The hunt for a new installment of the classic Predator franchise is over, and how appropriate that Shane Black, the Predator’s first victim in the 1987 original, be the one to capture the exploits of the Galaxies Deadliest Game.
One-upping the opening of the first Predator, this time a space dogfight between two Predator spaceships introduces us to the conflict. The smaller ship escapes to Earth and jettisons its cargo before its occupant ejects himself. Cut over to Mexico, sniper Quinn McKenna (Boyd Halbrook) is on a mission when he sees the Predator ship crash land. Investigating the site he finds a bracer and mask as is unit is attacked by the Predator. McKenna survives the encounter, and sends the technology in a package to his wife and son.
Biologist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) is recruited by Project: Stargazer and agent Will Traeger (Sterling K Brown) to study the body of the captured Predator, discovering it is a hybrid with a human genome. Meanwhile McKenna is detained and transported onboard a prison bus along with other veterans in ‘’group therapy’’, Nebraska (Trevante Rhoder), Coyle (Keaghan Michael Key), Baxley (Thomas Jane), Lynch (Alfie Allen) and Nettles (Augusto Aguilera).
The Hybrid Predator awakens and escapes, killing all Stargazer staff, but sparing Casey because she was unarmed. McKenna and the vets take control of the bus and they meet up with Casey as they escape Stargazer in pursuit of the Predator. Meanwhile McKenna’s son Rory, a savant, decodes the Predators technology as the second Predator ship emerges in pursuit of the Hybrid. As Traeger hunts for the Predator technology, McKenna find Rory before the Predator can, all the while caught in a life or death struggle between the Hybrid and the physically and technologically superior Super Predator.
The Predator certainly tries to live up to the original, and while it may not succeed in that regard it is a very ambitious, adding new layers to the mythology and giving us a deeper insight to the Predator’s and their culture. As expected, the Predators execute some creative kills chalked full of gore and blood, and you’ll be rooting for the underdog humanity all the way through.
(I’ve always wondered, what do female Predators look like, and are they bigger or smaller ,and do they participate in hunting?)
By Daniel Murphy