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TIFF 2018: The Predator Delivers Laughs, Gore, And Plenty Of Schlock

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Who’s Behind It

Celebrated Hollywood screenwriter Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout) follows his recent directing efforts (Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys) with a revival of the franchise he appeared in 31 years ago. For script writing duties he reunites with cult filmmaker Fred Dekker, his co-writer on 1987’s The Monster Squad.

Who’s In It

The film’s lively and diverse cast includes Alfie Allen, Augusto Aguilera, Sterling K. Brown, Jake Busey, Boyd Holbrook, Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Yvonne Strahovski, and Jacob Tremblay.

Who’ll Love It

Anyone with a high tolerance for Predator movies, particularly the more schlocky, light-hearted entries in the series. If you’re also willing to accept—or even embrace—unconvincing special effects, that should be a bonus.

What It’s About

While attempting to intervene in a Mexican hostage situation, mercenary Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) witnesses a spaceship crash. The aftermath leaves most of his colleagues dead, but he sends some of the debris back home where it falls into the hands of his Asberger’s savant son Rory (Jacob Tremblay), who gets this space tech working. These events eventually bring McKenna into contact with a bunch of troubled soldiers known as “the Loonies,” evolutionary biologist Dr. Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn), and an assortment of angry Predators.

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Why You Should See It

Can’t get enough (Shane) Black humour? Comedy-wise, The Predator finds the filmmaker—and his excellent cast—in fine form. The same cannot be said of the film’s special effects, which are surprisingly bogus for a major studio release circa 2018 (in fact, don’t be surprised if your mind occasionally wanders to the non-wonders of made-for-TV special effects from the ’80s and ’90s). Fortunately, that apparent shortcoming is not altogether problematic, as this film is definitely at its best when not taking itself too seriously. In the end, your ability to appreciate The Predator is likely to stem directly from your expectations going in. If you’re hoping for something serious and substantial, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you’re willing to settle for disposable, blood-drenched escapism, The Predator is the sequel for you.

When You Can See It

The Predator’s final TIFF screening takes place on Tuesday, September 11 at 9:45 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre, but you don’t have to wait long to see this movie elsewhere, as it opens wide on Friday. Check out the trailer below.