Thursday, October 31, 2019

THE PREDATOR (2018) Blu-ray Review

Scare-A-Thon Totals to Date:

Total Movies Watched: 30
Total First Time Views: 16
Amount raised for AMAZON WATCH: $2,482.80

The Predator (2018) d. Shane Black (USA) (107 min) (1st viewing)

It’s amusing that I watched this the same day as Jigsaw, since both represent the latest installments in franchises that have limped along far past their sell-by dates, inexplicably generating box office revenue when it’s pretty obvious no one is really clamoring for them. That said, the notion of Shane Black (The Nice Guys, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) directing a Predator movie, especially one co-written with longtime buddy Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad, Night of the Creeps)… well, color me intrigued, especially since Black was hired to spice up the screenplay for the 1987 original with Arnold Schwarzenegger and was later added to the cast as Hawkins. Here’s a guy who was literally there at the beginning and now wants his shot at the title.

Plot-wise, there is very little new ground broken here. Yes, there is the sliver of an original idea in the dreadlocked menaces from space seeking out new species across the universe to cross-breed their own warriors with, making for bigger, stronger, SuperPredators, but that field has already been plowed by its sister Alien franchise.

But mostly, it’s more of the same: Predator shows up, kills pretty much everyone it encounters until the final mano-a-mano opposite its macho headliner, roll credits. Along the way there is some ancillary science stuff to clue newcomers into the fact that this is one rough emmereffer that we’re dealing with here, maybe a car chase or two, and, just as in Friday the 13th, there is the obligatory shot of the ugly fella without his trademark mask.

Black knows all this, checks all the required boxes, and loads his flick with the obligatory big-bam-boom action set-pieces. But he has also hired some wildly overqualified actors keen to sink their teeth into the juicy banter and one-liners that he and Dekker have doled out… and that’s where the magic happens. (I can’t help but picture the duo cracking each other up, banging this stuff out on the word processor while holed up in some ridiculously decked-out man cave somewhere.)

Seriously, look at this cast: Boyd Holbrook (the hunky baddie from Logan), Trevante Rhodes (the hunky guy from Moonlight), Keegan Michael-Key (Key & Peele), Olivia Munn (Office Christmas Party), Sterling K. Brown (Black Panther), Thomas Jane (The Mist), Alfie Allen (John Wick, Game of Thrones), Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale), Jake Busey (The Frighteners), and little Jacob Tremblay (Room). And they are all having so damn much fun. Plus there are dick jokes, Tourette’s jokes, space dogs, and jokes about space dogs.

The final product is undeniably artificial and overproduced, but it’s delivered in such supremely enthusiastic fashion that one can’t help but get swept along for the giddy ride. No, we didn’t need another Predator movie. But if we had to have it, I’m glad we got one with so much personality. This is 100% Shane Black’s The Predator, and that’s exactly what we paid for.


Deleted Scenes (7 min)

"A Touch of Black" (10 min)

"Predator Evolution" (20 min)

"The Takedown Team" (16 min)

"Predator Catch Up" (9 min)

Poster and Photo Gallery

Theatrical Trailers

The Predator is available now on Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox and can be found on most major retail platforms.


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