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THE PREDATOR

German Part:  PREDATOR

 

Director
Shane Black

Cast
Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Alfie Allen, Thomas Jane, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey, Yvonne Strahovski

The Predator is

produced by John Davis, who brought the seminal Predator franchise to life.  Larry Fong is director of photography; Martin Whist production designer; Harry B. Miller III and Billy Weber editors; Jonathan Rothbart and Matt Sloan visual effects supervisors.


Official Synopsis
From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black's explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe's most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.

 

Review by dalia di giacomo with excerptions from productions notes.

 

I am a big Predator fan since 1987, when  the cult film with Arnold Schwarzenegger was released.  I have seen all movies of the franchise and of course I have all dvd's.    I would like to mention all steps of The Predator  series ( Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990) , the two Alien vs. Predator films and Predators (2010 with the fantastic  and only one Adrien Brody and Laurence Fishburne).   When I reached the press screening in Zürich I felt the hype  so strong and therefore I was expecting even more, something trascendent or sensational like never seen before , yet all this  excitement was not disppointed. The movie is truly scary (all in all) full of action , full of cameraderie ( as usual in the Predator franchise), full of tension and altough it's not "devastating" as the hype let me  believe, it is a bad ass movie with  a really interesting  final, that  opens the door for a sequel. Director Shane Black, who was also an actor in the role of Hawkins in the first Predator movie,  says that  “The Predator in this film is the deadliest and scariest one yet.” Thirty years later the Predator has evolved, has upgraded himself. Producer John Davis says  “This is not a reinvention and not a redo.  This is the franchise you loved, 30 years later.  These are the consequences of what has happened.  This is what has been going on in the last three decades.  They’re badder and bigger – they’ve evolved."

And now only  a ragtag team of veterans can fight  the lethal upgraded alien.  Screenwriter Fred Dekker says, “I think the Predator is one of the most iconic creatures in cinema because the design is so elegant and, like all the great monster designs, it immediately targets our subconscious.  We look at this creature and we see some mirror image of ourselves but in a dark, scary, primal kind of way and that's hard to do.” And producer Davis (who has also produced Predators ) adds “That look, humanoid to some extent and alien to another, was just shocking.  It was scary and interesting. "  Well,  we have Predators and ultimative Predators,  Predators hunt Predators, they come to Earth more often and maybe would even like to shape Earth's climate . (This reminds me of the theme of the film Predators that I appreciate more  and more, each time I watch it). We have definitively different Yautja's and in this film we meet the most terrible one . The fight between the Predators and between each Predator and humans is more violent than before. These Predator characters  are a combination of camera and CG effects.  The familiar, initial Predator character is played by a very tall actor in costume, while the Upgraded Predator is CG.  Director Black says, “We wanted to do a seamless meld of special and visual effects.  Taking the Predator to the next level of deadliness required a degree of CG, in the best way.” Whatever it may be, the special effects and the abilities of the Upgraded Predator are so many that one really doesnt care about actor or CG. Interesting is to find out what  the  ultimate Predator is looking for in the crashed spaceshift of the initial Predator. Counterpart of this battle between Predators is a group of modern heroes , and, like often happens, the true heroes are the neglected, the broken ones. Led by the mercenary Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), whom they meet on a military prison bus,  these veterans suffering from PTSD  know each other from group therapy and learn to work well together, after they realize that McKenna?s story about aliens is true. Boyd Holbrook  describes his character: “When we first meet Quinn, he doesn’t really have much to live for.  He’s estranged from his wife and son, and he’s on a tear.  He’s on a mercenary job in Mexico when a Predator spaceship crash-lands.  He gets exposed to a cover up in Mexico, and he ends up trying to get this device that he’s found back to his address in the States.  He needs proof – no one’s going to believe him.  Unfortunately, his son Rory, who’s on the spectrum with autism, discovers it.  And when he finds it, he begins to actually figure it out.  Rory begins to work on it and sort of put the puzzle together, which, through his own innocence and child’s pure curiosity, starts an avalanche of problems.” And indeed a key figure is the autistic little son of Quinn McKenna, Rory. 

 

Well, this bunch of broken men becomes a unit:  a kind of commando made by strange yet reliable soldiers, faithful till the last sacrifice. “They are all bonded by the fact there is no one else around for them,” says Black.  “They’re all each other has. "  I m sure you will love them, because they become more and more sympathetic, they become funnier and smartier. There is only one thing I noticed: at times when you follow the dialogues between the men of this group you forget that there is a lethal bad ass from another planet around , that has already killed the "normal" Predator. And this is something it should not happen. Let's make a comparison with the first Predator. Although "Schwarzenegger" 's team was funny or contentious, the audience didn't forget even not for one single second the impending scary presence of the Predator. With this movie, the audience is not always bound to the chair under the spell of  an impending terrible fear, like it should be, and this even not when one alien dog remains with them. Something like that happened also in the movie Predators (2010) but only in few moments. Pity because the personalities and stories of this group shouldnt distract from an ever lasting fear. Together with the group of soldiers, the mercenary McKenna and his amazing son, there is a woman, a biologist (Olivia Munn who stars as evolutionary biologist Dr. Casey Brackett), another hero. Pity that I cannot stand her, her character is so improbable (an intellectual biologist should have some difficulties to turn into a kind of warrior) , on the contrary I loved the female soldier in the movie Predators,  Alice Braga featuring Israel Defense Forces sniper Isabelle.  I would like to see Isabelle in a sequel, it would be great (oh well, there is a problem, she must find a way to escape that alien planet)! On the contrary the little kid , the  autistic Rory McKenna is fantastically played : “This wonderful little boy was probably the most dependable actor in the cast,” says Black about Jacob Tremblay, who plays Rory.  “He’s a one-take wonder.”   

“Rory likes chess, and he gets bullied,” says Tremblay.  “He hangs out a lot in his basement.  He’s really smart.  He likes to make things, and figure out puzzles.  The Basement is Rory’s safe zone.  It’s where he can be himself.  He has all this cool stuff, things he’s made, like giant robot things.  He has a chess table and four TVs.  Anything a boy like me would want.” Rory’s gift for solving puzzles allows him to understand the Predator language.

Anyway with up and down's  this is, in its genre ,a cool movie that will lets you enthralled and longing for a sequel. The audience will know at the end of the film what the Ultimate predator was looking for, what the "normal" Predator was carry in on his crush-landed ship. It is a gift for mankind against the upgraded Predators: it is something that is quite cool ;).

 

dalia di giacomo

 

 

 

 

 

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