After years of anticipation and waiting, there's a new Predator film in theaters this week written and directed by franchise veteran, Shane Black himself: The Predator.
Enduring a notoriously difficult road to cinemas, the film went through nearly an entire year of rewrites, test screening, reshoots, and last minute cuts. And now that the final product is finally here, the reception has been decidedly mixed. It seems as though critics and fans alike aren't quite sure what to make of the new film, with the majority of critics labeling it as a dud and general audiences giving it only a modest C+, according to Cinemascore.
And sure, the film has its fair share of issues. The editing seems to get increasingly messy, with the third act being a noticeable weak spot. The CGI is clearly unfinished in places, and the final scene of the movie wreaks of being a last-minute studio-mandated tack-on that is flat-out painful to watch.
But, here's the thing: despite all of this, The Predator is a genuinely great time at the movies. It's pretty much destined to become a cult classic akin to Black and Dekker's other film, The Monster Squad. Far from the disappointment many are proclaiming it to be, The Predator is a genuine treat and a rip-roaring good time at the movies.
10. The Loonies
The film is anchored by this crew of misfits, comprised of great performances from lovable actors, filled with genuine emotion and chemistry.
One of the key ingredients to the first Predator film's success was the chemistry of the characters. Dutch and his team were real, living, breathing characters that the film took time to let the audience fall in love with. Thus, when they started getting picked off one by one, viewers felt it all the more.
While other sequels have doubled down on the Predator himself, none have been able to recapture this group character dynamic until now. From the moment Boyd Holbrook's Quinn McKenna steps onto the prison bus in the first act, the chemistry and camaraderie between these characters are palpable.
Whereas the relationships between Dutch and his crew in the first film were testosterone-fueled in a more muscular sense, Black's writing here imbues the Loonies dissects close male relationships in a way that is reminiscent of Chuck Palahniuk's writing in Fight Club.
Notable highlights are Trevante Rhodes as the ever-endearing (and enduring) Nebraska Williams, whose relationship with Quinn becomes one of the film's strongest aspects, and the relationship between Keegan-Michael Key's Coyle and Thomas Jane's Baxley.