People have been waiting for a solid Predator sequel for a long time. Is Shane Black's new effort finally the one fans have been looking for? The Predator screened last night as part of the Toronto International Film Festival so attendees were the first to get a glimpse at this new generation of the alien hunter. Is this movie the one you've been waiting for? Maybe? Reviews are actually quite varied, but while the film clearly isn't perfect, it's not without its charms either. CinemaBlend's own Sean O'Connell was in the audience last night and he says it's the best Predator sequel so far, and that isn't only because all the other ones sucked.
The Predator knows its role, acting as a fun, hyper-violent and often hilarious throwback to 1980s action horror, with clever kills and a memorable band of misfit anti-heroes. And while the bar by previous installments is ridiculously low, I don't think it oversteps to call this movie the best Predator sequel, and the only one that's close in tone to the Schwarzenegger-led jungle boogie that launched this franchise back in 1987.
If there is one common, and unexpected, thread running through the TIFF reactions to The Predator, it's that the movie is actually quite funny. Chris Evangelista with Slashfilm also recognizes the humor, and while he feels it may veer into the realm of stupid on occasion, it seems that overall that's not necessarily a bad thing.
While many responses are of the sort that would classify The Predator as, at the very least, "fun," not every response is quite as forgiving. Dread Central finds that some of the ideas in the new movie just don't work at all, though it doesn't think these will be deal-breakers for most viewers.
It's an exhaustingly energetic mess in which a coherent plot and credible characters aren't even on the cluttered menu.
So, in the final analysis, is The Predator good? As is often the case, that will depend on the viewer. If you're looking for an over the top spectacle with Shane Black's trademark humor combined with impressive deaths at the hands of a killer alien, then there's probably something to enjoy here. If you were expecting a dark, violent, horror movie, you may need to adjust those expectations.