The Predator: One Beautiful Motherfucker

I personally loved this movie. Now there are definitely reasons others might not like it, but I enjoyed the way they turned “80’s movie” into a genre. The 2018 film was directed by Shane Black, who actually acted in and has a screenplay credit for the first Predator in 1998. And it really shows; this movie was made for fans of franchise, specifically the first film. What I love is, unlike all the other reboots and delayed sequels coming out of Hollywood, is that it actually feels like a full sequel. This is a bloody, gore filled, R-Rated, morally lost film, and I love it. It won’t win any awards. It probably won’t have a great opening box office. But it will go down as one of the best movies in the franchise.

I don’t understand how a movie this anti-politically correct made it to the big screen. I love that they don’t give a flying fuck if you think it’s offensive or not. It’s weird and almost a little sad to think movies that make the kind of jokes they do in this film, are labelled in a negative light. For example the main character Quinn McKenna, played by Boyd Holbrook, has a child, played by Jacob Trembly, that is on the spectrum. I believe he has Autism or something along those lines. Those characters start the movie with a complicated estranged relationship and throughout the terrible events that follow, they grow closer. There is actually a really touching moment in the second act where Quinn tell his son that he blames himself for his distance but that touching moment won’t be brought up in any reviews because they make a “retard” joke soon after. Just because this movie is filled with hilarious racist, mentally ill, and childish sex jokes doesn’t mean there’s no other value to the movie. It’s also has murder, explosions, and more sex jokes!

The Predator earns the R rating from the violence alone. This film literally starts and ends with graphic head shots. People are ripped apart, spines are pulled out of bodies, and more limbs are cut off then a fucking Star Wars movie. The budget on fake blood had to be equal to whatever Jake Busey was paid. One of the things that made the original Predator such a success the unapologetic graphic violence. It was the first movie I remember seeing with a body being skinned alive. There is so much violence they even get to turn a scene about a red shirt getting his hand chopped off into a funny joke. It’s a fun action movie with aliens. I feel like currently every sci-fi or fantasy movies either have to be pg-13 and kid friendly, or it has to go the route of the Alien franchise and try way to hard to make a point. The Predator doesn’t take it’s self seriously.

One thing I always liked about the franchise, which was lacking in the AvP movies, is the fact that the entire team fighting the alien are trained soldier. It really shows how badass the monster is when it’s killing off other badasses. The Alien movies are good but anything can kill pansy ass scientists or truck drivers. The Predator’s team fits the bill with a small difference, they’re all insane. Boyd’s character is the super macho loveable action hero. I love his character. The movie starts off with him basically being Arnold from the first movie in the jungle facing off against a predator that crash lands, spoiler things happen I wont tell you, and he is sent to the funny farm. There he meets the main cast, a group of soldier’s that have a serious of different mental issues. This is also where we hear majority of the jokes in the film. Thomas Jane plays a guy with Tourette’s that will randomly swear and is hilarious, Keegan-Michael Key is a foul-mouthed smart ass and is not as funny but still will get you with a few jokes, and Trevante Rhodes plays the suicidal asshole that doesn’t give a flying fuck about anything. The rest of the cast has their moments but they don’t shine quite as much. In fact there were two characters in the movie that sucked. Casey Brackett, Olivia Munn, who seemed to be in the movie just to have a female prove women can kick butt too, even though her character starts the movie not being able to even shoot a gun. The other was Traeger, Sterling Brown, the government agent that cracks wise but is a bad guy for basically no reason. Neither of these characters really serve the plot…. but then again you don’t watch these movies for the plot.

I almost say you have to watch the other Predator movies, at least the first 2, to fully enjoy this one. I also think that a lot of audience membersmight not like this movie as much if they set their expectations too high. The film really doesn’t bring the franchise to new heights; the overall Predator universe is not changed much. I don’t think that was the point of this movie though. From the very beginning of the film, literally from the title card, we are reminded of the past, not the future. Throughout the film there are nods to the previous Predator movies. The  events in the first two films are canon to this one and we get to hear dialogue of people talking about those events. Althought there is a lot of love for the past, we do still get a new Predator, I just don’t think it’s as new as everyone is expecting. From the trailers we know there’s a new type of super Predator, but honestly there is no explanation or need for this. He’s just a different type of the species that has cooler weapons and poses a bigger threat. All and all I don’t think the tag line “the next step in evolution” was anything more than a catchy buzzword. This movie is about the same thing the franchise has always been about, people dying at the hands of a space alien that loves to kill.

Unlike Alien vs Predator Requiem, this movie survived The Snappening. It brought me back to the gory fun I had watching those old 80’s/90’s action movies. As long as you go in with no expectations, you’ll probably enjoy it as well. I wish this movie nothing but success because I feel like the action Genre is dwindling a bit. Senseless violence sometimes just needs to be senseless, not every movie needs to be PC. That being said, not every movie needs to be like The Predator either. It’s a difficult balance to achieve in Hollywood. Just because this movie has flaws, just because it bleeds, doesn’t mean we should kill it.

 

Movie watched and review written by: Troy Smith

 

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