Eric’s Guide to the “Predator” Series
4.) “Alien vs Predator: Requiem” (2007)
Popular opinion is that while the first film is bad, this sequel is much worse. To me these 2 films are a pick your poison kind of thing. The first film had all the hype and an awesome set-up for the story to take place. This film has an alright set-up, extremely bleak tone, and an impressive Predator. Its best aspect is the how the 3rd act is like a ticking clock of doom, which is appropriate to show how quickly a xenomorph and Predator invasion on earth would be completely devastating. Its problem is the lack of atmosphere, cheesy cliché dialog that sounds more like they came from a sentence generator online. Lastly, most damning of all, the characters SUCK! A few characters are alright though kinda bland, most are annoying and feel as though they belong in a totally different genre. They turned both the “Alien” and “Predator” franchises into a dumb teen slasher film.
I’ll admit it’s cool to see the xenomorphs actually in a recognizable human setting and how the film is not shy of being dark. We have a little kid getting the facehugger/chestbuster treatment. Pregnant women getting their wombs used as xenomorph eggs by the Predalien. We even get the sudden and brutal death of the hot young love interest we expected to see survive. But the problem is I don’t care that much because the characters are so obnoxious and made somehow even less interesting whenever they open their mouths and speak in IMDb quotes. The best character is honestly the Predator. It’s based on Harvey Keitel from “Pulp Fiction” in that it’s a seasoned professional sent here not to honorably hunt, but to “clean up” this situation with the xenomorphs. Despite my issues I feel like the filmmakers were trying to make a dark, exploitative, brainless sequel and they hit that LOW target. Whereas the first film aims high, but came up so short of what could have been. That’s my long-winded way of saying while this film has problems I still like it better than AVP, but that’s not saying much. It still sucks.
Eric’s Advice: They somehow still couldn’t get this concept right. In many ways I prefer this to the original, but I still wouldn’t suggest someone they watch personally.
5.) “Predators” (2010)
At this point the franchise was thought to be dead. Every so often we’d read about plans for an “Alien vs Predator 3,” but nothing ever seemed to surface. Amazingly what seemed to be the solution was going back to an older script for “Predator 3” written by a young Robert Rodriguez. It was a back-to-basics approach with some new twists. I think this is what not only makes it head and shoulders above all the other sequels, but honestly feels like the first true sequel even more than “Predator 2.” Now I do have my issues with this film. First, Adrian Brody as an action star… sorry I had to go get my laughter under control before continuing writing. I don’t care how impressively buff he got for the role. He was very miscast and his Christian Bale Batman voice didn’t help much.
We also have only one classic style Predator because it’s now Super Predators that are the main villains. Well I didn’t go to see “Super Predators” I came to see “Predators” dammit! So seeing the original model Predator get sidelined in this is kind of like the whole Spinosaurus debacle in “Jurassic Park 3” all over again. Still, we again have an ensemble of cool, badass characters played by good character actors. Originally there were to be more connections to the other films with Laurence Fishburne’s character being Danny Glover’s from “Predator 2.” My main issue being despite these Super Predators being so much bigger and stronger than the older ones they seem just as weak. Maybe even a little weaker given that Brody’s character beats the final Super Predator to death at the end. Still despite my issues with it, this was a cool sequel. We all hoped this meant the franchise was back on track from now on. And then “The Predator” came out…
Eric’s Advice: I very much recommend it though could understand how someone could be turned off by it.
6.) “The Predator” (2018)
I wish I planned it this way, but no. This film just kinda fell neatly into my lap while planning for this article. So the word on the street about the film was that it was a mess. As I began watching it, I was enjoying it. I wasn’t loving it, but I was still having a fun time. I could tell there were a number of scenes missing. And then the last 3rd began and I could more understand the bad scores. My favorite actors were Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Jane. In fact, most of the side characters were pretty good. One of the major problems is the main character and his kid. They start off boring and generic and as time goes on you begin to just hate them.
One of the major sins of this film is the fact there is not one single memorable death scene in the entire damn movie. For a “Predator” film that’s just inexcusable. Also, after all this time so many handicapped people saying they just want to see themselves as they really are on-screen they go and add the magical autism trope into this film. They go even further by repeatedly saying that autism is the next stage of human evolution. Lastly, their “preview” for what they plan for a next film is laughable in how much it makes me NOT want to see it. As in it’s the absolute LAST thing I’d want to see in a “Predator” film. I think we’ve seen a series killer. Maybe Disney (or whatever side studio they create to keep making these lucrative adult franchises) will reboot after the merger finishes.
Eric’s Advice: The 1st 2/3rds are interesting and worth seeing, sadly it botches the landing and as such I cannot recommend this film. The more I’ve thought back on this film the less I like it.