Having an excellent cast can only get you so far.
The Predator is proof of that very fact. The action film franchise has been through a lot, and it has numerous successful movies in its history, but the newest edition of the series just doesn’t feel like it is up to the task. Having Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key, Sterling K. Brown, Jacob Tremblay, and many more prominent stars in its cast is nice in theory, but if you waste their talents, it makes for a messy movie. You wonder how anyone signed up for the movie in the first place.
The plot of this movie is absolutely wild and, when I type it out, it still doesn’t feel real. The film focuses on Quinn McKenna (played by Boyd Holbrook), an Army Ranger who comes across a crashed alien ship, takes some property from the crash, and sends it to his own PO Box. The issue is that the property ends up going to his estranged family’s home, where his autistic son (played by Jacob Tremblay) comes across it and triggers another “super” Predator to go and collect the property. It only gets more convoluted from there, and a lot of it centers around Rory McKenna, the son.
The movie is directed by Shane Black, who acted in the original Predator, and it feels like he should have a good handle on the series. The movie and the screenplay come off as choppy and horribly paced. Add in the fact that they reshot a lot of the film and the plot twists and turns in silly ways, and you have to wonder if this should have been shelved or pushed out a different way.
The Predator does have the violent action that you crave from the prior films, but it doesn’t help at all. In fact, it just feels like an excuse to keep the audience entertained. It is more sleight of hand than anything else and distracts viewers from the plot.
Of course, you can still enjoy it. The movie has funny moments and has a few action sequences that are inventive enough for the franchise. The cheesy moments may actually be the best moments overall, if that tells you anything about the movie itself.
The Predator is raking in money, and the name recognition alone may get this another movie. Black has a reasonably good track record and may be able to turn in a solid effort, but the problem is that this isn’t it. As a summer movie it is perfectly fine, but as a cornerstone for a rebooted action franchise, it leaves a lot to be desired.