The Predator (2018)

Director: Shane Black

Writer: Fred Dekker, Shane Black (Screenplay) Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Characters)

Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K Brown, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen

 

Plot: When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’ return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.


Tagline – You’ll never see him coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Commits to Comical Tone

 

Story: The Predator starts as we meet elite sniper Quinn McKenna (Holbrook) whose latest job sees a spacecraft crash land with a Predator butchering his team, with a few goodies he finds, he sends home, knowing what is coming. With his son Rory (Tremblay) being an Asperger’s sufferer, he accidently unlocks the code trapped within the system.

Government agent Traeger (Brown) is trying to unlock the system and when the captured Predator escapes, Quinn must team up with other soldiers branded crazy, Nebraska (Rhodes), Coyle (Key), Baxley (Jane), Lynch (Allen) and Nettles (Aguilera) who help scientist Casey (Munn) find a solution for the new Predator problem.

 

Thoughts on The Predator

 

Characters – Quinn McKenna is a sniper who finds himself in the middle of the latest Predator ship crash landing, surviving his first encounter with the creature, he uses the technology to escape, he must use his training to protect his son and save the world from the impending attack. We do know he isn’t the best family man, but this night should bring him closer to his son. Nebraska is one of the ‘crazy’ soldiers, he will help Quinn becoming the connection between the rest pushing them to do the right thing. Rory is the Asperger’s sufferer that can solve puzzles others can barely unpack, he is your typical different student and school, the outsider if you like. Casey is the scientist bought in to help understand just what is happening with the Predator’s visiting Earth and certain questions about their DNA. Traeger is the government that is trying to keep the lid on everything, he will kill anyone that cross the government to keep secrets and has a dark sense of humour. The rest of the soldiers, Coyle, Baxley, Lynch and Nettles do have their own problems from serving in the military with this battle giving them a chance to redeem themselves.

PerformancesBoyd Holbrook in the leading role is good for the film, he doesn’t reach the levels of Arnie and will fit in well with the rest of the leads. Trevante Rhodes is the guy you most want to watch, he gets the best scenes for the military unit. Jacob Tremblay is getting a reputation for playing kids with troubled sides, he seems to be excellent at this type of role, this however would be his weakest outing so far. Olivia Munn is good even though she doesn’t get the best scenes to work with. Sterling K Brown makes for a great fun human villain and the rest of the unit show good chemistry.

StoryThe story here follows another group of soldiers that come face to face with a Predator and must fight back to survive, this time we have a bigger, badder Predator. Now is a fun story to watch, however if you are a fan of the original this will not give you everything you want to see. The biggest plus in this movie is explaining why the Predators visit Earth, watching this is the right move for the franchise. The story does show insensitive when it comes to dealing with the military unit that clearly have their own mental health problems which sadly gets overlooked and turned into a running joke. For a man of Shane Black’s calibre, we would expect better written scenes, instead of just lazy insults. The key element to take away from the story is that we are watching something fun that has moved away from the original tone.

Action/Adventure/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is big, we get the fights which are big and bloody which is all we want to see, the horror does take a back burner as even when the film tries to be suspenseful it falls short, but the blood does help us out here. The sci-fi side of the film comes from trying to build a bigger world for the Predators to visit from.

SettingsThe film doesn’t make use of the settings too, we get the woodland area which plays into Predators speciality.

Special EffectsThe effects here are very weak for the budget, the opening sequence alone is poor for what we would expect, when it comes to the camouflage ability doesn’t even look better than the 87 film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hello big boy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Making a joke of the mental health problems soldiers face.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun sequel, the tone does stay the same from start to finish which other big blockbusters have failed to do, we get to see more about the history of Predators and most importantly we learn just how deadly they can be.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Franchise Weekend – Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)

Director: Colin Strause, Greg Strause

Writer: Shane Salerno (Screenplay) Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett, Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Characters)

Starring: Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis, Ariel Gage, Kristen Hager, Sam Trammell, Robert Joy

 

Plot: Warring alien and predator races descend on a rural US town, where unsuspecting residents must band together for any chance of survival.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Some Positives

 

Story: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem starts by picking up where the last film ended with the alien causing havoc on the predator ship, forcing it into crashing into small town America. With the alien causing havoc killing everybody or anything that gets in its way, we get to meet the town’s people who we must care about, bad boy just returned to town Dallas (Pasquale), returning solider Kelly (Aylesworth), her family Tim (Trammell) daughter Molly (Gade) sheriff Morales (Ortiz), troubled teenager Ricky (Lewis) and his crush Jesse (Hager).

As the people of the town go about their daily lives, the predators are preparing to clean up the mess left in this small town but will they make it before the aliens cause too much damage or can they face a new threat in a predator-alien hybrid.

 

Thoughts on Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

 

Characters/PerformanceDallas is the bad boy rebel who just happens to return to town the same day the crash happens. Kelly is the returning solider who is dealing with the idea that her young daughter has lost her connection with her while she was away but now must use her skills to save her daughter. Morales is the sheriff and old running buddy of Dallas who has put his bad boy ways behind him. Ricky gives us the high school dynamics with his crush on the beautiful Jesse who has an arsehole boyfriend.

Performance wise, well this is one of the negatives, Pasquale does struggle in the leading role, while it is partly down to writing and performance because Reiko doesn’t reach the levels of an alien trend setting strong leading ladies. The rest of the performances are largely forgettable with Hager clearly hired for her look.

StoryThe pure story is in parts very interesting, we know how deadly the aliens are and after last time we know the predators place in the battle. We know aliens will kill anybody which this film isn’t afraid to play on and we also see the swarm mentality which is caused with the aliens spreading. With these parts all in place this film does still end up coming off messy in places though because the humans are written so badly with the final pay off feeling flat.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is mindless and a lot is in too darker location so you can’t see what is happening with the horror side working in places but not in all scenes it needs to, with the sci-fi elements coming from building for the next part of the franchise which never happened.

SettingsMoving the action to a small town ups the stakes in the film, which also gives us a chance to see how deadly the aliens can be spreading through a population. This gives us a chance to get a large body count but also characters we don’t know anything about.

Special EffectsMost of the effects are good it is the lighting which hinders this film in places.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great idea for a sequel but it has problems all over it, mostly coming from badly executed action sequences that have large jump cuts, no lighting for those scenes and horribly written human character.

 

Overall: A true mixed bag of a sequel.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – AVP Alien vs. Predator (2004)

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson (Screenplay) Jim Thomas, John Thomas, Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett (Characters)

Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, Lance Henriksen, Ewen Bremner, Colin Salmon, Tommy Flanagan

 

Plot: During an archaeological expedition on Bouvetøya Island in Antarctica, a team of archaeologists and other scientists find themselves caught up in a battle between the two legends. Soon, the team realize that only one species can win.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not That Great

 

Story: AVP: Alien vs. Predator starts by taking us around the world fron Antarctica to space to Nebraska to Nepal where we meet the mountain climbing expert Alexa Woods (Lathan) onto Mexico where we meet the archaeologist Sebastian (Bova) who both get a visit from Maxwell Stafford (Salmon) who represents Charles Bishop Weyland (Henriksen).

Weyland has discovered an ancient pyramid buried under the ice of Bouvetoya Island in Antarctica and has built a team including Alexa, Sebastian, Miller (Bremner), Mark (Flanagan), Joe (Rye) and Adele (Boulaye) to mention a few. To travel to the island to enter into the pyramid for what could well be a massive discovery for whoever finds it.

What starts out as a simple exhibition turns into a nightmare when above ground the men get attacked by Predators but inside the pyramid they must battle aliens in a battle for survival stuck in the middle of these iconic villains.

 

Thoughts on AVP: Alien vs. Predator

 

Characters/PerformanceAlexa Woods is the expert climber hired to lead the team into the pyramid using her experience on climb ice surfaces, she reluctantly agrees knowing she is the only available person to do the job safely. Sebastian is the archaeologist that is an expert on many ancient cultures. Weyland is the man funding and seeking technology inside the pyramid. The rest of the characters get a proper introduction only to be killed off in about a ten-minute sequence.

Performance was Lathan is good and the highlight of the human characters with everyone else just coming off fine not getting the time to make an impact.

StoryWhen you look at this story you are left thinking this is Alien on Earth, just without any suspense, horror or interesting stuff going on. This sounds harsh because this is an easy watch and people are going to be happy to watch aliens and predators fight, the problem I have was the introducing us to countless humans only to be disposable for these villains. Certain elements of the story telling do work though, looking at the idea of ancient civilizations worshiping the predators in exchange for the pyramids I did like.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is all what you would come to expect, large body counts and alien or predator kills we have seen before. The horror is almost gone which disappoints with the sci-fi edge working on the level it needs to only.

SettingsAfter taking us around the world in the opening sequences we do settle down nicely for the setting inside the pyramid under the ice with little escape.

Special EffectsWe have good effects when we keep things small scale but bad effects when things get to the large scale.

Final ThoughtsThis is just fine nothing more, it is an easy watch and brings together icons of film, but this just isn’t as fun as Freddy v Jason.

 

Overall: Easy to watch all actioner horrorless movie.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Predator 2 (1990)

predator2Director: Stephen Hopkins

Writer: Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Screenplay)

Starring: Danny Glover, Kevin Peter Hall, Gary Busey, Ruben Blades, Maria Conchita Alonso, Bill Paxton, Robert Davi, Adam Baldwin, Kent McCord

 

Plot: Amidst a territorial gang war in 1997, a sophisticated alien hunter stalks the citizens of Los Angeles and the only man between him and his prey is veteran L.A.P.D. officer, Lieutenant Mike Harrigan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Sequel

 

Story: Predator 2 starts by taking us to LA in the middle of a drug war with Lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Glover) leading his team Danny Archuleta (Blades), Leona Cantrell (Alonso) and new member Jerry Lambert (Paxton) who has to start taking answers from FBI agent Peter Keyes (Busey).

When the crime bosses start getting killed as well as one of the men in Harrigan’s team it appears that the Predator (Hall) is cleaning up the streets using the same style of selecting its victims as we see how the Predator continues to collect trophies.

Predator 2 continues the idea from the original with an alien killing for trophies. The predator is only killing people he sees as a threats which we do learn from the original and this story continues to build on it. I will say having the Predator almost be the good guy does work because it does open the Predator universe to new possibilities in the future.

 

Actor Review

 

Danny Glover: Lieutenant Mike Harrigan is the hard working determined and rule breaking cop that gets the bad guy every single time but always finds himself in trouble from the higher ups. When his team start getting picked off he has to go against orders to find the killer who is also cleaning up the streets leading to a final showdown. Danny does a good job in this role showing how you didn’t need all muscles to take on the Predator.

Gary Busey: Peter Keyes is the FBI that comes into take over the investigation only to find himself having Harrigan following him around getting involved with the truth about why he is there. Gary does a good job but never truly make the character his own.

Kevin Peter Hall: The Predator is different one from the first film and this time he is stalking the streets of LA. It seems to be studying its victims making sure only to target the armed ones but when it kills one of Harrigan’s men it becomes the main target off his rage. I like how this film opens up the universe of the Predator character giving us a different direction in which it could go in the future. Kevin fits the bills for this character perfect with his imposing screen presence.

Ruben Blades: Danny Archuleta is Harrigan’s closest friend and partner on the force the two have been loyal to each other for their whole careers. Danny finds himself having to keep Harrigan calm whenever he would start to lose the plot. Ruben does well with the character that is not developed as well as it should.

Support Cast: Predator 2 has a bigger supporting cast than the original with Bill Paxton as fast talking charming detective being the star attraction on them.

Director Review: Stephen HopkinsStephen does a good job expanding the Predator universe.

 

Action: Predator 2 has plenty of action with a larger body count helping have wilder action scenes that original.

Horror: Predator 2 does use the horror element by showing all the different kills the Predator does.

Sci-Fi: Predator 2 throws the alien into LA as we see man versus alien coming through again.

Settings: Predator 2 is set in LA which works for the motives of the Predator wanting to only kill the threats with weapons.
Special Effects
: Predator 2 uses the special effects really well throughout.

Suggestion: Predator 2 is one for the action horror fans to enjoy as this is a good sequel. (Action Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Final battle.

Worst Part: LA is a busy setting.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has one

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

Tagline: Pull over, park, and pray.

 

Overall: Good sequel to quality original.

Ratingcsrd

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Predator (1987)

predDirector: John McTiernan

Writer: Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves, R.G. Armstrong, Shane Black, Kevin Peter Hall

 

Plot: A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: Predator starts as a team of American Commandos led by Dutch (Schwarzenegger) are joined by CIA agent Dillion (Weathers) to go into the South American jungle to rescue hostages taken by guerrillas.

Dutch finding out his team were used to complete a different mission he orders an immediate evacuate only to find themselves having to fight an invisible enemy with weapons stronger than anything they have seen before.

Predator has one of the simplest stories for action sci-fi with it being man versus unknown enemy. When it comes to the story the film really doesn’t need anything more than this because anything that over complicates the story taking away from the action.

 

Actor Review

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Dutch is the tough leader of a group of lit commandoes that get assigned to the South American jungle for their latest mission, working with former friend and CIA agent Dillion he finds himself facing off against an alien creature that is picking off his men. Arnold is a perfect choice for this role, strong, tough and able to handle himself in a fight in what could be one of his most iconic roles.dtch

Carl Weathers: Dillion is the former soldier who served next to Dutch but now is a CIA agent, he knows Dutch’s skills and recruits him into helping with the mission in the jungle but he does have other motives. Carl is good in this role even if the character comes off feeling genetic.

Elpidia Carrillo: Anna is found in the jungle with the enemies, she gets captured to be taken back by Dillion but she knows what the men are up against in the jungle. Elpidia is good but also really just the damsel in distress figure.

Bill Duke: Mac is one of the soldiers in Dutch’s unit, he is the first to come face to face with the enemy where the others can’t believe what they are actually up against. Bill is good in this like all of soldier characters.

Support Cast: Predator has a small supporting cast with most just being the different members of the unit who all do a good job throughout.

Director Review: John McTiernanJohn gives us one of the best action sci-fi films ever made with perfect casting and a simple story that works so well.

 

Action: Predator has great action sequences happening throughout.

Adventure: Predator throws our characters into an adventure style survival story.

Sci-Fi: Predator puts our humans against aliens to create the battle arena.predator

Settings: Predator is set entirely within the jungle which help show the isolation the characters face against the predator.
Special Effects
: Predator has brilliant special effects for the time that have mostly all stood the test of time too.

Suggestion: Predator is a film I think all film fans should have seen at least it once. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Final showdown.

Worst Part: Pointless dialogue in the final showdown.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for one Oscar

Box Office: $60 Million

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: It came for the thrill of the hunt. It picked the wrong man to hunt.

 

Overall: True classic of the genre that shows just how to make a simple story so much fun.

Ratingcard