The cult classic Predator (1987) remains an outstanding action sci-fi blockbuster, with Big Arnie on top form throughout.
The series has since been all over the place. And many people claim The Predator, directed by Shane Black and launched in 2018, is an abomination. Is it?! We’ve got time to bleed (and find out)!
The Predator and the Anger of Everyone
Long before we got round to watching the film in 2021, we’d seen the many, many YouTubers critiquing it online.
This included two of our favourite channels from Mauler and Cynical Reviews.
Granted, it’s their job to kind of go pedantically OTT with their verdicts. But their reviews led us to believe this must surely be one of the worst films of all time, such was the onslaught they provided.
But when we watched the film… we kind of enjoyed it.
Making that statement will no doubt have us flayed alive online by an outraged community of geeks. The Predator is far from perfect. Yet we found its daft mix of action and snappy dialogue entertaining. And we went in expecting to deride it at every opportunity.
Now, we can’t quite be bothered going into the relentless specifics of the film’s plot. It’s complicated, in a kind of cut back way—there’s too much going on, basically.
But yeah, the usual predator lands on Earth and causes a ruckus. Behold!
You get the gist right there. Boom! ARGHHHHH!!! Snarl! Dreadlocks. Oh, you’d better dread the deadlocks!
Shane Black’s script is quite unusual. It involves a kid with Asperger’s (Jacob Tremblay) receiving a super predator’s headset from his father (Boyd Holbrook).
The father (an army dude) is detained after an unusual incident involving the first predator (a second, super predator is the main draw of the film) and in the process meets a wacky crew of fun characters in prison.
This lot breaks free and, with Olivia Munn, forms a predator destroying unit.
All very silly. Easy to pick apart if you have that mentality. But… man, we just enjoyed it. Seriously, it was entertaining popcorn fodder action fun.
A lot has been made of Shane Black’s script, which we found sharp and snappy. Yes, it’s stupid in places. You can see the Honest Trailer for some of the issues people had with the film.
Also, our beloved Dr. Mark Kermode of the Church of Wittertainment shredded the film to bits and labelled it a “shambles”.
A lot of Predator (1987) fans are upset the “lore” was messed around with in this film, but as massive fans of the original we can’t say its daft concept had much of that to begin with.
We mean, nothing at all really makes any sense from the original.
And you can pick apart any film pedantically, if you want to. Like Jaws (1975) is one of our favourite films. The plot really doesn’t make any sense when you delve into it.
But that’s part of the joy of cinema. Suspend your disbelief, embrace escapism, let everything wash over you.
And we’re not suggesting people who don’t like The Predator are wrong.
Just that, if you don’t look it, maybe be welcoming to the people out there who did enjoy it. As the film is nowhere near as awful as has been made out.
Mauler’s Savage Critique of The Predator
Despite our fondness for The Predator, we do love Mauler’s breakdown of the film. And agree with most of what he has to say.
Mauler is a film critic on YouTube who’s picked apart the likes of Star Wars and Game of Thrones (for the notorious season 8). His videos are a lot of fun.
We also really like his voice! He’d probably find this weird, but we often listen to his videos as we drift off to sleep as he’s soothing baritone is a most welcome thing.
Secondary career for him there away from YouTube!
Anyway, the thing for us is Predator’s “lore”, if you please, has always been adaptable. Playing around with it, as The Predator does, we don’t have any real issues with that. Why not?
The main issue a lot of critics had, including Cynical Reviews, is the dialogue and amount of plot contrivances.
And, yes, those are there. No doubt about it. But it seems like, since Game of Thrones’ first few series, everyone wants maximum believability.
Even from the absurd Predator universe.
We feel like you shred apart any film if you feel like it. CinemaSins, for example, is a tongue-in-cheek channel that does this. Many people hate the thing due to its comical approach to proceedings, but we think it’s more of a loving homage.
So, yeah, we just enjoyed the film. Isn’t that the point? Not in the “turn your brain off” sense, just more embrace the ridiculous.
There are far worse films out there. Far more overrated films (Joker). But we suppose the fandom of fandoms like to delve as deep as possible into analysis, for analysis’ sake.
To which the real Predator would rip off your head and roar merrily. Indeed.