Film Festivals

TIFF 2018: The Predator Review

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. If you would like to keep up with our content, click here. For photos of the premiere, check out our social media accounts (link below).

Synopsis: From the outer reaches of space to the backwoods of southern Georgia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before. And only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor can prevent the end of the human race. (20th Century Fox)

Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, and Jacob Tremblay

Writers: Fred Dekker and Shane Black

Director: Shane Black

Rating: 18A (Canada)/R (United States)

Running Time: 107mins

Trailer:

The Predator series holds a special significance to Shane Black. He starred in the original 1987 film but now he has come back to the series by co-writing and directing this new entry, aptly named The Predator. We all know he can write and direct action-comedies but can he do a sci-fi action film. This was still the case here as great showcase of those skills. Thus, it should not come as much of a surprise that this film is hilarious for the most part thanks to its great script. However, the film lacked the right balance between action and comedy by trying too hard at time to be funny at inopportune times.

The story this time around, of course involves a Predator who was much different than the Predators of the past. They are now stronger, smarter, and faster than ever before. One just happened to come across army sniper Quinn McKenna (Holbrook) which then started a chain of events that led up to him joining a group of eccentric soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor named Casey Bracket (Munn) to kill the Predator and protect his family, including his son Rory (Tremblay). However, they were not the only ones after it.

The story was fun to watch with the script giving all its characters their own moments while the action was thrilling to watch with plenty of violence that definitely earns its 18A/R rating. Viewers will also enjoy seeing the Predator pretty much having its way in disposing its victims in both inventive and very satisfying ways. In terms of the Predators themselves, the CGI behind them is good, however, the bulk of the CGI, including other creatures or action sequences, was spotty at best.

The best part of the film was the acting, specifically the chemistry between the whole cast. McKenna may have gotten the focus but this was an ensemble piece. The script was great but it would not have worked as well if not for them. Holbrook was a serviceable lead and compelling to watch as McKenna. Munn as Bracket may not be believable as a scientist, however, this was easy to forget as that side of her disappeared quickly. Tremblay stole scenes as Rory.

Overall, this was a fun action movie that sometimes tried too hard to be a comedy. There were still plenty of thrilling and violent moments throughout and the cast and their great chemistry more than make up for this.

Score: 8.5/10

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