The Screen Room
Predator Franchise Rant
Predator (1987) is one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s easily in my top 5.
Unfortunately, like many popular franchises none of the sequels have lived up to the original.
This is actually one franchise I’d be happy to see more sequels of but they just keep getting it wrong!!
(You might want to pour a drink and get comfortable for this one).
The first Predator film is brilliant!
The story, the characters and the creature design are just perfect as far as I’m concerned. Even Arnie who’s possibly the biggest and toughest action star of our time somehow brings a vulnerability to his character that makes us thrill and wonder if he’ll make it to the end of the movie alive!
The first sequel, Predator 2, starring Danny Glover came out in 1990 and is pretty good. Set a few years in the future during a heat wave and drug/turf war between Colombian and Jamaican drug cartels, it builds on the idea that the Predator is drawn to heat and conflict (makes sense taking into account the setting and events of the first film).
The third instalment, Predators (2010) was released 20 years later and is ok. It centres around a group of proficient killers who wake up to find that they’ve been abducted and are now the Predator’s prey on a distant planet that serves as a kind of game reserve.
It features some of the same music as the original and seems, for the most part to want to stay true to what was set up in the previous two movies. It didn’t blow me away though, mainly due to the casting.
Then....The Predator (2018).
When I read a year or so before the film was released that a new Predator movie was in the works and that it was being written and directed by Shane Black, I almost lost my sh#t!
If you’re not aware, Shane Black played Hawkins in the original film and was the first to “get it” at the hands of the Predator.
He was also on hand for re-writes of the script so you can understand my excitement when I learned that someone from the original movie was writing and directing a new sequel. On top of all that he wrote Lethal Weapon so there was absolutely no reason to worry....right? WRONG!!!
Not only is this my least favourite Predator film, other than whichever Transformers movie I watched last, it’s also my least favourite cinema experience of all time!
How could someone who had an invested interest in making a truly great sequel to a movie loved by so many people have got it so wrong?!
The characters are a joke (literally). The main character isn’t likeable and seems totally un-phased by everything that’s going on at all times. It has comedy, (since when is Predator a comedy?) It uses excessive CGI, has an autistic kid who I think at some point manages to crack some code? (I might be wrong about that and btw I have no problem with autistic kids) and it forces in lines from the original film in an attempt to somehow get fans onside by using nostalgia. It’s a terrible movie!
I included the Alien vs Predator films in this post because I thought they were worth a mention for good and bad reasons.
The bad: Alien vs Predator (2004).
When a sequel or spinoff to a movie (or movies) associated with violence and horror gets a 15 certificate you know it’s not gonna be great. Add to that, a creature that’s supposedly drawn to heat and conflict happens to have its training ground located in one of the coldest, most inhospitable places on Earth (I get that it never used to be that way) I was already expecting not to like it.
ALSO! How is it that the gestation period of an alien now takes no time at all? Didn’t Ripley have one inside her through the whole of Alien 3??
The good..? Despite all the hate it gets Aliens vs Predator: Requiem (2007) isn’t all bad. It‘s certainly not great though coz I haven’t watched it more than once since.
I do remember thinking that the film makers must be Predator fans because at certain times it has that Predator feel that makes the original movie so epic. It‘s a bit of a mess though and the whole eating pregnant women’s unborn babies was a stretch too far in my book...
Anyway, to wrap up (for those of you still with me) I LOVE Predator (1987). I WANT to see more sequels. I know they’ll never be as good as the original I just don’t want them to suck. Is that too much to ask?
Let me know.
Am I being too harsh? Do you like these films? Did you like the last one? Comment below 👇
“What’s the matter Dillon? CIA got you pushing too many pencils?”