Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Review: “The Predator”

In the world of sci-fi horror, few names are as iconic as “Predator,” America’s favorite dreadlock-sporting man-hunter from outer space. Since its initial release in 1987, the series has enjoyed numerous installments and even a crossover film with the monster from “Alien.” On Friday, Sept. 14, the most recent “Predator” film hit theaters, bringing with it all the excitement and novelty of—well—a slightly bigger Predator.
“The Predator,” directed by Shane Black, features a familiar story about a ragtag group of soldiers, complete with one-word names like Nettles and Lynch, and their fight to help their leader save his son from the newest of predators: the bigger predator. Yes, that’s essentially the premise of this movie. Quinn McKenna, played by Boyd Holbrook, assembles his team, fights an escaped Predator, and eventually fights a larger Predator and his Predator-dogs while also fighting the evil government and rescuing his son from the chaos.
Yes, the dogs have dreadlocks, too.
In all honesty, I didn’t mind the addition of the larger Predator. True, it isn’t the most complicated or interesting way to revive a monster movie franchise with renewed purpose, but it did its job nonetheless. What bothered me about this movie was its lack of an apparent genre. I suppose “sci-fi action” could be used to describe it, but that label misses all the whacky jokes and hijinks that permeate and, frankly, define the film. I’m not talking about the occasional post-murder quip, here, either. “The Predator” is absolutely brimming with death-based jokes and out-of-place humor, and I found these elements greatly distracting from rest of the movie.
Of course, I, too, love the half-funny comedy we’ve come to expect from horror movies these days, but this one takes it a little too far. In fact, I’m not sure you could even call “The Predator (2018)” a horror movie at all. The emphasis placed on the humor placed throughout the film makes the intentionally “tense” scenes feel much less so, and the deaths of major characters are greatly downplayed as a result. What’s more, the intensity of the violence and death that “Predator” is known for causes the humor to seem odd and unnecessary. There’s certainly something to be said for building and releasing tension in a film through comedy, but this movie takes on a near “Thor: Ragnarok” level of humor and cheekiness. Unlike, “Thor: Ragnarok,” however, the mood of the film overall constantly clashes with the comedic dialogue of the characters.
Overall, “The Predator” isn’t a bad movie. I don’t like its comedic timing or think its premise was entirely interesting, but it is well-made and entertaining all the same. So, if you’re a fan of the “Predator” films, sci-fi movies, or even dark comedies, consider giving this confusing mix of all three a watch.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Review: “The Predator”