The Predator (2018)

The Predator (2018)

Review by Annie Riordan

Starring: Some guy, some chick, some other guy, some kid, the bitch from Handmaid’s Tale, The Punisher, a really hot guy named Augusto Aguilera, that guy from Game of Thrones who got his dick cut off, Jake Busey, Jake Busey’s teeth, one ugly mutherfucker and a shitload of other guys.

Synopsis: A cautionary tale about what NOT to do when you find a metal armband and a Golden Snitch in the jungle. 

Ever wonder why, exactly, the Predator rips people’s spinal columns out of their bodies? Yeah, me either. It looks cool, though. Probably hurts like hell, too. I mean, if it were real, of course. But hey, horror movies require some unique gore with which to lure their audiences with the promise of some kickass, vomit inducing grossoutness not yet witnessed. Hence: forcible spinal removal. 

But allow me to backpedal for a moment. 

If you have not seen any of the previous installments in the Predator franchise, I must, at this point, ask you what the hell is wrong with you? I mean, granted; they’re really sweaty and the first one was a steroidal, homophobic Republican circle jerk, but there is a “skip to the next chapter” option on your DVD or Blu-Ray menu which allows you to travel half an hour into the future, thereby sparing yourself from “fag” and “pussy” jokes and get to the good parts where a 7-foot tall, totally ripped lizard with killer abs and clicky mandibles kills all of those grunting, greased-up testosterone cannons. It’s very therapeutic, actually. 

Part 2 is just fucking hilarious more-of-the-same, but with added ethnic stereotypes for your smug white superiority. Part 3 (aka Predators) is…well, not great. Unless you believe that all Africans are Muslim thugs, all Japanese people know martial arts and all women will require saving more than once and will always give in to their maternal instincts. 

And I’m not even going to start in on the AVP films, nor can you make me. 

However – and I know I’m just speaking for myself here – I don’t watch the Predator movies for the cast. I watch it for the Predator. He’s just a really cool monster who kills a lot of shit and blows stuff up. What’s not to like? Heretofore, we’ve simply been told that the Predator likes to come to Earth every now and then for a quick safari in the summer months, collecting spines and skulls from various forms of life the way some dentists assholes shoot lions with crossbows from a safe distance and then have the remains taxidermified and mounted on the wall of their man caves, there to stare down for all eternity with glassy eyes as its conqueror gets drunk, jerks off into socks and watches the Three Stooges in his La-Z-Boy recliner for the remainder of his days.

A Predator just trying to enjoy a nice, relaxing vacation on Earth.

But we cannot have our beloved Predator compared with common couch potatoes, so the makers of 2018’s The Predator (note the THE at the front of the word Predator to distinguish it from its many prequels) decided to give him a good reason to rip out people’s spinal columns. He’s upgrading! Like, taking all of the DNA that’s swimming around in our spinal fluid and injecting it into himself in order to be totally juiced and badass. It’s an organic version of swapping El Capitan for…uh, whatever the newest version of Apple is currently on. I forgot already. La Punani? Les Hemorroides? 

Anyway, a standard issue 7-footer decides to go rogue, steals a weapon and a spaceship and zooms to earth just ahead of the eleven foot upgraded cleaner sent to stop him. Pred1 conveniently crashes into a jungle, interrupting a Black Ops assassination and gets his lizards butt kicked by a dashingly handsome sniper named McKenna, who stupidly steals the Predator’s armor and mails it to his autistic super genius 12-year old son Rory.

Meanwhile, Doctor Casey Brackett (not to be confused with Dr. Kelly Brackett of Rampart) has been called in to examine the unconscious Pred1 in a super secret underground scientific military Area 51 type place. And, of course, it breaks loose and kills everyone except for Casey, who gives chase and runs into McKenna and a bus full of Section 8ers on their way to Lobotomy Bay and there’s lots of blood, exploding things, a bigass ugly as fuck SuperPredator, lots of cussing and Predator puppies and other neat stuff. 

This is definitely my favorite Predator film thus far. Not because it’s great but because it never once takes itself seriously. It knows its premise is ridiculous, and that all of those tired out one liners and UnPC jokes are, like, so totally five minutes ago. It makes fun of itself, its characters and its own monstrous ego. It belittles its own machismo, stomps all over its own sex drive and turns its homages into jokes. Its heroes are dubious and deeply flawed, but incredibly well-acted and weirdly likable despite their general ickiness. Long story short: it’s fun, it’s fast, it’s irreverent and witty. It’s reverse franchise Viagra; it won’t make your limp willy stiffen anew, but it will make it funnier to point at and laugh.

I’m going to give this one 4 stars out of 5: 3 stars for the film itself, with one big extra shiny one for Olivia Munn, who had the Super Sized Balls to call out the inclusion of a convicted sex offender in the cast, and minus one star for Jake Busey for saying she should have kept her mouth shut and not ruined the movie. Dude, STFU. She in no way ruined a goddamned thing. Frankly, I felt better about paying full ticket price to go see this film knowing in advance it would be 99% dirtbag free (the remaining 1% being your jackass self), rather than regretting the expense and feeling dirty in the aftermath, knowing I tacked on a small gratuity for a fucking pervert. You, Mr. Horse Teeth, need an upgrade injected into your DNA, one that has had the Rape Apologists gene cut out of it and replaced with some common human decency.

Eh, screw it. Imma just give that one star over to Augusto Aguilero for being sexy af.