her character is muddled in this movie’s attempt to do three different things.

I just wanted to watch a fun alien movie and instead I got this confused trip to nowhere. It’s hard to recommend “The Predator” for any reason. Even the action is average at best. If you’re a fan of these movies you’ll probably watch it eventually, but if you’re not a dedicated “Alien” or “Predator” fan then there’s no reason to check this out. This gets two stars because one half of Key and Peele is still pretty alright.

Final Score: 2/5 Stars

Ulises Duenas can be reached at [email protected] or @OrionUlisesD on Twitter.