For the first time since 2010, the Predator franchise is returning to theaters–this time with a director who appeared in the 1987 original film as an actor. The Predator is directed by Shane Black (Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys) and has finally had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, giving critics the chance to see what Black and his team have come up with.
The first reviews for the film have arrived and they range from the movie being pretty good to disastrous. One thing is clear from all of the reviews, though; this is not Black’s best work. It does sound like it’s filled with humor and gore, though, which is on display in the film’s trailers.
For a better idea of what critics think, take a look at our roundup of reviews below. You can also check out why the original Predator movie still holds up 31 years later, and how the gruesome alien species has evolved throughout the franchise. The Predator is in theaters on September 14.
“Those craving an R-rated The Predator will get their money’s worth, as spines get ripped out and every part of the human body is shredded to pieces at one point. However, it is hard not to notice the extensive reshoots, as quite a bit of the digital effects look unfinished, and the blood looks like someone decided the day before the premiere to paint the walls red.” — Rafael Motamayor [Full review]
Collider — C+
“The action in The Predator is fine. It isn’t particularly stylish or well shot, but the sequences have energy, some exciting beats and a touch of creative flair. However, in hindsight, when it comes to the action, the most memorable quality is the gore and violence because it’s so excessive.” — Perri Nemiroff [Full review]
“There’s not so much to say about the actors at hand, save that they showed up when they needed to, and the rest of the time (a lot, in fact), their stunt doubles did. Production values are highly polished across the board, which is not the same as saying the film has style–or that if it did, we’d have time to notice during 105 minutes that are strenuous, clamorous, yet still feel altogether like a tossed-off goof.” — Dennis Harvey [Full review]
The Guardian — 3/5
“Familiarity swamps The Predator, and not just because we’re returning to a 31-year-old three-film franchise (five if we include the Alien mashups). Black populates his film with recognisable tropes and character types as well a grand throwback score, and there’s a certain charm in his ability to conjure up the past without resorting to pastiche.” — Benjamin Lee [Full review]
“Lots of people die, occasionally in funny ways. (It’s a Shane Black movie, after all.) There are some genuinely hilarious moments and zippy dialogue fueled by a sharp cast that make this movie a little less disappointing than it already is. But even the cast can’t save it.” — Emma Stefansky [Full review]
IGN — 6.5/10
“The last half-hour is not only choppily executed at a breakneck pace, it just looks bad to boot. The visual effects take a noticeable dip in quality during an aerial battle and the climactic showdown is too easily resolved given all the buildup.” — Jim Vejvoda [Full review]
IndieWire — D+
“Perhaps the best thing that can be said about The Predator is that, at times, you can appreciate what Shane Black was trying to accomplish. A noble but profoundly botched attempt to crossbreed an ’80s action movie with contemporary franchise sensibilities, The Predator wants to take what’s old and make it new again.” — David Ehrlich [Full review]