A former military sniper find himself embroiled in a galactic battle when a Predator crash lands near his black ops site. Things go from bad to worse when the battle follows him back home to where his young, autistic son lives. Can he defeat the Predator, protect his family, and save mankind before it’s too late? Find out in… The Predator.
How?! We open with a Predator crash landing in Mexico near where our hero, Quinn, is taking part in a black ops mission. He briefly does battle before escaping with some of the Predator technology, which he sends back home (into the unsuspecting hands of his autistic son, Rory). He is then taken by the US government to be questioned and eventually shipped off to a psychiatric ward with a bunch of other soldiers being held as insane by the US government. In the meantime the Predator has been taken to a top secret lab to be studied but awakens and destroys the lab. The prisoners on the bus escape and drive away to try to make sure Quinn’s family isn’t now the target of an escaped Predator. Arriving at the home of his estranged wife, Quinn finds that Rory has been totally deciphering the alien tech and has taken it out for a little spin on Halloween. This activates a homing beacon on the tech and leads to an even bigger Ultimate Predator to show up which is there to kill the first Predator (you following this? Me neither). It easily does so and our heroes escape only to be captured by the US government. They use Rory to find the crashed Predator ship and everyone converges on that location. Unfortunately the Ultimate Predator is like “Nope, I’m gonna blow it up and kill everyone,” and it does. The Ultimate Predator then shockingly (what a twist!) reveals that Rory’s autism actually represents the next step in human evolution and is the ultimate warrior for mankind. It take Rory captive to use in biological experimentation and starts to fly away, but Quinn being a badass jump on his ship and totes kills it and stuff. We then get a little sneak peak at the sequels when it’s revealed that the first Predator actually brought a weapon for mankind to use and it’s a super lame Predator suit that is going to suck for real. This may all sound fine to you but think of the massive coincidence that had to occur in this case: the Predator had to crash land on top of a US military sniper in the Mexican wilderness allowing for him to obtain alien technology to send back to his autistic son who happens to be the ultimate warrior and only human on Earth that can decipher the alien technology. That’s some straight magic destiny shit.
Why?! There actually is a lot more motivation that the original Predator where more or less the alien is a game hunter in it for the thrill of the hunt. This time the original Predator heads to Earth in hopes of delivering a weapon to help in the upcoming battle against the rest of the Predators. You see, climate change is making Earth hotter and thus more habitable for Predators. They’re gonna live here now, but I guess this original Predator is more accepting and doesn’t like this for some reason. So it brings a Predator suit that apparently will defeat climate change (the real bad guys in this whole scenario). So I guess it like… runs entirely on clean energy or something? They can’t possibly expect one man in a robot suit to fight an entire invading force of Predators, right?… RIGHT?
What?! The robot suit revealed at the end of the film is a perfect MacGuffin. Literally no one actually knows what it is and yet the government, our hero, and the Ultimate Predator are fighting and killing to get the thing as it mysteriously represents the only hope for mankind. For a moment in the theater I thought the box containing the MacGuffin would open and reveal a brief shot of the cryogenically frozen body of Arnold and that he would turn out to be the ultimate warrior that is the only hope for mankind and would come back to star in the sequel. I was crushed when it was a stupid robot suit.
Who?! There seems to be only one Easter Egg in the film in that Jake Busey plays the scientist studying the Predator, Sean Keyes. He is the son of Peter Keyes, the scientist in Predator 2 played by Busey’s real life father Gary Busey. We of course have never watched Predator 2 because we are dumb, but rest assured it will be watched for BMT (and soon, spoiler alert).
Where?! This was a point of contention. The film obviously starts in Mexico and proceeds to Chattanooga, TN. From there people only drive or take helicopter trips to further locations so I presumed they either stayed in TN or crossed the border into Georgia. Patrick noted that most cars had Georgia license plates and some promotional material boasted about how the production team mocked up a school in Vancouver to look like a school in Macon, Georgia so we can be pretty safe to assume it takes place there, but not particularly noticeable. It’s always hard for these BMT Live films. B-.
When?! This was much more obvious as part of the plot is that Rory is able to take the alien tech out and about because it’s Halloween and everyone is dressed up. A really perfect Secret Holiday film. One of the best of the year. A-.
This is a lizard brain fun movie. I sat in the theater and was more or less fine with being there and watching this new addition to the Predator lore. It’s only on thinking back on the film that it starts to fall apart. The film is built on crazy coincidence, cliche, and childish humor. It’s like an early 2000’s action film mixed with a youtube video. It kinda sucks but you also don’t mind wasting your time watching it… like a youtube video. I guess what I’m saying is that it has the value of a youtube video… and that’s good but also terrible. Get it? Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Some people say that terrible movies are the next evolutionary step in great filmmaking … wait, that doesn’t make a lick of sense, what am I talking about? Oh yeah, the main plot point in The Predator. Let’s go!
The Good – The film at the very least attempts to advance the Predator franchise into interesting territory, with the ultimate conclusion being galactic war (funny enough … the exact same plan floated to resurrect the Independence Day franchise). Looking back at the original Predator you can tell Shane Black had an idea about the “band of soldiers” that haven’t really been replicated in other installments of the franchise, something that felt necessary, one valiant attempt. The action was, at times, decent, specifically the lab escape scene. Olivia Munn was fine, not great, but fine. The kid actor was far less annoying than you would think. The main villain was charming as well, kind of making fun of the machismo so many critics referenced in the good reviews.
P’s View on the Preview – Ah, we watched this film very closely and I think we can take credit for willing it below 40% ultimately. It started as fresh, well above 60% after the initial wave of reviews. When I first generated the preview it even had a different consensus written that made it out to be a fine addition to the franchise. They’ve since replaced it with one a bit more down on the whole thing. Ultimately, like Warcraft, this is mostly looking at one of the bigger releases of the year that ended up being bad and seeing what we think.
The Bad – Aggressively and proudly crude for the sake of being crude, which I thought came across as juvenile and annoying, and makes the film seem like a standard R-rated action-comedy. No charisma from the lead, bad acting across the board, specifically I thought Thomas Jane put together a flimsy, obvious, and generally annoying character. Keegan-Michael Key was only barely tolerable as well. The rest of the band of brothers was entirely forgettable, beyond Trevante Rhodes who was okay. The jingoist attitude towards soldiers was unbecoming and unnecessary. The main story (Predator trying to evolve using autism, the next evolution in humankind) is an atrocity and has been appropriately maligned by critics and fans alike. And finally, it jumps around way too much, you are all over the place, and not for a particularly good reason. There is so many small things wrong with this film it ultimately sinks under the weight of criticism. It is basically like: there is a little something for everyone to hate.
You Just Got Schooled – Initially for this film I wanted to rewatch Predator, but I’m kind of saving that for another time. Instead for homework I decided to watch the Red Letter Media re:View of Predator. For the most part this gives a general look at what made Predator a very good 80s action film: a limited story in a unique location with a charismatic lead and a tendency to go over the top with violence and crudeness. The new one? Basically tries to pretend that that last bit was the most important. It was not. The most important is the first: limit the story. Predator, Predators, and Predator 2 (to an extent) all focused on a very simple story: the predator has come a-hunting, y’all better get the f’ outta here! Why we end up jumping locations is beyond me. I’m looking forward to see if the RLM guys do an actual review of The Predator, because I imagine they’ll be quite disappointed in the “Shane Black Predator” given their views of the original.
The BMT – I think this was, weirdly, a once-in-a-lifetime event. The Predator was one of the bigger action films slated for the autumn, people were skeptical of the trailers but still seemed excited, and the crude R-rated action-comedies (don’t pretend it is anything else) tend to get apologized for for being good for what they are (and aren’t) trying to do. But somehow it sunk like a stone and ended up probably being the biggest action BMT of the year. Reminiscent of Independence Day 2, which was equally forgettable. Probably one of the more interesting Live’s we’ve done and gives a good reason for the BMT Lives to exist I think.
Welcome to Earf – Alright, so Olivia Munn is in The Predator and Mortdecai with Johnny Depp, who was in Transcendence with Morgan Freeman, who was the narrator for Conan the Barbarian (2011) with Ron Perlman, who was in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earth!
StreetCreditReport.com – Just like with other Lives there isn’t much to say here, but I would expect the screenplay would get some nods for worst written film. Given the stellar track record of Shane Black as a director, he’ll also be a huge target for worst directed film. Overall, the film is big enough I would expected it’ll sneak into the bottom of a few worst of lists by the end of the year, overall the year has been pretty sparse regardless.
BMT Live Theater Review – After my terrible experience at Cineworld for Slender Man, I returned to my precious Vue. £7 showings all day every day, clean, and … well, they also had 30 minutes of adverts (as they say in foggy London town) prior to the show, but at least I can kind of think to myself “hey, the movie only cost £7 which for London is a steal”. Almost no one was in the showing, no one laughed at the many juvenile and crass jokes, and everything was appropriately muted … basically it is what you would expect from a terrible action film. Went to a late show, and then just stewed getting angrier and and angrier as I wandered home. C+, just what you would hope from a showing, but nothing hilarious to make it stand out either.