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“The Predator” Review

“The Predator” Review

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It’s said that a sequel rarely ever lives up to the original, especially when that original has Schwarzenegger-sized shoes.

In 1987, John McTiernan’s masterpiece Predator was released, raking in $98.7 million, and, although it didn’t receive renown praise, it has since become a classic of the action genre whose name resonates across generations.

“I used to watch them with my dad when we were young,” Tori Kegebein, sophomore student, said.  

Since the writer of the original took the director’s chair, audiences and critics alike anticipated the release of next entry in The Predator Franchise.  And though the trailers were underwhelming, viewers were still excited for what Shane Black, who worked on the original, would bring to the table.

The answer came September 14, when The Predator finally released in theatres.  Results were mixed, with the film receiving 34 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6/10 on IMDb.  Fans of the original are divided on how they feel about the movie.

     “It doesn’t even come close to stacking up against Predator 1,”  Steven Kring, a fan of the original, said.

One thing is for certain however, box office wise, the film was a failure.  With a budget of $88 million, it only pulled in $42 million with a release of more than two weeks, making the prospects of a sequel unlikely.

When it comes to this Newsroom’s staff member opinion on the movie, it simply comes down to being ok. While the action and dialogue were spot on, the film’s structure was lacking.

In terms of combining action and comedy, Black did a great job, making the movie an adrenaline fueled laugh riot.  The characters have this dorky masculinity to them, like they were a bunch of teenagers caught in a wacky situation involving governments, evil institutions, and aliens.

It also helps that the actors sell their chemistry and friendship with each other flawlessly.  Giving really solid performances and bringing something new to the group, to the point where, when they’re time comes, audiences will find themselves sad to see each of these guys go.  Even the villains give good performances, with Sterling K. Brown standing out as a wacky, Kanye-like antagonist.

The action sequences are also extremely well done, reminiscent of older cinema with their gory kills, over-the-top choreography, and intense body count.  The entire crowd gasped and hollered at the different disemboredments and deaths displayed on screen.

While a fun experience, the film is not without its many, many shortcomings.  For starters, the last act drags on a little too much, with it basically being a glorified action sequence.  It felt clunky and could’ve been trimmed up, cutting out certain sequences like the villains and heroes teaming up.

The plot isn’t the strongest either, with it revolving around cross-species and mental disorder.  While these concepts could be explored well, they’re done in cookie cutter ways. A more runtime would’ve done this movie a ton of favors, as at times it can feel a bit underdeveloped.  The characters suffer from this the most, relying mostly on the actors to bring them to life.

Another plot point that could’ve been cut was the kid, aside from one funny scene involving the Predator helmet, his character dragged and felt separate tonally from the rest of the film.  

The first 15 minutes are a bit on the shaky side as well, while the movie quickly picks up after this mark, it’s still worth mentioning

All in all, though it has several flaws and bad decisions that keep it from legendary status, but it’s still an enjoyable time on the couch or at the movie theatre.  The staff member gives it a 6.9/10.

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