Keegan-Michael Key, olivia munn, predator, predator franchise, shane black, the predator, thomas jane
Let’s face it, the original will always be a tough task to match with it’s testosterone fuelled, action-packed 80s masterpiece that triggers the nostalgic ammunition of our hearts.
Since then, we’ve had Danny Glover’s “Too old for this shit” Dirty Harry impersonator tackle the Predator in the suburban jungle and Adrien Brody play an unusual take of your typical hero on an alien planet pitted with other elite warriors in order to survive, and the least said about the Alien/Predator crossover, the better.
Check out our podcast on the afore-mentioned movies in our Predator franchise podcast discussions.
All of this leads to the current instalment, which after a couple of trailers left this writer a little puzzled about the direction it was taking.
Whilst the end result was far from perfect, it did offer some interesting moments that elevated the feature to a higher standing in my mind.
Once again, the lead hero, Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) was a little questionable at first as he grimaced, guffawed and packed plenty of punch in his first alien encounter but by the films conclusion, he manages to hold his own impressively.
McKenna is thrust into a world of warring predators, one of them appears to be our usual antagonist, but the other is a taller, bigger, leaner beast.
It seems like Hollywood always needs to go bigger when it comes to continuing a franchise and in this case director Shane Black (who also starred in the original film) decides to go with this and in places it feels like overkill with his choices along with the amped up special effects.
The glue that keeps this together though comes in the ensemble cast, who all complement each other and some time is taken for us to actually care about them all by the time the final encounter takes place.
The comedy balanced nicely among the action sequences and this is thanks to Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key, Augustin Aguilera. Chief among them and surprisingly so, is Thomas Jane who proves he’s not just a one-tone actor with his comedic timing getting his fair share of laughs too.
Hats off to Black and writing partner Fred Dekker, for the engaging screenplay.
There are times that the amount on display attacks the senses, but Shane Black provides an engaging fun ride, with great character development. This ultimately lifts the film and makes you care about the outcome.
It won’t set the world alight but the journey is worth it.
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