The latest Predator film, directed and written by legendary director Shane Black, is the latest reboot of an 80’s action franchise such as ‘Die Hard' 'Terminator' and 'Rambo’ – the heyday of action films.
It has been 31 years since action star Arnold Schwarzenegger stared in Predator and now Shane Black is taking the reins of the sci-fi classic that has spawned a franchise.
In this outing, The Predator travels to Earth from another planet to kill after a portal is opened up by a kid.
This new movie is considerably different from the original "Predator." The new film still has that same campy vibe, but it's less of a thriller and more of a comedy. Shane Black puts his own brand on the film with his trademark sense of humor in every other scene. While the comedy occasionally overstays its welcome, Black manages to maintain a solid blend of laughs and action.
But will the film stand up to the test of time and make a strong case for continuation of the franchise? Studios executives assume that if the movie was popular in the 80s then the prevailing wisdom it will be popular again. If it draws audiences and can be exploited with sequels, TV shows, tie-in books and video games, then in most cases it's assumed that whatever that blockbuster was in its original form will be milked for all its worth.
When it comes to the Predator franchise, its sequels have never truly hit the mark. The first film ultimately made $98.3 million on a $15 million budget. The sequel, Predator 2 took the action from the jungles into inner Los Angeles. It gave audiences more Predator action, more tools, and more screen time. While Predator 2 has become something of a cult classic in recent years, the more expensive sequel made significantly less than the first and dulled the studios enthusiasm for sequels – that is until 2010.
The marketing for Black’s movie began not unlike the last entry in the Predator franchise, 2010’s Predators. That film used the appeal of seeing multiple monsters in the film as its main selling point. The first teaser for Black’s The Predator was mixed, focusing on the human characters rather than the monsters themselves, and highlighted awards-season favorites Jacob Tremblay, Trevante Rhodes and Sterling K. Brown, along with rising stars like Boyd Holbrook and Alfie Allen.
If The Predator succeeds, it will be because Shane Black updated the concept and took it beyond the masculine ideals of machoism, masculinity and strength – beyond Arnie’s famous character, Dutch. The film will succeed not if it asks how it can measure up to the original, but how the concept can work with a modern audience who have different ideals, and a Hollywood that is fresh off the #metoo movement.
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