As The Predator’s tagline proclaims, hunting season is open with the release of the latest instalment in the franchise. The film is a new twist in the literal evolution of the alien hunter, directed and co-written by Shane Black who acted in the original 1987 picture and has a number of big credits to his name, including Iron Man 3 and Lethal Weapon.
It opens in a similar fashion to the original entry; however, it’s more of a tribute than a blatant copy. The story follows highly awarded military sniper Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) who has a run in with a Predator during a mission in Mexico and becomes the victim of a major cover-up, while biologist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) is brought into a secret government facility to investigate a particular find. Quinn’s autistic son, Rory (Jacob Tremblay), also makes a few discoveries of his own, and when all three paths align, well, that’s when things get interesting.
This entry is set after the events of Predator 2 and before Predators. Having said that, the exposition is clear and concise in this, that even those who haven’t seen any of the previous movies will be able to follow this easily.
Black brings his brand of sassy humour to the film, punching with perfect timing and giving the audience not only comic relief but also delivering some fun one-liners that are bound to be quoted by Predator fans everywhere for years to come. There are some wonderful references to famous one-liners from the original and even a few visual gags.
But it’s not all callbacks and nostalgia, with the action-packed flick introduced new Predator breeds; they’re bigger, faster and better than ever. The film’s character development is a great focal point, with the ragtag team of ‘Loonies’, great soldiers that Quinn teams up with, given enough screen time for the audience to care and learn about their backstories, something other fast-paced films sometimes overlook.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Predator film without its trademark hunts. With that said, the Predators don’t even have to do that much, with the humans often taking each other out for one reason or another. It’s got all the gore in its full glory, fitting in well with its predecessors.
The ending is a real tease and leaves a few questions unanswered, which can only lead to one conclusion – the hunt has only just begun! Overall, The Predator doesn’t take itself too seriously and neither should you.
The Predator is in cinemas now.