I love Shane Black, but I hate this movie. No reason to beat around the bush. Jeez did they miss the mark with this one. I don’t know if it was Mr. Black or the studio’s decisions, but it seemed like whatever decision that was made was the wrong one. There is little to no plot, and the character development is nonexistent. I’ll touch on these issues in more detail below with spoilers, but I don’t want to ruin anything for someone hellbent on seeing every Predator movie. I’m not sure if these failures are because the film had more of a comedic tone than anything else, but nothing jived well enough for a coherent story. Bad jokes and mismatched tones are all everywhere, and I’m stunned this had Shane Black’s name on it.
Let’s break down the plot as plainly as possible. A predator comes to earth to save it, by wanting to give us a gift that will stop our planet from dying. Now I’ll admit if I got any of that wrong it’s because they didn’t explain the motivations well and the movie itself is pretty forgettable. The problem is, when the predator crash lands on earth, he immediately goes into predator kill mode from the rip. This just confuses me a little. If I went to another planet to help the species, I wouldn’t start by slaughtering the very people I’m there to save. Also, I thought we already got the whole “ultimate” predator in the last sequel Predators. That movie didn’t do well either, so going the same route with smaller and larger predators is beyond me. If you think “Well maybe the smaller predator wanted to just save the earth, but not the humans.” Maybe, if he didn’t give the characters that dumb transformers robot predator killing suit that our protagonist wants in a 42’ long. Ugh. Other aspects of the film that make me scratch my head are lazy writing like when they shoot the CGI predator dog, the same dog that was about to rip their heads off. How is he now their best friend just for the fact of them shooting it in the head. If you shot me in the head, and I survived, I probably wouldn’t turn into your servant. The ultimate predator is just bland with another CGI invincible antagonist with no real motive. Looking back at the original predator, he didn’t have armor that stopped bullets which made him somewhat vulnerable. Watching CGI bullets bounce off of CGI characters isn’t riveting. It’s boring.
The only real pros I can say for this is that the actors aren’t terrible. They just didn’t have a lot to work with. You feel like the only person having fun is Sterling K. Brown. He was the funniest part of the movie, and the delivery of his lines was spot on for what his character was going for.
I wish I could talk about this film more positively at a greater extent, but I would just be lying to you and myself. Every time I write a new sentence describing the plot, I think to myself, what’s the point. I didn’t plan on dogging on this so hard, but it’s hard not to with the talent working behind it and still missing this hard. I can’t see a direct sequel to this, so I guess we’ll be waiting for another reboot in another 5 years.