Back in 1987, Arnold Schwarzenegger gave us one of his most violent and iconic movies of his illustrious career with Predator. This Sci-Fi classic changed the genre and is a beloved hit, spawning a franchise in the process and a series of below par movies followed. It all began with the silly ultra-violent sequel Predator 2 starring Danny Glover, before the franchise turned to a spin-off series in the form of two awful Alien v Predator movies. Finally, back in 2010, a Robert Rodriguez produced reboot was formed to bring new life to the series, but the Adrien Brody led Predators disappointed fans and critics.

So when I say that 2018’s The Predator is the best instalment since the original, it shouldn’t exactly fill you with too much optimism. This movie is a fun ride, one jam-packed with gory violence and a welcome 80’s feel to it all, yet is let down by a poor story and a lazy script.

In a direct sequel to the events of Predator and Predator 2, a new “space-alien” has landed on earth. But after a secret government organisation called Project Stargazer capture the creature, they soon realise it itself is being hunted by another, bigger Predator.

Funnily enough, Co-writer/ Director Shane Black actually starred in the 1987 original (he played Hawkins, the first to die) and you can clearly tell he is a big fan of the franchise. The film is riddled with amusing call-backs and references, surely to delight fans of the previous instalments. Less successful are the nods Black pays many classic action films of the past, simply coming across as too predictable and cliché. The film would’ve benefited further if he tried to be more inventive and original.

Black (most recently known for the divisive Iron Man 3 and the under-appreciated gem The Nice Guys) has created some enjoyable set-pieces, but the screenplay he co-wrote with Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad) is poor, featuring distasteful humour and characters you will not root or care about. In between scenes of violence and horror is some real cringe-inducing gags, all which fall completely flat. No one is developed either, which doesn’t help when all the characters are pretty crude and unlikeable. The heart and charm of the film is non-existent.

The performances from a very solid cast, vary in quality. Boyd Holbrook makes for a convincing soldier, but lacks the charisma to really excel as a leading man. Trevante Rhodes and Keegan-Michael Key are the standouts within the squad, clearly having the most fun, but I sadly found Olivia Munn and Sterling K Brown to be hopeless in their respective roles.

The film goes at 100mph from minute one, and is actually a weaker film because of this. Whilst the frenetic pace makes for a more exciting viewing experience, the film barely stops to breathe, leaving you very little time to digest what is unfolding. Its swift 105 minute run time and pacing issues means it’s sadly all fairly forgettable.

However, it’s the Predators which save the movie. They are brooding, brutal and unleash hell upon the humans, with the film not holding back on the gore front. The movie holds no prisoners, easily joining Deadpool 2 as the most violent big blockbuster release of the year.

Ultimately this movie is a mess, although that is an understatement where the chaotic finale is concerned. Screaming reshoots, everything comes full circle in a real abrupt and rushed ending. An eye-rolling final scene means FOX are aiming for more Predator movies to come, yet the future seems rather bleak right now due to a lukewarm opening at the box office. The Predator is fun up to a point, but it will not live long in the memory.

Verdict: Some nice ideas and great moments can’t save The Predator from its obvious flaws. The action is there, but a better script was required for this to truly work.
Best Moment: The Predator wakes up in a lab
Rating: 6.5/10

You can see showings for The Predator and all other film times for Hereford over at