• 22 Sep - 28 Sep, 2018
  • Farheen Jawaid
  • Reviews

Predator as a franchise was never blessed with great or even serviceable sequels. The first Predator in 1987, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, had the premise, action and the pace that made it one of the best-loved actioners of the 80’s. After it, the only other memorable sequel was Predators in 2010, produced by Robert Rodriguez directed by Nimrod Antal. Even the ones where Predators fight the Xenomorph Aliens (from the Alien film series) are better left forgotten. Regrettably this new addition to the franchise also misses the brief (or stays true to the atrociousness of the other movies).

The premise is simple and unfolds like a bad made for TV sci-fi actioner from the 80s. A predator – the hunter alien species – crashes on earth in midst of US military crackdown on Mexican cartels in Mexico. In the confrontation which is not shown, only one soldier survives. Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), who had seen the alien, is suspicious of his superiors, thinking that they might debunk his claims. As a precaution, he sends the Predator’s helmet and gauntlet he had nabbed to a P.O. Box near his home. That box somehow lands up in his home with his wife (Yvonne Strahovski) and son (Jacob Tremblay).

McKenna’s son is a child genius with a mental disability, who quickly unravels the alien items and starts using to his glee, while the government has the predator sedated and in custody, bringing in a biology expert (Olivia Munn) for advice.

Unsurprisingly the predator wakes up and wrecks the place, and the biologist takes up arms turning into Ripley to stop the alien.

McKenna arrested by the military for future evaluation, is driven in a van to that high tech facility with a group of convicted former army men, where the predator is kept. The group joins him on stopping the predator, while spewing vulgarities and profanity in their wake.

Director Shane Black has written a lot 80’s action movies; it is an experience he brings to the table with co-writer Fred Dekker. Black, who also starred in the original, is filled with 80s nostalgia, and it does not help the movie in the least. The crudeness and the unintelligence of that era seems outdated and out of place in the 2018’s.

Without people to root for (the characters are paper thin), in actioner there isn’t much to look forward to. •