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The Predator

‘The Predator’ is the fourth entry in the sci-fi action series. Beginning with the Arnold Schwarzenegger starring vehicle in 1987, the ‘Predator’ franchise has gained an ardent following. Whilst it hasn’t been consistently striking with a few uneven entries, the series’ deadly aliens have endured. Also appearing in two ‘Alien vs Predator’ movies, the franchise reboots itself once again. Directed by Shane Black, who starred in the first Schwarzenegger movie, he lovingly shows how the beasts’ wicked arsenal is enough to wipe out any weaponised armada.

When alien predators invade a small town, a group of mercenaries led by Quinn (Boyd Holbrook) fight to protect it. Among Quinn’s team are Nebraska (Trevante Rhodes) and Quinn’s autistic son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) who has mysterious powers that can defeat them. Ready for battle against the fierce otherworldly creatures, Quinn aims to stand against whatever savage force they all face.

‘The Predator’ is a generally disappointing entry. Whilst the CGI is eye-popping and the action sequences are well handled, Black’s direction lets things down. Given how talented the performers are and the series’ mythology, the resulting enterprise falls flat. Black fails to bring a sense of urgency with Quinn and company strolling through events and quipping jokes than diving into the horrific events surrounding them.

The script feels as if it’s been handled by committee, with an unfocused tonal direction pulling the film in too many areas. The sketchily drawn characters and predictable story make ‘The Predator’ humdrum viewing. The excitement level only barely registers with the film not having the courage of its convictions. The whole movie feels like a vehicle to sell more toys than a genuine entry into an ongoing series.

The law of diminishing returns has crept up on ‘The Predator’. Less is usually more when it comes to sequels but if there’s money to be made, then Hollywood will keep churning them out. The lack of bite seen in this middling instalment makes ‘The Predator’ more of a toothless tiger than a fearsome creature from another galaxy.

Rating out of 10: 5

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