The Predator features a fantastic cast that is wasted with a production that was hacked to the bone in post production.
Director: Shane Black
Summary: 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.
The Predator is the unfortunate type of production where the behind-the-scenes issues are going to be the most memorable thing about it. Shane Black is one of the great directors of our time but he made a huge mistake when he hired a friend and convicted sex offender for a small part in the movie. That has dominated the discourse for the movie which isn’t that surprising since the rest of the movie isn’t that interesting. Black is a director that you hire when you want someone to break down the genre and do something completely different. It seems that Fox didn’t want that and the movie that has arrived in theaters feels like it was hacked to the bone in post production.
Several months ago it was revealed that the pretty much the entire third act was re-shot and it is very apparent once you watch the final production. A movie that spent the first half drawing attention to the little things of the genre that don’t make sense, like the fact that calling the Predator a Predator doesn’t make sense. There are character moments that are clearly supposed to be meaningful but they fall entirely short because we’ve had almost no time with these people. No one has any character moments that make us care about them and for their deaths to mean anything we have to care about them.
There are some fun moments when the movie goes over the top with the violence and there are some great comedy scenes where the very impressive cast is given room to breathe. Those are the best moments in the entire movie but they are, unfortunately, few and far between. The Predator embraces its R-rating but it doesn’t do anything resembling creative kills. A few people get impaled or their heads torn off but there were more interesting kills in the third act of Predators than there are here. There are moments when it seems like the production is ready to cut lose and really go nuts but it’s like someone is holding it back on a choke chain. It yanks the movie back before it can get too crazy, too bloody, too violent, or even too funny. Everything about this production feels restrained like there was someone holding it back from being as good as it could have been,
The Predator isn’t boring enough to be a bad movie but it isn’t good enough to make any sort of impression. It’s forgettable in the worst possible way. It’s a movie that will only be remembered for the scandal and nothing else which is unfortunate. There was potential here and it was entirely wasted.
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