The Predator Preview

As the Viking King Vikling celebrates Jamie’s victory over Vlurg with booze and wenches, Jamie drags the rotting corpse down to the seaside and throws it in as bait for Frang. Almost immediately there is a tug at the rope and with a jerk he is pulled into the raging ocean. Just as he is about to succumb to the pounding surf a mighty whale surfaces and eats Jamie in a single gulp. It smells like death in the belly of the beast. Attempting to crawl to the mouth, Jamie stumbles onto a rotting mound of flesh. It’s Frang! The whale must have eaten the monstrous shark months ago and Vikling never noticed. If Frang couldn’t get back out the mouth what hope does even a super muscly guy like Jamie have? Pounding his fists against the rotting flesh of Frang’s useless corpse, Jamie wails in anguish. “Have you forsaken me, Vikling?! Has everything you wanted dead not ended up dead?… At least… in the end. Not necessarily killed by me, but that’s mostly semantics, right?” Suddenly he realizes that a faint glow can be seen further down the gullet of the whale. Crawling towards it, dragging Frang behind him, he find a small encampment and fire. A humanoid monster is sitting there eating a small bit of food. “My God,” Jamie whispers in horror. “It’s a Predator.” Wanting to weep he takes solace in the fact that Patrick must be having even crazier adventures in the alternate universe he’s been sucked into.

Patrick is walking down the beach of terrible CGI birds following Sticks and Stones who have gone silent in the wake of the Z-Movie Multiverse revelation. Every so often he brushes aside one of the birds until … is that Jamie in the distance? Thank God he thinks and starts quicken his pace only to be thrown to the ground as the beach set begins to shift and chlorinated pool water sloshes over him, spilled from the “ocean”. Shoddy workmanship this, he thinks, who built this set? … Wait … presumably no one built the set. His eyes begin to blur, the birds becoming gigantic, filling his field of vision, until one grabs him in pixelated claws and begins to carry him off. He’s thousands of feet into the air, but … how could a z-movie afford just a spectacular effect? The bird explodes into a blob of pixelated blood, and Patrick crumples to the ground, the beach set righting itself, and the birds returning to normal size. “Gosh dern it,” says Stones, “it’s happening.” Stick nods, “Kid, you gotta keep your mind straight, you don’t belong here. This place will drive you mad.” “As sure a pig loves mud.” Stones chimes in. Patrick feels dizzy and his vision shifts again. He sees Jamie, but now a far distance away, talking to what appears to be a … giant bug? Jamie’s going to handle that one on his own, Patrick thinks, and then passes out.

That’s right! It’s impossible to pass up the chance at a major motion picture release that qualifies BMT. Not to mention one that is meant to reboot a major franchise, and one of the most anticipated action films of the year. Let’s go!

The Predator (2018) – BMeTric: 24.3

ThePredator_BMeT

ThePredator_RV

(Kind of heartening that it kind of dropped a ton even before most votes had been cast. Pretty hilarious still. It plays right into the 14-year-old boy demo though, so it’ll float around 6.0 I bet and never really get too far below that.)

RogerEbert.com – 3 stars –  With a fantastic cast and razor-sharp pacing, the fact is that this is what you want from a movie called The Predator.

(Wow, one of the rare top critics who gave this a halfway decent review. And I like to think this was in the spirit of Ebert who was an early pioneer of cutting some slack with the good-for-what-it-is type films (a viewpoint I mostly disagree with).)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaG1KZqrLvM

(So that was probably the best of the three trailers. The other two … looked not so great. And then the film … kind of mostly ended up being regarded as not so great. So it did kind of even out. I was expecting this to be high 50s on Rotten Tomatoes. The critics inability to tolerate things like cursing or violence or other nonsense for the sake of such things heartened me a bit. Making an R-rated movie because “that’s what Predator should be” is dumb and puts violence (unnecessarily) to the front of one’s mind. It certainly seemed to be the case here, but I guess I’ll see.)

Directors – Shane Black – (Known For: Iron Man 3; The Nice Guys; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; BMT: The Predator; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Last Action Hero in 1994; Notes: Kind of fun that he was in the original Predator as an actor. The films he’s directed had, thus far, been notable as critical darlings, but commercial flops.)

Writers – Fred Dekker (written by) – (Known For: The Monster Squad; House; Night of the Creeps; Ricochet; Future BMT: House II: The Second Story; Teen Agent; BMT: RoboCop 3; The Predator; Notes: Notably was a classmate of Black’s at UCLA, which is likely how he got The Monster Squad produced as writer-director.)

Shane Black (written by) – (Known For: Iron Man 3; The Nice Guys; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Lethal Weapon; The Monster Squad; Lethal Weapon 2; The Long Kiss Goodnight; The Last Boy Scout; Lethal Weapon 4; Lethal Weapon 3; Future BMT: Last Action Hero; BMT: The Predator; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Last Action Hero in 1994; Notes: Sold Lethal Weapon when he was 22 and quickly became the highest paid screenwriter ever (selling The Long Kiss Goodnight for a reported $4 million). He took a seven year break in the late 90s.)

Jim Thomas and John Thomas (based on characters created by) – (Known For: Predator; Predators; Executive Decision; Future BMT: Mission to Mars; Predator 2; BMT: AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem; Wild Wild West; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; Behind Enemy Lines; The Predator; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: Wrote the original Predator. This is the third of their films we’ve seen this year, and Predator 2 (which we’ve seen, but outside of BMT) will officially be done soon enough.)

Actors – Boyd Holbrook – (Known For: Gone Girl; Logan; A Walk Among the Tombstones; Run All Night; Out of the Furnace; Milk; Behind the Candelabra; Jane Got a Gun; Higher Ground; The Skeleton Twins; The Free World; Little Accidents; Future BMT: Morgan; The Reunion; The Oranges; Very Good Girls; BMT: The Host; The Predator; Notes: Born in Kentucky and became a model after being found in a playhouse there where he was working as a carpenter. Was engaged to Elizabeth Olsen for a time.)

Trevante Rhodes – (Known For: 12 Strong; Moonlight; Song to Song; Burning Sands; Future BMT: Open Windows; BMT: The Predator; Notes: Crazy good filmography thus far. Was a football player at the University of Texas.)

Jacob Tremblay – (Known For: Wonder; Room; Before I Wake; Future BMT: Shut In; Extraterrestrial; The Smurfs 2; The Book of Henry; BMT: The Predator; Notes: Both his older and younger sisters are quite prolific child actors. His younger sister was even in the amazing The Bye Bye Man last year!)

Budget/Gross – $88 million / N/A

(It made $24 million in its opening weekend and around $50 million worldwide. That $88 figure also possibly doesn’t include reshoots as I think it was announced before they announced the reshoot schedule … so it could be a bit more. It’ll be a flop, but kind of how Solo was a flop. Like … if they had just kept the budget under control a tight $150 million-ish worldwide wouldn’t be such a bummer … but it is, and that, honestly, looks optimistic at this point.)

#50 for the Creature Feature genre

thepredator_creaturefeature

(Alien V Predator is the highest grossing of the genre that we’ve seen thus far actually. Domestically it looks unlikely that this will top that given world of mouth. Just went back-to-back with Jaws: The Revenge, and we watched the entire Anaconda series earlier this year. Kind of the year for the creature feature. Major takeaway: these shouldn’t be considered horror films ever, none of them are scary.)

#30 for the Sci-Fi Chase genre

thepredator_scifichase

(Jumper is the highest grossing here around were Alien V Predator ended up, so, again, unlikely to beat it. I feel like a genre like this is definitely starting to get relegated to things like Netflix. Hell some of the best horror and sci-fi films have already been released straight-to-VOD this year. Strange times coming.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 34% (62/185): The Predator’s energetic blend of black humor and fast-paced action hits just hard enough to nudge this oft-waylaid franchise back on track while setting up sequels to come. (Original consensus at 41%)

The Predator has violence and quips to spare, but its chaotically hollow action adds up to another missed opportunity for a franchise increasingly defined by disappointment.

(I originally generated this when the film sat at 41% and looked like it would maybe just miss out on qualifying. It then dropped dramatically and now seems very unlikely to recover. The two consensuses are interesting, I’ve never actually noticed them change one before.)

Poster – A Definitely Hard-R Predator Film, Look at All That Gore! (C+)

predator

(I like the bold move with the orange and got some artistry, but I can’t get past the fact that it looks stupid, you know? Like, I would like it if it didn’t look extra dumb. Also gotta get some font work. Ever heard of it? Interestingly AvP: Requiem is the only other film in the series to also have a totally boring font. Appropriate.)

Tagline(s) – The Hunt has Evolved (B+)

(Alright. So I have to put my personal beliefs to the side for this one. Concise and hints at the plot. Also had a little double meaning in there to up the cleverness a tad. All in all pretty good… What this hints at though is a terrible movie that lazily uses the “evolution” ploy to claim that somehow this has totally amped up the ultimate predator into the EXTRA ULTIMATE PREDATOR, BRRROOOOOOOOO. So… that’s not super great.)

Keyword(s) – commando mission; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.2 Alone in the Dark (2005); 68.8 The Marine (2006); 61.2 Transformers: The Last Knight (2017); 61.0 Doom (2005); 59.4 Monsters: Dark Continent (2014); 57.3 Suburban Commando (1991); 56.7 The Devil’s Tomb (2009); 54.7 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012); 53.1 Red Dawn (2012); 51.6 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008);

(The Devil’s Tomb is some weird direct-to-DVD film starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ron Perlman. I feel like weird films like that deserve a voice somehow. They seem totally ignored in a very profound and sad way.)

Notes – The film was directed and co-written by Shane Black, as a sequel to Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990) and Predators (2010). Shane Black had played Hawkins in the original film.

The film was originally conceived as a reboot of “Predator”, until Shane Black came aboard and confirmed he would be making a sequel instead, as he wanted to continue to explore the “Predator” mythology.

Jake Busey plays the son of Peter Keyes, the government official from Predator 2 (1990) who died during the hunt for the Predator. Peter Keyes was played by Gary Busey, who is Jake’s father in real life as well. (Huh, that is kind of fun)

Shane Black had gone on record stating he wanted this movie to be true to the spirit of the original, and for it to be R-rated, saying, “It’s an odd thing. Whether Deadpool (2016) helped is an open question, but I suspect it did. I made a condition of my participation with ‘Predator,’ that it be the same rating as the first movie, and the first movie was rated R. In other words, I don’t want to cut away every time the Predator does something violent. I was watching the American version of The Grudge (2004), which was PG-13, and I remember being so frustrated by the fact that everything that was scary in the Japanese version, they had to cut away from in the PG-13 American version.”

After the success of Iron Man 3 (2013), Shane Black was approached by 20th Century Fox with an Iron Man 3 (2013)-sized budget to direct a new “Predator” movie, and he could not resist. (I think people very much underestimate the effect of the MCU on making a lot of those films great. While they give young directors a chance to show off their stuff within a studio context, there always seems to be a lot of hand holding, and I wonder if it pumped up Black’s stock as a director too much.)

Arnold Schwarzenegger turned down the opportunity to return as Dutch. (That also would have been fun as a cameo. Arnold does pick a choose with this things, rumor is he is going to appear in the Terminator reboot).

Adrien Brody expressed interest in reprising his role from Predators (2010). (Naw we’ve good)

Shane Black confirmed via twitter that the film will be rated R. He tweeted that “And, just to be clear… PG-13 is for pussies. Spines bleed… a lot.” Black also tweeted “I am standing on set next to a 7-foot tall gentleman in a Predator suit – so no, it is not all CGI.” This tweet confirmed that this movie will stay true to the original by having the Predator be played by a guy in a suit instead of CGI. (blah. How would Shane Black know that spines bleed a lot?)

Benicio Del Toro was originally supposed to star in the lead role but he was replaced by Boyd Holbrook due to scheduling conflicts. (Nooooooooooo. Benicio is like … an actor I know the name of!)

Shane Black revealed that the rough cut was so dark, it was nicknamed the Night Cut and led to reshooting the third act. (… dark shots are the worst)

When Casey Bracket (Munn) first enters the lab and is examining the recovered Predator items, one of the shelves in the background contains the Xenomorph Tail Spear from AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004). (Fine. It is kind of canon after all … although I think I would consider it sub-A. Like I think they could scrub the AvP stuff without too much trouble at least)

The actor Steve Wilder Striege was originally cast as a minor character in this movie, but 20th Century Fox removed his scenes a few days before picture lock, when actress Olivia Munn informed the studio that he was arrested, charged and registered as a sex offender in 2010 after facing allegations that he attempted to lure a 14-year-old female into a sexual relationship via the internet. (Yeah … do there is a bit of controversy surrounding the film. Another moment where Shane Black sounds like a idiot)

Edward James Olmos’ scenes ended up on the cutting room floor. (I love me some Olmos, so that is too bad)

If you look closely to the school, the football field, and the barn that was filmed in this movie, you’ll recognize that it’s the same school, football field and barn that was used on the TV show Smallville. (fun fact)

The Predator shown in the teaser poster is actually the Crucified Predator from Predators (2010), identifiable by the damage to its Bio-Mask. (whaaaaaa?)

In the Halloween scene when Rory first wears the bio-mask the original predator suit that Jean-Claude Van-Damme wore for the 1st Predator film is seen. That suit was eventually abandoned when John McTiernan and Stan Winston decided to redesign the creature. (I’ll have to keep a look out, the thing looks ridiculous)

After the Loonies are escaping from the bus, they see some motorcycles parked nearby. McKenna yells “get to the choppers!”, a throwback to a line from Predator (1987) made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character Dutch. (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s