Lesson 130: The Predator – What’s So Funny?
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, work on ways to disappear into their surroundings with this week’s review of The Predator (2018). The latest film in the 31-year franchise is directed by Shane Black and leans heavily on comedic beats from its ensemble – including Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, and Sterling K. Brown – to balance the bloodier moments that punctuate certain scenes and sequences. Which begs the question: in playing up the levity angle, does it cause the franchise to finally lose its balance?
With additional subplots revolving around PTSD, mental health and Asperger’s-related behaviors, the film also dances around issues that deserve more attention than they receive here. Instead, these character traits are leveraged to transform the sci-fi horror film into a pseudo-action/comedy, and the presumed entertainment value of these choices will be polarizing to those who don’t believe in making light of such intense personal struggles.