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JiffyPops Reviews Shane Black's "THE PREDATOR" at 2018 TIFF

Hola Dannie aqui,

Today we got a review from another new spy who had the pleasure of attending the premiere of Shane Blacks "The Predator" at TIFF. He or she has requested the name JiffyPops, I hope you enjoy their write up!


You can call me JiffyPops,


I’m just gonna make this short and sweet because I just came out of the world premiere of "The Predator" at TIFF. I’m not a writer I’m not a reviewer,  what I am is a movie buff like you so I ’ll try to give it to you straight up with the least amount of spoilers possible.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the predator back on our screens. Fans have been fed a crapload of really bad "Aliens vs. Predator" movies as well as one Robert Rodriguez's "Predators" movie which had some excellent ideas and machismo but didn’t quite cut it. Although he did give us a wolf predator, so I guess it deserves some points for that, the wolf predator was badass (and practical). 

Here’s the thing, CG when used well with a large budget can look outstanding and can just fuse into to the background or immerse you into the movie because it doesn’t distract you from the flesh and blood performers. A perfect example of great CG is "Avatar," or any of the new "Star Wars" films or "Alien Covenant" and yes "Prometheus." However, there’s one thing that those films have which 2018's "The Predator" doesn’t, and that’s a budget. 

So yes if you have a limited budget you’re going to add some computer animation to try to save money on practical effects, but many times it will have the adverse effect because overly adding CG can simply take you out of your movie element in a snap of a finger no matter how good a movie is...


This does not mean "The Predator" is a lousy movie in anyway whatsoever. Shane Black is one of my favorite writers, and when he puts his mind to it, he knows how to write. He’s given us some of the greatest franchises, some of the funniest moments ever put on film, and when I talk about that, I am speaking about "Lethal Weapon," "Lethal Weapon 2,"  "The Last Boy Scout," "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,"  "The Nice Guys" and the list goes on and on. Shane Black is a master writer and coupled with Fred Decker as he is here you think this would be a dynamite collaboration, and yes it is. When this movie is funny, it’s laugh-out-loud funny, and the characters meld with each other in the best way possible like the camaraderie between Ala, Murtaugh, and Riggs. Imagine the helicopter dialogue in the original "Predator" movie, now times that by 100 and this is the new Predator film. 


But as a director can Shane Black bring back the Predator to its glory in a McTiernan style? Yes and no.


You can see that the cast genuinely got along because it translates in the film and there are some hilariously funny moments and some great dialogue in this movie. You’re going to be laughing your ass off I’m talking last Boy Scout laugh your ass off. Should we be laughing so much during a predator movie? This I’m not too sure about, but the theatre was in tears at some scenes.. literally.


I don’t want to give too much away, but I want you predator fans to get out there and watch this movie. The basic premise is Boyd Holbrook's character is a sniper Ranger on a mission which is abruptly broken-up by a predator ship crashing, a fight ensues. Later he gets caught by the military and put onto a bus with a bunch of PTSD soldiers. They are the central point of the film. They are a funny bunch of dudes chasing a Predator, that’s all you need to know,  the rest would be to giving too much away.  

I was always a big fan of "Predator 2"  even though many hated it. So the idea of bringing Jake Busey into the mix as Peter Keys son, I thought was a great idea. I feel like he was completely wasted in this movie. However, when he first is introduced as Keys, it’s great. Unfortunately, there really isn’t any background, and I don’t think I really believe anyone will know it’s Gary Busey’s son from "Predator 2." 


Holbrook, Keen and Jane stood out for me in this movie, and there is genuinely some memorable dialogue. Munn is fantastic and believable looking.  


If you’re a fan of Predator I mean a diehard Predator fan you may be forgiving. I just think this movie needed a little bit more money and less computer animation and I think it would’ve been much better. Is it violent and deserving of its R rating? Hell yes! Is it violent? Yes, extremely violent. 


The original "Predator" flick will always be the classic, and it will always have a place in my heart. It’s too bad that this monster has so much trouble finding its place in a good film. However, I do think that Shane Black is on the right track with this film, but I also believe that we need to get into the mythos of the Predator a little bit more. Hopefully, if more movies get greenlit, we can see a lot more.


2018's "The Predator" is a decent attempt at making a Predator film. It has some great characters my only complaint is I wish they would have slowed it down. Man, please slow it down too much too fast!! I also would suggest that unless you have $100 million to spend stay away from the animation.  Everything with practical effects in this movie is amazing, and it works. The scene with the Predator in the lab that you see in the trailer it’s kick-ass incredible and probably the best part of the whole movie, but the overly used animation ruined many of the scenes. This is mostly attributed to the massive new Predator which just doesn’t work as a visually I’m sorry. 


I foresee another Predator movie with Shane Black. This time give the crew more money, and it will be far superior cinema. He’s definitely the man for the job, but I can tell he was begging for more cash… Don’t get me wrong there are some scenes that work mainly the parts with the Predator ships all very well done but it’s those fillers that don’t work.


So I want you to imagine "Monster Squad" ( grown up ) and Predator all in one, and this is 2018's "The Predator." I know I’m all over the place with this, but that's pretty much my thought process. There is so much that I love about this movie, and there’s also so much that I hate. I’m trying to pinpoint exactly what that is but I’m pretty sure it’s the addition of the poorly executed CG inserted into a well directed and written film. 


There really were times watching this,  when they’re driving around in a police car where I felt like I was watching "Lethal Weapon," it’s well shot and you’ll understand what I mean when you see it. 


Shane Blacks "The Predator" feels like a throwback to 1980's action charm I just wish they didn’t rush everything so fast and I wish they left all that crappy CG out. It’s not a bad movie, and it’s fun it’s just not the perfection I wanted, but I guess there is no such thing as a perfect Predator movie. Predator needs to be big budget. I can tell you one thing, all the big wigs from FOX (executives) were here a TIFF!

 That’s it until next time!


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