The Predator (2018)

The Predator (2018)

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A military sniper joins a group of ex-soldiers along with a disgruntled scientist in order to save his son from a genetically enhanced predator that came to Earth to find what was stolen by an inferior type of his own kind. Now as time is running out the fate of the human race rests in their hands.

Plot

*Be aware of spoilers*

Military sniper Quinn McKenna during a mission in Mexico faces a predator that crashed into the forest. A government team led by Will Traeger manages to catch him while Quinn sends some of his equipment to his ex-wife and son. Rory finds the package with the predator’s things and while messing with them they activate making a genetically enhanced predator to lock on to their position.

Quinn is placed under arrest with other ex-soldiers while biologist Casey Bracket is brought by Traeger’s men to project Stargazer lab where they keep a heavily sedated predator. While the ultimate predator’s ship approach the lab, the fugitive predator escapes his restraints and kills everyone in his path but leaves Casey unharmed when he finds her in the shower. Quinn and Casey go after the fugitive predator but Casey shoots herself with a tranquilizer gun as the ultimate predator has a dogfight with fighter jets and finally touches down to look for the fugitive predator along with his two alien dogs.

Casey wakes up in a motel with the other guys and they convince her to stay with them in order to find the predator who they believe will go to Emily’s house where Quinn sent his equipment. Rory goes on trick-or-treating with the predator mask only to blow up a house after the guy that lived in it threw something to the mask.

After a confrontation between the team, the predator dogs and the fugitive predator, ultimate predator finds them and a quick confrontation between the aliens takes place when the ultimate smashes fugitive’s face. Traeger believes that finding Rory will help them find the ship and ultimately find what fugitive stole. After he confronts the team they take Rory with them while Quinn and his gang follow.

Everyone arrive at the fugitive’s ship but ultimate predator kills Traeger’s men and destroys the ship. After confronting him in the woods the predator takes Rory with him in his ship and Quinn goes after them. After managing to crash down his ship Quinn faces the predator and with the help of Casey they manage to kill him.

Sometime later Quinn go to a lab where he, Rory and Dr Yamada open the cargo that fugitive predator had stolen only to find a powerful armor called the Predator Killer.

Directed by

Shane Black

Produced by

John Davis

Written by

Fred Dekker
Shane Black

Based on characters by

Jim Thomas
John Thomas

Production Company

TSG Entertainment
Davis Entertainment

Starring

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

Running time

107 minutes

Author’s review

There are no other two franchises that have shaped modern sci-fi monsters films like the Alien and Predator films. Both of them became known in the 80s and although none of the films became the gargantuan box office successes that we are used to see today from films like Marvel they are both considered classic and they have shaped a whole new generation of filmmakers. Time and time again we have seen new sci-fi films that have influences from these two iconic monsters and while their first films have launched into the stratosphere of classic cinema the same cannot be said about their most recent sequels.

The Predator franchise had the most bumpy road with the first part remaining the best in the series with Schwarzenegger in the main role. The first sequel came in 1990 with a complete different setting and mixed reviews while the last time we saw these creatures was in 2010 in “Predators” from Nimrod Antal and Robert Rodriguez which in our opinion still remains the best sequel that tried to catch some of the essence and spark of the original success.

The Predator (2018)

And so we reach 2018 where the next chapter in the long running franchise arrives with “The Predator” and this time behind the help we find Shane Black, of Iron Man 3 fame, and a member of the original cast that has turned director nowadays. Getting Black in the director’s chair seemed like the right choice, after all Iron Man 3 made over a billion dollars for Marvel so getting such a high caliber director would at least ensure a certain quality. But during filming the first alarming signs seemed to appear. Extensive re-shoots, scripts rewrites and multiple ending shoots only revealed of a troubled production. Nevertheless most were optimistic that Shane Black would deliver.

And so the film finally released and it proved to be more controversial than most people expected. But let’s take one thing at a time. The film is supposed to be a sequel to the previous films with a group of “looney” ex-soldiers being caught in the crossfire of a genetically enhanced predator that is hunting a fugitive predator with a stolen cargo. The story in itself doesn’t sound very bad, it’s actually the way it was executed that created a mess of a film. With so many problems, re-shoots and re-writes one thing seemed pretty clear from the beginning. The filmmakers didn’t know what they wanted to do with this film and which direction they wanted to follow.

The Predator (2018)

Evolution and progress is a given and with so many sequels already it was natural that they wanted to try something new but in all these cases you must know how much is too much. The original predator film was a serious military action film with a group of special forces soldiers taking on the alien in the jungle. This macho style of film led by iconic actors like Schwarzenegger and Ventura while the film tried to be as realistic as possible, taking into account the context of the story of course, were the two main pillars of making it work.

With “The Predator” unfortunately the filmmakers changed too much of it’s DNA turning it only a shadow of it’s former self. One of the thing that really bothered us was the amount of jokes that were flying around constantly giving the film a much more light, even silly at times, feeling. No suspense, no horror, no thrills. Just action scenes that make no sense, silly jokes thrown all over the place wrapped around a badly edited story. The core of the predator films is the horror of being chased by an unseen deadly alien that can appear at any minute.

The Predator (2018)

Here they lowered all this into a simple comedy action film with scenes that make no sense due to extensive re-shoots and a lot of scenes where we were rolling our eyes due to stupid moments that should never be in such a film. Seeing Rory McKenna in the lab towards the end of the film working on the predator mask was a moment that should never be included if the film wanted to have any sense of seriousness. There is no place for a child to be working on alien equipment in a highly secret military facility, period. And we will not start describing the very end of the film since we don’t want to give away spoilers which made us go into facepalm mode for the next half hour.

As for the acting we would say that the main casting was rather good for what is worth it but the problem was not the actors used in the first place. Boyd Holbrook and Olivia Munn are in the leading roles and while they do the best they can with the script they have they don’t have the weight of Schwarzenegger or Ventura to stand in such a film. Casting in general was the least of the problems of the film as the actors didn’t have much to work with.

The Predator (2018)

Technically the film was a mixed bag. Such a film was natural to rely very much on CGI but there are many shots and especially when we see the predator in the jungle where he looks very fake and computer made. Most of these complaints have to do with the ultimate predator as his size wouldn’t allow for a normal actor to wear a suit and thus making special effects a necessity with the result being mediocre at best. Other shots fair a bit better as in the final act during the spaceship shots.

Sound effects are plenty and this was a given for an action heavy film like this and if you have a good sound system then the immersion level goes way up during the confrontation with the aliens. For the fans of the previous films there are many familiar musical notes here blended with new music to give some familiarity to those that loved Alan Silvestri’s original score.

The Predator (2018)

Closing this review the author feels only huge disappointment. On one hand we wanted to love this film a lot as if you dig deep into it’s story you can find elements that could really make it work. The genetically enhanced predators was a nice idea that they could develop more while capturing a creature like this was the main focus from the predator 2 and they could also develop this so much better. Ultimately what brought this film down crashing and burning was that it took itself very lightly with all the jokes and funny moments. What should have been a hardcore action horror film turned to be a comedy action film that could easily use a different monster than the predator and no one would care much. Combined with many scenes that simply don’t make any sense or that would make your eyes rolls until they hurt is what summarizes the whole experience.

Shane Black had a real opportunity here. Nimrod Antal’s “Predators” was a good starting point and they could take what was made there and improve upon it as the basics were already in place. Instead they tried to go for something completely different and in the end they changed it so much that very little remained of what reminded us of this iconic monster. And the result for sure will either infuriate the fans or leave them skeptical if there is any life left for this monster that we loved so much in the early years.

The Predator (2018)

The predator slices into 4K UHD home media with a 2160p resolution, HEVC / H.265 encode coming from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment using a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Fox is known for their good transfers and it seems this trend continues with this release. Although the film seems to have a 2K Digital Intermediate (DI), effectively making this a 4K upscale, the end result is actually a very good one. We get a boost in detail due to the higher resolution compared to the Blu-ray version that reveal more details on textures both on humans and on the predators.

There seems to be only HDR10 here as no Dolby Vision was detected during playback but this doesn’t stop this release from showcasing very strong colors. Due to the film having many dark scenes, dark colors and blacks are enhanced giving a more solid image while shadow details are improved. If we had to find one wrong with this release that’s the bad CGI. This doesn’t actually have to do with the transfer itself but there are a few CGI effects that already looked bad in the 1080p transfer and the upgrade in sharpness and boost of details here makes things even worse as they make the bad CGI stick out even more.

The Predator (2018)

The UHD disc comes with a Dolby Atmos audio track that is as good as the picture itself. There are plenty of sound effects in the movie, from dogfights, explosions, gunfire, laser fire and car chasing in order to put your home theater system in good use. Both surround and height speakers become active in many of the scenes and as such provide deeper immersion by expanding the soundstage both behind and above the viewer. Channel shifting was very good while during dialogue the center channel provided clear and distinguishable vocals. Totally satisfied by this explosive audio track.

In general the 4K UHD transfer is a good upgrade over the 1080p version of the Blu-ray disc. It provides better sharpness, more details, better handling of shadow details, more solid black colors and a more immersive Dolby Atmos audio track making this version the best one yet that you can enjoy this film in. If you are considering of getting this movie then the 4K version is the one you should choose.

Movie Rating :

4K UHD Rating :


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14 thoughts on “The Predator (2018)

  1. The movie was so amazing. Watching the fight scenes, humour, and great chemistry among the actors, I really liked the movie. It has the Predator movie feel to it. And yes the Predator was more brutal than I expected. Rated R for a reason and a must watch movie for the Predator lovers. I would love to see the new chapter soon. 

    1. Hello there. I’m glad you liked the film even if we don’t share the same opinion about it. I guess there will always be people that find it good enough. Have a nice day.

  2. I didn’t know there was a new predator remake.  I skipped most of the plot summary because it contained spoilers but I read through your review. It sounds like the film wasn’t all that great. I guess maybe a lot of people like jokes more than they like straight up military action films now. Maybe this franchise should realise that enough is enough. There are too many franchises that just can’t seem to figure out when to quit and they keep making bad movies.

    I’m honestly surprised you still gave it three stars after the things you said about it. Does this mean that it is still worth watching?

    1. The film does a lot of things bad but it doesn’t mean it’s completely worthless. There are some story ideas in there that are actually good, the action is decent and some of the special effects are good for this type of film so although in total the film was bad compared to the previous ones, it has it’s moments even if there are few and far between.

  3. Hi Stratos,

    Thanks for providing a snippet from the film and providing your review. I’m a massive fan of the predator franchise and agree that it has shaped many modern films. It’s a shame they didn’t get one massive star to head up the cast as I feel that would bring in more viewers, any idea when it is due to be released in the UK?

    1. The film will be out in 4K UHD in the UK in the 28th of January. In the US it came out on the 18th of December.

  4. Wow, this is fascinating, it is really going to be interesting. I read the plot and have been convinced to watch this, It’s will be a nice idea to get this and watch with my family. Thanks for recommending another interesting movie for me to watch this year. If you have any other interesting movie like this kindly recommend .

    1. The plot is not that bad but the execution was. But there are people who liked it so you can give it a go. You can check our movie section for more movie reviews Lok.

  5. Hey Stratos,

    I’m a huge fan of predator, I’m surprised many people today still remember them, they definitely deserve their own movie! I grew up playing Alien vs Predator, even watched all their movies and cameos and at one point, I created a Predator cosplay costume because of how popular it was during its time. 

    Maybe it’s just me but sometimes i feel relieved seeing movies like this killing humans when there’s so many annoying people around at work who doesn’t respect other people. That’s just me though 😀

    1. Predator even though it was never a huge financial success it became a classic monster film due mostly to the first film with Schwarzenegger and the plethora of comics that followed and expanded it’s lore exponentially.

  6. It could be worth a visit to the picture house. I some times like SiFi movies. You did a great review on the film which I though that your review was pretty mixed. Sort of that it is an OK movie and on the flip side I could hear you saying that they could have done a better job.

    1. It’s really a mixed bag film. It has good moments like some plot ideas, action and some special effects but on the other hand the execution was terribly bad, editing was disastrous and the amount of jokes reduced the film into a comedy action film for the family when it should be a hardcore horror action film. So yeah it’s a bit hard to rate it properly and being a huge predator fan sometimes I feel a bit betrayed by how much they tried to change it’s core elements.

  7. I don’t like it when films heavily rely on CGI to be the biggest thing. I always found that everything else in the movie is kinda skimps a bit. It looks pretty but I like substance.

    I also heard that the movie goes way off from what the series used to be. But I’m not a huge Predator fan. What’re your thoughts?

    1. As I wrote in the review this is the movie’s biggest flaw. That it changed too much of what made the Predator films work and in doing so they reduced it to something different. It was a big risk what they did and it seems that it didn’t work.

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