BEIRUT: The box office has been filled with sequels, reboots, remakes, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
The summer’s latest release 20th Century Fox’s THE PREDATOR, directed by Shane Black, is another flat albeit entertaining science fiction action film.
The narrative, which is beyond simplistic, follows a young boy who accidentally triggers the universe's most lethal hunters' return to Earth, only to have a looney crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher fight to prevent the end of the human race.
With pointless crude dialogue that felt utterly out of place, to the two-dimensional characters with incomplete arcs, nothing about this film’s narrative is at all grounded, nor is it structurally sound.
There are a few characters that seemed to simply drop off the screenplay pages and completely forgot them by the second half of the film’s second act.
The protagonist Quinn McKenna’s backstory and family situation are briefly alluded to, and by the end of the film his wife is nowhere to be seen, spoken about, nor does she get a chance to react to her son being taken – she is just there.
This is nothing but downright amateur and lazy.
None of the characters get any true characterization, and crude jokes, tourette’s, and merely mentioning PTSD and suicide doesn’t prove that a character has depth.
THE PREDATOR’s overall plot is its weakest element due to its convoluted and disjointed mess.
There are no questions to ask, no mystery, and the supposed threat is neutralized by the zinger-machines, also known as the characters and their dialogue.
For someone like Shane Black, who previously directed decent action flicks like Iron Man 3, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and The Nice Guys, to deliver something as lackluster as THE PREDATOR is baffling.
Yet again, the bar set by the previous films is not that high and the majority of the franchise’s releases were nowhere near box office successes, and some were even met with serious criticism from the fanbase.
There was nothing special about the action sequences and the CGI blood splats don’t help either.
When the film first kicks off, the Predator is a merger of animatronics and prosthetics, but then for some odd reason Black reverts to using CGI for the evolved Predator that comes to wreak havoc on our heroes, utterly ruining the semi-realistic aspect of the film.
THE PREDATOR constantly comes off as a desperate attempt to reboot a franchise that really didn’t need to be resurrected nor tarnished in the way that Black does.
Granted if one goes into the film with expectations set at sci-fi crude comedy, then one might truly enjoy the film and have a good time.
Black’s politically incorrect comedy will no doubt make some cringe; but as the audience exits, they will undoubtedly be asking whether or not the comedy was in the right place in a film as this.
And, if what one is seeking is a suspenseful sci-fi action film, then one might end up seriously disappointed.
As the summer season ends, the audience will find itself simply waiting and hungry for the films that are due to come out in the fall.
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