“The Predator” review

“The Predator,” a blandly titled sequel to the 1987 classic “Predator,” is the newest in the recent barrage of reboots and sequels to cult classics. The banality of the title is fitting, as the film attached to it lacks inspiration or intensity.

The premise follows a soldier who, after an encounter with the titular creature, is deemed insane and ends up thrown in with a ragtag group of fellow military men who agree to team up and destroy the monster. What follows is an oddly structured hodge podge of cringe-worthy jokes, stupid character decisions and spotty CGI.

The majority of the runtime is spent on building up this unlikely crew of psychopath mercenaries and the very straight-laced main character who goes from hating them to getting along with them in under a half hour. Every relationship is purely surface level and feels very Hollywood. Attempts to create suspense completely fail due to the lack of build up, mystery and characters we should care about.

The cast features the likes of Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn and Keegan Michael-Key. As an ensemble, they all perform competently and do what they can despite the lousy script. Notably missing from the cast is the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose presence alone could have made this film more worthy. Even without him, director Shane Black does his best to entertain the audience, and in that department I was not entirely let down.

Although the writing was weak and the quips fell flat, I found myself laughing hysterically at the absurd logic and goofy line deliveries on multiple counts. The shining star of the film was its unabashed embracing of the action genre. At its core, this is the type of film that would have been shown at a drive-in double feature in the ‘50s. With that thinking in mind, this can be enjoyed as a pure popcorn adventure.