It's been eight years since the last entry in the storied Predator franchise. Now, Shane Black, who co-starred in the 1987 original, takes his turn behind the camera as the co-writer and director. How does the new entry in the series stack up against the previous installments? The crew here at CinemaBlend has seen the new action/horror title and while, like most things, we don't agree perfectly, the general consensus could be summed up as, "a fun time with a movie that has some serious problems." In my review of The Predator for CinemaBlend, I summed it up like this...
In the end, while I can't say I loved The Predator, I also can't say that I didn't enjoy the hell out of The Predator. While I can't shake the feeling this movie wanted to be something more, I can't say I didn't have a good time with what it was.
The Predator is an incredibly fast-paced movie, it moves so quickly from one action beat to the next, that it clearly had to cut out some of its own story to keep things from slowing down. It's clearly been edited with a machete rather than a scalpel. If, however, you're here to be swept up in the brutal kills and the non-stop one-liners, there is fun to be had in that.
CinemaBlend managing Director Sean O'Connell's feelings fell pretty close to my own. While he admits the movie has its issues is, mostly in the third act. He overall had a fun time with the movie and the parts that worked.
Shane Black's The Predator might be the best sequel in this franchise -- though, let's be clear, that bar was very, very low. This one feels like a throwback to the goofy practical effects of the 1980s, and the contributions of Black and co-writer Fred Dekker likely contribute to the gory, silly mood. Yes, the whole thing goes off the rails in the last act, but I had a lot more fun with this chapter in the Predator saga than I anticipated, with Keegan-Michael Key and Sterling K. Brown owning pretty much every scene that they are in.
Our Events Editor Eric Eisenberg is probably the harshest critic of The Predator here at CinemaBlend. Whereas Sean overall had fun with the film but recognized some shortcomings, Eric recognizes some bright spots, but overall was disappointed.
While Shane Black is recognized as one of the wittiest, most clever screenwriters in the industry, The Predator feels like a too-late throwback that ultimately falls flat. Though it moves at a quick pace, has some cool, shocking moments, and some solid performances, it's also weighed down by messy storytelling, underdeveloped characters, and a rushed third act.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Senior Contributor Mike Reyes probably enjoyed the film the most on our team. He thought The Predator was bloody, funny, and bloody funny.
The Predator is the closest, and probably best, sequel we've ever gotten in the Predator saga. Shane Black brings the franchise back to the sort of smart assed action that only he could bring to the screen, and while that's sometimes a detriment to the film (especially when taking into account one joke in particular that's going to split the audience right down the middle) it definitely helps it fit right in with the rest. It's bloody, it's funny, and it's what every R-rated summer movie wishes it could be.
In conclusion, it seems like The Predator is a funny and violent action movie with some significant issues with its storytelling. The question for the audience will be, do those bright spots overshadow the problems the movie has? For most of us here at CinemaBlend they did, but the audience will speak when The Predator opens tomorrow.