Shane Black's "The Predator" released this weekend, and it is the first time he has returned to the franchise since he starred in the original "Predator" back in 1987. This is also the first "Predator" movie we have gotten since Robert Rodriguez's "Predators" in 2010, so there has been quite a while since we have been out on the hunt with the Yautja hunters from another world. If it wasn't made clear by the above sentence, I am a huge fan of the "Predator" series, but I was hesitant when I found out about Shan Black's new take on the "Predators." On one hand, he was involved heavily with the original movie from '87 and definitely knows a lot about the creatures and film, but on the other hand, I was disappointed with his take on "Iron Man" from "Iron Man 3." However, I am pleased to say that the movie is pretty good. There are just some things that keep it from greatness.
The biggest problem with "The Predator" is that it feels like it has two different tones that divide the film. One side of the film wants to be a "Predator" movie with all the sci-fi action and minor horror elements people want, but the other side wants to be a buddy cop team up movie. Both sides of this are done tremendously well, however, when they blend together, it feels like jumping between two different moves. I also do not want it to sound like one tone is better than the other. While I do not think that the comedy elements worked well for the "Predator," it feels right at home with the rag-tag team of "Loonies." Likewise, when the "Predator" shows up, the fear, adrenaline, and action feel like it hits the mark pretty well.
Visually, everything looks great including the "Predator." That was something I was personally worried about. I saw the redesign of the mask, and I was not originally a fan of the look. The movie makes it work though, and this may be the coolest looking "Predator" that has been in any movie. The "Predator" face alone is enough to send chills down the spine of anyone watching. I wish they were shown more in the movie because the make-up and costume design look great and seem to move fluidly. The CG used in the film is also good although I would argue that it is still used a little much.
The ending scene is one of the coolest, but I do not want to spoil anything in this piece since the movie is still fresh in theaters. Shane Black did do the "Predator" justice even if it falls short in a couple areas. He brings in some of his "Lethal Weapon" banter for the cast, and it works to make them much more than cannon fodder for the "Predator." Although the dialogue does feel out of place next to the action-packed and intense "Predator" scenes. "Predator" fans will not be disappointed, but they may not feel like they have gotten a full meal for their ticket. I was entertained by the film and what it promises, and I definitely want to see more of the "Predator's" hunts.