The Predatoris a 2018 Americanscience fictionaction filmdirected byShane Blackand written by Black andFred Dekker. It is the fourth installment in thePredatorfilm series(the sixth counting the twoAlien vs. Predatorfilms), followingPredator(1987),Predator 2(1990) andPredators(2010). Black had a supporting role in the original film, whileJohn Davisreturns as producer from the first three installments. The film starsBoyd Holbrook,Trevante Rhodes,Jacob Tremblay,Keegan-Michael Key,Olivia Munn,Thomas Jane,Alfie Allen, andSterling K. Brown, and follows a group of mercenaries who try to protect a small town from an invading group ofPredators.
Talks of a newPredatorinstallment 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 inBritish Columbiafrom February to June 2017, with the entire climax being reshot in July 2018 following poor test screenings.
The Predatorpremiered at theToronto International Film Festivalon September 6, 2018 and was released in the United States on September 14, 2018, by20th Century FoxinIMAXandDolby Cinemaas well as standard formats.The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances, humor, and action but criticized the messy plot, thin characters and disappointing third act.
Onreview aggregatorwebsiteRotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 35% based on 130 reviews, and anaverage ratingof 5.2/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “The Predatorhas violence and quips to spare, but its chaotically hollow action adds up to another missed opportunity for a franchise increasingly defined by disappointment.”OnMetacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 49 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.
Writing forThe Hollywood Reporter, Jordan Mintzer called the film “bigger, meaner, gorier, funnier” than previous installments, writing “Whether the world actually needs [a sequel], and whether this reboot was necessary at all, is probably a question worth raising, but at least Black’s take on it is to never take it too seriously while keeping us duly entertained.”
Brian Tallerico ofRogerEbert.compraised the ensemble, pacing and Black’s direction, writing “Black is assisted greatly by an incredibly charismatic cast, and he knows how to use them to amplify their strengths.”
A.A. Dowd ofThe A.V. Clubwrote “The Predator, which Black penned withMonster Squadcowriter and director Fred Dekker, makes a few concessions to modern blockbuster filmmaking, including an overabundance of CGI, a blatantly franchise-thirsty ending, and some winking references to the original. But the movie’s values are more 1988 than 2018, and that’s what it makes it fun, at least in spurts: Black has captured the spirit of that bygone era of adrenaline-junkie junk without getting all retro-fussy about it.” and graded the film a B-.
In a negative review, Dennis Harvey ofVarietycalled it “an exhaustingly energetic mess in which a coherent plot and credible characters aren’t even on the cluttered menu.”
Writing forNerdist, Katie Walsh called the film “messy, chaotic, and convoluted”, continuing with “comedy and action are at war with each other. Characters spew rat-a-tat quips, while tussling with Predators and their pets, essentially neutralizing the effect of both the humor and the action.”
Jonathan Barkan writing forDread Centralgave the film two out of five stars saying “Poor story choices and strange, if not outright silly, character decisions result in an experience that will ultimately leave audiences feeling a great amount of ‘meh’.”
Jim Vejvoda ofIGNgave the film a 6.5 out of 10, saying “The Predatordoes a lot right to reinvigorate the 31-year-old series. But everything crashes down during its frenzied, messy final act, a disappointing conclusion to what had largely been a fun romp up until that point.”