Monday, October 8, 2018

Short Attention Span Review: The Predator (2018)

Short Attention Span Review: The Predator (2018)

I am probably the last guy on the planet you could sell a comedic reboot of this material to.  I treasure the first entry from 1987, and I think the sequel was a lesser film but a worthy follow-up nonetheless.  The later crossovers with those other extraterrestial fiends we all know and love so well were average at best, but I found them to be guilty pleasures.  Well, I liked the first one anyway.  All things considered, this is a franchise that I have strong feelings for, particularly when it comes to that original classic, a testament to manliness and gruesome thrills.  So, yeah, the very idea of a comedic reboot makes me cringe.  And yet . . . I guess it's a good thing I'm a big fan of Fred Dekker's filmography, with both Night of the Creeps and The Monster Squad registering as personal favorites.  Make no mistake, this quirky chiller/thriller has his fingerprints all over it.  He may be playing in Shane Black's sandbox (and Black's raunchy humor is on display throughout), but The Predator feels more like Dekker's take on the first two features.  As such, it is a lot of fun.  In addition to being chock full of laughs, it also has some heart, it's gory as all get out, and it has several rollicking action set pieces.  Now, many will not share my affection for Dekker's wit, and thus the shift in tone will drive them up the wall.  It is surely a departure, and not a minor one.  Yet it offers numerous callbacks to the first two outings and assembles a badass* team of its own.  In terms of casting, Black nailed it, with Boyd Holbrook showing serious promise as a leading man while Thomas Jane gives one of his most unique performances to date as a loose cannon with Tourette's syndrome.  The rest of the gang manages to deliver big on the humor front while also holding it down when it's time to throw down.  I'm relatively certain that this one sports the biggest body count of the series by a hefty margin.  The frequent forays into bloody mayhem that litter the screen with corpses should ensure that those who find the absurdist approach bothersome are able to wring some joy out of a viewing.  We're dealing with a different breed of predator, no doubt about it, but I had a blast with this wonky creature feature that bombards viewers with jokes, bullets, and body parts.

*Certifiable, but badass.

Final Grade: B

Boyd Holbrook, leading man? This movie shows that he can do the job.

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