Director Shane Black jumps into the Predator franchise with yet another sequel or, like, entry in the universe. It's a dumb sequel, too, but it's dumb in all the ways you want an action movie to be, and given Black's pedigree as director or writer for movies like Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout and far too many more to list, we were kind of betting on over-the-top action as opposed to high cinema.
It is the present, and one of those terrible, horrible, no-good, sometimes-invisible Predator aliens crash-lands on Earth with its dreadlocks in tow, and Army sniper Quinn McKenna (Narcos' Boyd Holbrook) finds its stuff and mails it home. Why? Because, umm, he knows he'll be detained by the shadowy alien hunter arm of the government and he wants to be able to prove he's not crazy. Following us? Word.
So anyway, McKenna totally does get detained, whereupon he winds up joining forces with a bunch of other reportedly crazy soldiers played by Thomas Jane and Keegan-Michael Key and a few others who've also been classified as crazy. And then in turn they join up with a scientist who mostly just shoots guns instead of doing science (Olivia Munn), and everyone sets about fighting the Predator. But, ruh-roh—an even crazier Predator shows up, and starts Predator-ing even harder; bullets, alien weapons, explosions and gore abound.
The Predator mainly suffers from a lack of exposition. Perhaps Black thinks we've been following the movies and comics since the 1980s or something, but those who go in cold will probably feel lost. Beyond that, there are scenes that leap jarringly to or from others that make little sense, and the comic relief feels more like the result of focus testing than it does an organic addition to the mayhem.
Holbrook is fine as the easily forgettable sniper caught between his bad luck and family, but we're pretty ashamed for Munn, who has proven quite capable in other films and TV shows but here feels like a pointless addition. Ditto for McKenna's kid, a negligible character who may as well have been named Motivation in the script. There are also space dogs; literal space dogs. Ugh.
Still, spines get ripped and faces get shot and the bigger, crazier Predator does make for some enjoyable fight scenes. Hold off until you can watch this at home and tear it apart with your friends. We promise you'll like that better.
+Just really dumb but fun
-Jarring pacing; did we mention it's dumb?
Directed by Black
With Holbrook, Munn, Key and Jane
Violet Crown, Regal, R, 107 min.