Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Shane Black|
|Produced by||John Davis|
|Music by||Henry Jackman|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$66.2 million|
The Predator is a 2018 American science fiction action film directed by Shane Black and written by Black and Fred Dekker. It is the fourth installment in the Predator film series (the sixth counting the two Alien vs. Predator films), following Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990), and Predators (2010). Black had a supporting role in the original film, while John Davis returns as producer from the first three installments. The film stars Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, and Sterling K. Brown and follows a group of PTSD-afflicted soldiers who must fight off an invading pair of Predators.
Talks of a new Predator installment began in June 2014, with Black being confirmed as writer and director; much of the cast signed on between October 2016 and January 2017. Filming took place in British Columbia from February to June 2017, with the entire climax being reshot in July 2018 following poor test screenings.
The Predator premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 6, 2018 and was released in the United States on September 14, 2018, by 20th Century Fox in IMAX and Dolby Cinema as well as standard formats. The film received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed over $66 million worldwide.
A Predator ship crash-lands on Earth. Army Ranger sniper Quinn McKenna and his team are attacked by the Predator on a hostage retrieval mission. McKenna incapacitates the Predator and has its armor mailed off before government agent Will Traeger captures him. Traeger also takes the Predator to a lab for experimentation and observation, recruiting evolutionary biologist Casey Bracket to study it. The Predator awakes, breaks out of its bonds, kills the lab workers, but spares Bracket before leaving.
McKenna is bussed off with a group of other government captives, including ex-Marine Gaylord “Nebraska” Williams, military veterans Coyle and Baxley, helicopter pilot Nettles, and Lynch, another ex-Marine. Seeing the Predator escape from the lab firsthand, they take over the bus. Taking Bracket with them, they head over to McKenna’s estranged wife, Emily, where he expects to find the Predator armor he mailed off. However, McKenna’s autistic son Rory has gone trick-or-treating while wearing this armor in hopes of avoiding detection from bullies.
McKenna and the others find his son just in time to stop a pair of Predator Dogs from ambushing the boy. The Predator chases them into a nearby school. They start to give the Predator’s armor back when another, larger Predator arrives and kills the first. They flee, and the second Predator sets out to retrieve the lost technology.
Bracket concludes that the Predators are attempting to improve themselves with the DNA of humans and, presumably, other planets’ inhabitants. The team flees to an abandoned barn, but Traeger finds them, captures them, and shares his theory that the Predators anticipate that climate change will end their ability to retrieve human DNA for further hybridization, so they are scrambling to retrieve it before it’s too late. Seeing Rory drawing a map to the spaceship, Traeger takes the boy away to go to the ship. The team escapes and goes after him with the help of a Predator Dog.
When all are at the crashed Predator ship, the second Predator arrives, kills Lynch, and explains through translation software that it will blow up the ship to keep it out of their hands and then give them all a head start before it hunts them down.
- Boyd Holbrook as Quinn McKenna, Emily’s ex-husband, the father of Rory, and a former Army Ranger who discovers the existence of the fierce Predators but finds that no one believes they exist.
- Trevante Rhodes as Nebraska Williams, a former Marine who enlists in a special Predator-hunting operation headed up by Quinn.
- Jacob Tremblay as Rory McKenna, Quinn and Emily’s troubled son, who has a form of autism and is bullied in school but becomes a key player in the fight against the Predators due to his preternatural ability to learn languages.
- Olivia Munn as Dr. Casey Bracket, a evolutionary biologist who joins the crew’s mission.
- Sterling K. Brown as Will Traeger, an government agent and Director of the “Stargazer Project” who jails Quinn but later needs his help with fighting the Predators.
- Keegan-Michael Key as Coyle, a man who teams up with Quinn and Williams to fight the Predators.
- Thomas Jane as Baxley, a military veteran from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. His character was named after Craig R. Baxley, the stunt coordinator of the 1987 film.
- Alfie Allen as Lynch, a former Marine who teams with several other outsiders, including Quinn, to stop the human-hunting Predators in suburbia.
- Augusto Aguilera as Nettles, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot who has suffered a traumatic brain injury from a crash.
- Yvonne Strahovski as Emily McKenna, Quinn’s ex-wife and the mother to Rory.
- Jake Busey as Sean Keyes, a head scientist, the son of Peter Keyes (played by Busey’s father Gary Busey in Predator 2).
- Niall Matter as Sapir
- Brian A. Prince as The Predator
While I loved the original with Arnold, and even part two with Danny Glover, I didn’t love this one. I did like it enough to give it four stars. And I can recommend it as a good, entertaining night out. By no means was this any sort of blockbuster, and it is clear they are setting the scene for more films with these new characters. That may or may not be a good thing. I will give it a thin 4 stars and recommended The Predator for fans of the franchise, as well as for a fun night in or out. – MR