This was the first year in a long time I didn't take any extended time off during October. I guess you run into that issue when you start a job in July and you don't have all your PTO yet. That, on top of my new hours, made it a lot harder than usual getting all my movies in, but because of the new hours I got to watch more movies with the family which is well worth the trade off. Anyways, let's talk about today's movie...
Yesterday with Hotel Transylvania I went in with, I wouldn't say low expectations, but I didn't expect to like it. Today's movie was the opposite. I had high expectations for it because I love the Predator and... I didn't care for it.
This takes place well before the US was settled and follows a young Comanche woman looking to break out of the gender role her tribe keeps trying to foist on her. We see early she's very handy with her tomahawk and she's more intelligent than the hunters she's trying to join. Her older brother seems to be their leader and I liked their relationship because while he didn't quite see her as his equal, he believed in her and supported her getting to where she wanted to go.
While stalking a deer she sees something in the sky that ends up being a ship dropping off a Predator for a hunt. From there, the beginning of the movie really takes pains to show you the food chain. Anytime an animal takes the life of another it gets immediately taken out by a larger animal. It happens with an eagle, a mouse, a snake and a wolf. Eventually the Predator decides it's time to show itself and the hunt finally begins.
I've never sat down and watched Predator 2, but I've enjoyed every movie in this series, although the AVP movies I liked for a different reason. Part of the reason the other movies were so much fun was the characters were all larger than life and had bombastic personalities. You take out Arnold's crew from the first one and replace them with a less charismatic group and keep everything else the exact same, the movie is nowhere near as good. I didn't care much for these characters because they were rehashes of ones we've seen hundreds of times before. The main character is good at everything. She's the best hunter, she's the doctor, she's the best fighter and she's the smartest but she's always passed over. I get it that that's how it was back then, but there's only so many times she shows she's better than everyone that someone takes her seriously. Outside of missing a few times while hunting earlier in the movie, the only time she fails at anything is when things happen outside of her control. All the males in the tribe are your generic, "You're a girl! Go home!" The only one different from a stereotype is her brother and he was a breath of fresh air.
Until the Predator starts actually hunting, I was bored and fighting to stay awake.When he finally does start killing others, the movie really picks up. I really liked the hunting techniques of the Comanche going against the alien threat and the way the group fought as a team to take down the creature. There's a lot of cool stuff that happens and visually it's awesome. I liked how the Comanche tribe doesn't freeze in wonder and confusion when it first appears to them, they see an enemy and spring into action. I can't say enough about how great the first big scene they have together is.
Later they introduce some French fur traders to up the body count. I didn't care for them because they're introduced so late in the movie that you know what's coming for them. Because of this detour it pumps the brakes on the movie when it was just picking up steam. I don't mind them being over the top because in that time period they were not friendly to the native tribes. They're just there to provide an obstacle for our heroes and then to get slaughtered. They're a big meh from me. Although that scene does lead to another cool fight with the brother and sister duo taking on the alien.
I think my biggest problem with the movie is how they made the Predator stupid. The theme of the movie is "underestimate our hero at your own peril," and I understand it makes sense within the movie, but it doesn't make sense in the lore of the Predator movies because the creature isn't stupid. It saw our main character with a gun, it knows how those things work, but it turns its back on her so she can shoot it in the head and wound it. The Predator doesn't discriminate, if you have a weapon it considers you a threat. It killed an unarmed man missing a foot but turned its back on someone holding a gun?? The finale also makes the Predator have a case of the stupids as it seems to forget how its own equipment works and being on the business end of three laser sights usually leads to a bad time.
I didn't hate it, I was just disappointed. It's a cool idea considering the Predators have been coming to Earth for thousands of years. I'd like to see the alien in different time periods going on hunts because it's a very neat concept and there's a lot someone can do with it. So, while I didn't care for this one all that much, if it does bring us Predator through the ages, I'd call it a success.