Monday, March 4, 2019

The Predator Post

Once again, we get a creature feature that is the worst case people worried about in other films.  In last year’s The Predator, the monsters got loose in a peaceful, inhabited area.  While the last implementation of multiple Yautja clans did it on an isolated game preserve planet, this one is smack in the middle of suburbia.

It has many call backs to the original, from a Special Forces jungle beginning to musical cues.  Instead of trying and failing to recreate the iconic (if that’s the word) “Get to the Chopper!” there’s a wink at it with motorcycles.

Shane Black, working with Monster Squad partner Fred Dekker, brings a Hawkins level of humor to this one.  Instead of over the top Eighties machoness, we have over the top PTSD reactions from the squad. This time, though there are members with a past history, we get to see the group dynamic form…before most of them get taken out by two different kinds of space hunters.

The Amalgamated Dynamics guys are back for makeup, Woo! Welcome back Tom and Alec!  Bringing in Brian Prince as the Predator(s) with his stunt and parkour background gave the Yautja a nice fluidity to his movement.  He surpassed some of the previous first timers by quite a bit.

Instead of two separate clans, we have a genetically blended, giant sized Predator this time out.  Once again, there’s a flash back to the original’s use of controlled exposure. This time we got to see the standard Yautja that we all know and love right away.  It’s later escape from the lab was incredibly epic and mayhem filled.

However, the eleven foot tall economy sized Apex version was used as a much later surprise reveal.

As for the humans, the Alien Franchise rubbed off a bit, giving us Olivia Munn’s Doctor Bracket. She’s clearly the most intelligent one in the room, works her way up to being valuable in a fight relatively quickly, and has as wonderfully a foul mouth as the military men she teams up with.  

While the overall ideas about autism were poorly handled, Jacob Tremblay was as fantastic as he was in Wonder approximating a disability. (Or if you use monster movies to suggest scientific ideas, a superpower.)

McKenna, played by Boyd Holbrook is a combination of Hicks from Aliens and Kermit the Frog.
He’s a qualified and effective military leader, and also the island of sanity in the motley, mixed up gang of highly lethal loonies he’s assembled.  The rest of the guys make it seem like The Couch Trip Vs. Predator in some scenes. 

But the point is, they’re fun!

That’s why I get confused by the negative reviews stating the movie had too much humor or was too silly. 

Yes, the movie about monster big game hunters from space with mouths shaped like genitals is silly, and the movies about powered, crime fighting, pajama wearing individuals are unrealistic, and the movies following mythological story arcs that are hundreds of years old have been done before.

If you want realistic, non-silly films, go see a drama about people declaring unrequited love for two and a half hours and leave my monster movies alone, please.

Y’know what else was fun?  The Predator dog things.  It was fun watching the soldiers fight the dangerous ones, and it was fun watching Casey befriend the latest brain damaged member of the little band and have it join in taking out the large amount evil and shady government bad guys provided as fodder for the dogs, the heroes and the Yautja.  Bonus points for seeing those mandibles finally used against someone.

This one was a true Predator film.

It had stuff blowing up, monster fighting action, awesome spacey melee and projectile weapons, and a gang of goofy, likeable, lethal individuals who put up a good fight but eventually learn they are out of their league.

And it left the door open for a sequel, so here’s hoping it made enough overseas to get one.

And here’s also hoping Jake Busey’s Sean Keys was only injured and survived. Maybe he can have flash back memories to some of his Dad’s crazier moments in Predator 2, or even be pushed to a point that he recreates them.

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