It’s said that insanity is repeating the same action while expecting different results. Were you expecting a good Predator sequel? Shane Black‘s contribution here doesn’t so much shovel dirt on the series’ grave as dig up its corpse, put his hand up its arse and a clown nose on its face while blowing a kazoo.

The original Predator was the prototypical perfect movie that doesn’t need a sequel, and each terrible further installment revealed more and more of the predators’ “culture”, turning them from mysterious, terrifying monsters into a sort of cuddly mascot to be sold by Funko to slavish, uncritical fans. Black‘s latest entry doesn’t seem to want to even try for anything approaching the original in tone and is so comically self-aware that it might be the first entry in the series that functions as a deliberate spoof on the series. Which is to say the rest of the series also functioned as spoofs, just not deliberately.

Despite a promising beginning, the film veers immediately into schlock territory, and introduces a relentlessly goofy cast to keep the banter and jokes firing at a rapid pace. It also commits the cardinal sin of adding a child to the cast. There’s some good action, but there’s not much in terms of suspense. Really, there’s not much to be had here much beyond giggles of disbelief at the silliness, although this is consistent enough that it’s entertaining. This is trash, but it’s trash on purpose. Except the unbelievably terrible ending, which was clearly tacked on by the accountants to make a sequel possible. It feels like Poochie the Dog took the director’s chair for a moment. There’s almost no way to convey how bad the ending really is.
Would I recommend this? No, not unless you are able to enjoy films on an entirely ironic meta level. This functions as an action comedy, but not an action movie, a horror movie or a sci-fi movie. If you still have any investment in the series (why?) you’re probably going to be as angered by this film as our other reviewer was. If you have been snickering at the turds Hollywood’s been squeezing out of this franchise since the first sequel, you might get some good laughs.
The Predator – In Cinemas September 13

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