‘Predator’ Died on Arrival


Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Poster for the movie “The Predator.”

Joey Hung

A reboot of John McTernan’s 1987 film “Predator” opened on Sept. 14. The film is about a group of aliens who invade present-day Georgia with the intention of hybridizing their alien race. These creatures hunt down Rory McKenna (Jacob Tremblay), a 12-year-old boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder, in order to evolve themselves. In turn, Rory’s father, Quinn (Boyd Holbrook), an ex-army soldier, hunts the Predators accompanied by other former soldiers

For all its faults, the screenplay is memorable. Co-writers Fred Dekker and Shane Black had fresh and realistic dialogue that was a joy to experience on the big screen. The screenplay allowed the characters to interact with flawless chemistry. If one were only reading the script, the characters’ affection for each other would have been tangible, creating a warm and playful atmosphere throughout the film.

Yet, the movie was very underwhelming due to the actors’ inability to live up to the brilliantly written screenplay. The weakest performer was Olivia Munn who plays Casey Bracket, a biologist involved with the study of the Predators. Her lines were delivered inconsistently and each word seemed to be muttered with a different emotion, confusing the audience on the intentions of the lines and the character’s mood. She often left the viewer wondering if she was scared, in disbelief or enticed by the discovery of a Predator.

Although the film was competently edited together, there was nothing surprising nor exciting about each individual scene. While some of Black’s dialogue was as fresh as his other’s screenplays, like “The Nice Guys” and “Iron Man 3,” there was also a lot of repetitive bickering among the characters, followed by a typical action scene which included conventional gore and death. Additionally, the deaths in the scenes were lacking emotional depth due to the poor character development. When characters were ruthlessly torn apart by the Predator, their deaths always felt abrupt — and didn’t resonate.

When the end of the film was near, audiences found themselves entering the beginning of a “Predator” sequel rather than feeling satisfied by a definitive ending. The movie, which was continuously built up to defeat the Predators, ended almost abruptly, underwhelming audiences with a cliffhanger that won’t be answered until years from now when a lukewarm sequel is sure to follow.

“The Predator” was Hollywood’s attempt to push another sci-fi action franchise onto the big screen. But rather than heart-pounding excitement and fun characters to root for, the film suffered from standard fight scenes and disappointing acting.


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