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Movie Review: THE PREDATOR
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movie review by David Blackwell

108 minutes, Rated R
STUDIO: 20th Century Fox/ TSG
Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 9-14-2018
Army Ranger sniper Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) witnesses his team get wiped out by a Predator (who crash lands on Earth) during a hostage rescue mission. McKenna injuries the Predator and escapes, but he manages to take some of the Predator's gear and has it mailed to his post office box in the United States before the government rounds him up. Secret government agent Will Traeger (Sterling K. Brown) takes the injured Predator to a secret government lab at a remote dam. He recruits evolutionary biologist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) to help study it. Discoveries are made about what the Predators are doing with DNA of other species. Meanwhile, McKenna meets a group of crazy PTSD soldiers he dubs the Loonies. They are transported to the secret lab because Casey wants to question McKenna before the government lobotomizes him.

While these events are happening, McKenna's package gets delivered to his estranged wife's house because he didn't pay up on his P.O. Box and his autistic son Rory opens his dad's package and starts to quickly learn the Predator's armor's operating language like it is a code to break. Rory accidentally activates a signal that alerts another Predator to come to Earth to hunt the injured Predator who escaped from the rest of the Predators with a special cargo. The injured Predator awakens at the lab and breaks from its bonds to go on to kill several people in the people, but it spares Casey. Casey soon must team up with McKenna and his Loonies to track down the injured Predator and the stolen technology, but they have walked into a big mess with the secret government agency on one end and the other Predator on the other end.

THE PREDATOR is the fourth movie in the Predator series which takes place somewhere between PREDATOR 2 and PREDATORS. It has great character writing and direction, but the story fumbles as it wastes several opportunities to develop a great sequel. It becomes a big budget B movie with plenty of loose ends and a MacGuffin reveal ending that sets up a possible sequel. I know 20th Century Fox and other circumstances had led to various things being changed in the movie from the script to reshooting the third act's climax due to poor test screenings. Shane Black originally wanted Arnold Schwarzenegger's character of Dutch to return, but Arnold passed on what might have been just a cameo. THE PREDATOR ends up being an entertaining popcorn flick sequel that is better than PREDATOR 2, but it the original PREDATOR and PREDATORS outshines THE PREDATOR. If there is another movie in the PREDATOR series, I hope the next writer manages to fully develop the story and expands upon the mythology in the first four movies and the ALIEN VS. PREDATOR movies instead of an undercooked B movie which feels like a 1980s/ 1990s nostalgia trip you would rent from the video store on VHS.

This review is (c)9-21-2018 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com and look for additional content and news at http://enterlinemedia.tumblr.com