In 1987 screenwriter Shane Black came out of nowhere and created a 4 movie franchise when at only age 22 he wrote and then sold a groundbreaking screenplay called “Lethal Weapon”. This is the dream of all aspiring screenwriters, to sell that one different movie idea that becomes a huge hit.
For some reason Shane Black is now involved in the Predator franchise with the new movie “The Predator” that he both co-wrote and directed. Unfortunately, he just may have ended this franchise, because this movie is so bad. The screenplay is both fragmented and boring with a group of known actors in an attempt to use their name recognition to save a bad script. This never works in my experience as a movie-goer.
As far as the actors in this movie I was most surprised to see the great actor Sterling K. Brown in his second movie since he has become famous on the great TV show “This is Us”. His first movie “Hotel Artemis” was also a very bad movie and now with The Predator it is now clear that Brown is going for the big money rather than waiting for quality productions. While you cant blame Brown for wanting to cash in on his new fame after the huge dues he has paid as an actor, the problem is that if he keeps making bad movies like this one, he may never get the movie role that shows what a great actor he is. I was also surprised to see the actor Thomas Jane in this mess, who seems to have had a downhill ride in the movie business since he made the very good movie “The Punisher” in 2004. Jane plays an soldier who has of all things Tourette’s – in an obvious attempt by Shane Black to puff up a bad screenplay with some verbal outbursts created to surprise the audience before they doze off; and I did myself, twice. Olivia Munn also appears in this movie as a Biologist who also seems to be well trained with high level military firearms – how stupid is this? The Rotten Tomatoes for this film are a very low 34% and my rating is only about 10%.
There was a hint at the end of this bad movie about a new Predator creature and a possible sequel. If that happens, hopefully there will be a much better script next time. The Predator should be skipped and represents another great opportunity lost to create something new within the now 31 year old Predator film franchise.