Critic Reviews



Based on 49 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Insanely violent, packed with off-color jokes, and of course, sentimentality, “The Predator” is one of the most enjoyable popcorn flicks hitting multiplexes this fall season.
Shane Black’s The Predator is a fun, brutal, fighting machine that wastes no time getting down to business — not unlike its title character.
While the other Predator films tried to remain dark and tense, tossing in a decent one-liner here or there, Black’s movie is so cleverly over-the-top that it’s easy and pleasurable enough to watch, though never exactly scary or suspenseful.
The Predator is, in many ways, a throwback to what made the 1987 original so beloved: it includes many of the same elements, such as the rowdy camaraderie amongst absurdly macho protagonists, a debauched wit, and a primal battle between man and beast. It’s a shame when everything splinters apart in the haphazard and shoddy-looking last half-hour.
Even an act of noble sacrifice late in the film has a faintly goofy tone to it, reflective of Shane Black's streak of puckish nihilism. That attitude makes him a perfect fit for this franchise, which lost its thematic viciousness after the anti-imperialist original.
What Black’s movie really has going for it is pace. It starts with a crash, followed swiftly by a bang and vast swathes of wallop. The relentlessness doesn’t allow you any time to catch a yawn, but it’s also not too conducive to tension or suspense.
Were it not for the hard-R violence and a generous amount of computerized splatter, The Predator would play like a slightly naughtier Independence Day or Armageddon, sci-fi movies that had their squareness dirtied up by pop-culture-riffing jokesters hired to polish up a draft or two.
There’s definite fun to be had here and franchise fans will surely appreciate both Black’s nods to the past and his plan for the future but there’s something forgettable about its freneticism, and I struggle to imagine in 31 years if it will be thought of at all.
All of this is silly, borderline senseless, lively, and without any real rooting value at all. The supposedly lovable misfits here aren’t, no matter how the cast members feign hilarity at their potty-mouthing. Not that it matters — because nothing does in this expensive toy of a film, which ultimately works on the level of a disco ball. It’s shiny, it moves, and is accompanied by much noise.
This miserable chimera — skinned with Black’s wicked sense of humor, but too underdeveloped to survive on its wits alone — should never have been let out of the lab, as it poses a serious threat of boring people to death.

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