THE PREDATOR Review — A Tongue-in-Cheek Reboot? Why Not?

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The Predator Review — Deadly, yes. Deadly serious? No. And that’s what makes it worth watching

The Predator ReviewI can see it going this way: A handful of studio execs and filmmakers sitting in some swanky conference room, far removed from the rest of the world, power gulping Red Bulls and espressos, jubilantly declare, “What the world really needs is a Predator reboot!”

It must have sounded like a terrific idea at the time. After all, it’s been a good 30 years since the first episode in the Arnold Schwarzenegger-powered franchise was released, and it was wildly popular back then. The new takes on Alien have done pretty well, and the two Alien Vs. Predator movies didn’t bomb. So why not?

I know what you’re thinking. “I could give you plenty of reasons why not. Have all original action franchise ideas been exhausted already?” My answer is: ask Sony about Spiderman.

But at least director Shane Black (The Nice Guys, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) has given it a unique, tongue-in-cheek twist, and doesn’t take the film too seriously. Instead of a franchise reboot, it’s more of a rebirth, with quippy, quirky characters, cartoon/video game violence and a Swiss cheese plot that doesn’t grate because the film is actually (dare I say it?) kind of fun.

This time around the aliens are back, picking DNA from the strongest species on the planet. It’s up to a professor, a group of “challenged” military men, and a young boy to stop them.

The casting is clever, and includes Jacob Tremblay, (RoomOlivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key, Boyd Holbrook, Thomas Jane and Sterling K. Brown in a bad guy role for a change. All are appropriately over the top, as befits the material.

I think the film will find its place among fans, despite the fact that it’s opening just as Hurricane Florence hits land, and has been the subject of controversy over a registered sex offender being cast (his brief scene was cut when Munn spoke out about it). Personally, I’d like to see a sequel, if for no other reason than I’m dying to find out what’s up with that alien puppy.

If  The Predator Review inspires you to see the film, get times and tickets at Fandango.com.

The Predator Review — Deadly, yes. Deadly serious? No. And that’s what makes it worth watching

 

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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