Double-posted at mercilesstruth.com
Whew lad, I just saw “The Predator” and I’ve got some thoughts. We’ll do the good news first, so let me start by listing the things about the Predator franchise that I like. Other than the cool monster design and the classic 80s action tropes, one of the appeals about Predator is, in a sense, that it is a power fantasy. The men and women who have squared off against the Predators in the past have all been stone-cold killers, apex hunters, the most dangerous people on the planet. Watching them struggle against a superior foe and emerge victorious is both rewarding and engaging. The classic struggle of powerful individuals like those portrayed in the series has predated recorded history. After all, war never changes. There is always someone better, someone stronger, and someone smarter who wants to ruin your day. In short, putting a sci-fi twist on “The Most Dangerous Game” is the entire appeal to the Predator franchise.
Do you know what is not the appeal of the Predator franchise? Building a cinematic universe that explores the Predator faction of Greenpeace, the deeper impact of Global Warming, and the benefits of Autism. Yes. Autism.
“The Predator” starts out as most action movies do, bad ass Army sniper on mission, shooting people. Alien spacecraft crash lands next to him, and a Predator kills the sniper’s team, as the sniper makes a getaway with some of the Predator’s gear. From there, the movie goes downhill, nonstop. You see, before Sniper Guy (who has a name, but it doesn’t matter) gets apprehended by the US Government’s Department of Predator Rights, he mails the Predator’s gauntlet and mask to his autistic son. The Government spooks capture the crash landed Predator, who predictably goes “NO U” and breaks free of the super-secret lab he was stored in, hijacks some gear from the lab that were left by other Predators that came to Earth (Yay continuity!), and starts to track down his missing stuff, which puts Sniper Guy on an intercept course to keep his retarded son safe from the Predator who wants his stolen hairband back. Oh, and Sniper Guy is joined by a couple of Section 8 patients from the VA who are all crazy fucked up from PTSD and can’t function normally. Enter the comic relief. You know what the other three Predator movies didn’t really have and certainly didn’t need? Comic relief. There is a larger trend in movies these days that everything has to be a comedy on top of whatever else it’s supposed to be. One of the reasons Dunkirk was so good was because it never broke the vibe with shitty one-liners and physical gags in the middle of shootouts. Knock that shit off.
Along the way, the autistic 11 year old, who is afraid of loud noises, learns to read the Predator’s language and manipulate their computer gear. You know, shit that the US Government in its infinite resources and ability to recruit the brightest minds in history was unable to do for the last 30 years. This is a recurring theme in the film, that Autism is a superpower. If you know anyone who is autistic, you know this to be false. If you are autistic, holy shit how are you reading this?
Anyway, so Predator is hunting the autistic kid who hates loud noises, when an EVEN BIGGER PREDATOR SHOWS UP AND WHOOPS THE OTHER PREDATOR’S ASS HOLY FUCK WHAT A TWIST. The Government dudes conveniently show up to explain that the HOLY FUCK HUGE PREDATOR is genetically engineered to shit on other Predators, and that all this time Predators have been ripping people’s spines out so they can harvest our DNA to genetically modify themselves to make themselves even better Predators, not because they want trophies like was established in the first three movies. This begs a question. If they can engineer enormous super predators designed to hunt the galaxy’s greatest hunter, why don’t they make ALL Predators into those guys? They go through so much trouble to be better at killing just to be easily bested by guys who were made to be better. Why not make them all to be better and knock off the extracurriculars?
Sniper Guy and the PTSDudes who can’t function normally randomly, out of nowhere, with zero explanation have a bunch of of full auto rifles and a rotary grenade launcher and start fighting back against the HOLY FUCK HUGE PREDATOR and his dogs (yes, dogs). One moment the PTSDudes are riding on a school bus, and the next moment, BAM fully stocked, locked, and loaded with all the guns in the world. One of the dogs (yes, dogs) gets stabbed in the head and becomes retarded from brain damage, and serves as comic relief for the rest of the movie (something the other movies didn’t really have or need), as well as being a recurring Deus Ex Machina to go fetch guns and other shit when the heroes are in dire need of saving from a bad script. Seriously, this retarded dog is a recurring major plot element in the movie and it pisses me the fuck off. I get that “Predators” already established that Predator dogs exist, that’s fine. What isn’t fine is when the Predator Dog who got stabbed in the head and lobotomized plays fetch and brings a weapon to a character in need at the last second THREE SEPARATE TIMES IN THE MOVIE, ACROSS MULTIPLE STATES AND DAYS, when the dog wasn’t even brought along with the group. He just fucking appears out of nowhere in a different location on a different day and shits out a grenade or a laser. I can accept a hokey bit of bullshit like that once in a movie, but three times? For fuck’s sake, be aware of the limits of your gag.
It’s revealed that HOLY FUCK HUGE PREDATOR and his dogs (yes, dogs) are here to recover something that the first Predator stole before he was shot down and crash landed on Earth. Sniper Guy, the retarded kid, the PTSDudes, and the obligatory strong female scientist who is also suddenly an amazing shot and expert at military tactics head to the salvaged ship from the first Predator to find out what it is, and run into Da Gubmint dudes who run the Department of Predator Rights, and a gunfight ensues. Remember the PTSD guys who are all fucked up and can’t function normally? All of the sudden they are Rambo Juniors, doing kung fu, slitting throats, and sniping mercs in the dark from 200 yards. If all PTSD veterans are like this, the VA waiting room must be a fucking war zone. Also, remember how I mentioned that the autistic kid hates loud noises? Never mind that. He freaked out over a fire alarm earlier in the movie, but gunfire, grenades, and exploding trucks just don’t faze him anymore. It’s like he hit puberty in the middle of the movie, and his balls dropped so hard that he suddenly became the biggest bad ass in the group. One of the agents for the Department of Predator Rights start using a shoulder-mounted Predator laser during the fight, but two minutes later, without explanation, the shoulder gun turns and shoots him in the head for no reason.
Speaking of the biggest badass, HOLY FUCK HUGE PREDATOR reveals that he wants the autistic kid because he wants to bring him back to Predator Planet so they can find out what made him autistic and also a genius and give it to all of the Predators so they can become autistic and smarter and solve jigsaw puzzles really fast and mumble mumble heh, ummm mumble nevermind uhh.
I wish I were making this up. Predators consider Autism a desirable genetic trait, and they want to give themselves Autism to become better killers. It’s like these idiots have never even heard of vaccinations or flu shots. Rather than go through the trouble of just buying some MMR vaccines at the hospital, they have to abduct the child of one of the biggest badasses in Army History and blow up half of Virginia (or wherever the fuck they were, I don’t care). Oh, and Global Warming is going to kill all humans in the next two generations, so Predators need to harvest our DNA now before Al Gore kills us all and they move in to settle the planet because they like the heat. Yes that is a plot point.
This is what happens when you try to turn everything into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ever since Marvel made a zillion dollars building a universe, every dipshit with a bad idea and a few dollars to burn wants a piece of the action. Why is The Conjuring building a backstory filling it with lore? On that note, why is Predator? We don’t fucking care about politics on Predator Planet, about their civil war between genetic HOLY FUCK HUGE PREDATORS and normal Predators? What does it matter that they colonize other planets and that they prefer warm temperatures and that they order their sodas without ice and never developed an injection with Mercury in it that turns the frikken frogs gay and creates the biggest Spergs in the universe? I want to watch a struggle for survival. I want buff douchebags with weird noses covered in mud, making trees fall on each other. If I wanted to get involved in an extended cinematic world, I would watch fucking Iron Man.
OH. And speaking of fucking Iron Man. Get a load of this! That smuggled cargo that regular Predator brought to Earth. It’s a fucking robot suit called the “Predator Killer” that Sniper Guy (or presumably whomever) can wear to kill the impending army of HOLY FUCK HUGE PREDATORS that plan to invade the planet. I. Shit. You. Not. Director Shane Black turned Predator into fucking Iron Man. I don’t want War Of The Worlds, I want Manhunt. God fucking damnit, why do people have to ruin fucking everything that was ever good? Is Autistic Predator and Lady Ghostbusters some sort of collective punishment for humanity masturbating too much? Is this our penance for allowing Sarah Silverman to live? Why does God forsake His children? I can’t tell if this movie was written by advocates for Autism Awareness, or a bunch of fuckheads from 4chan who ironically use the term “Autism” as a complement. This movie wants to give Predators Autism, but I think it gave me Autism from how fucking stupid it was. I’m so mad right now that I can’t even think of a clever way to finish this review, so I’m just going to punch myself in the dick until I pass out.