Shane Black helmer of “Iron Man 3” brings in fresh blood. Leading man Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), he’s a military sniper who had a run in with a space alien. Cause and effect has the government sending him to be evaluated, where he meets other soldiers who may/may not be mentally stable, including (Trevante Rhodes’s) Nebraska Williams. Together they form their own version of “The A-Team” and set out to take down the aliens.
Olivia Munn is scientist Casey Brackett. She’s brought-in to study the alien creature, but mostly to add a female element to this testosterone overloaded plot. “This is Us” Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown plays the Mentos chewing Traeger, the boss of “Operation Predator”, which has been underway since… 1987.
McKenna’s son Rory, who’s on the Autism spectrum, receives a package from his dad that will draw him into this battle. He’s played by “Wonder”’s Jacob Tremblay.
“The Predator” is easily one of the coolest movies of the year, thanks to its hokey action, impressive visuals and the intentional attempts at humor. It’s also ultraviolet and packed with R-rated dialogue. Even the 11-year old Tremblay drops an F-bomb. And that score, from composer Henry Jackman, is a “Star Wars”/“Indiana Jones” take-off, on steroids.
The cast is likable. Black who starred in the original also co-writes this one In effect turning the new movie into a very gruesome comedy, they have their characters try to describe the titular beast (a character describes the extraterrestrial as “an alien Whoopi Goldberg”). There is so much humor here it almost felt like a hard R Marvel film.
I give “The Predator” credit for being true to itself. This is B-movie sci-fi pop-corn. On that level it’s enjoyable. Black knows the trade, and it shows: This is by far the best-looking and most pyrotechnic movie in the franchise, with an impressive array of vehicles and hacked-off limbs soaring lovingly through the frame. The budget, too, soars, to a franchise high, and even when the extra dollars encourage some regrettably digital gore.
There is one scene early on repeatedly jokingly insinuates that a predator, or several men, might assault the movie’s only real female character. (Munn has been open about a dispute with 20th Century Fox over the movie’s initial inclusion of a registered sex offender does not make this any more pleasant.) Top all that off with the fact she also has a nude scene in the film, granted nothing graphic is shown on camera, but still.
Rated R for strong bloody violence, language throughout, and crude sexual references
I recommend watching this through ClearPlay filtered its quite graphic