Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@ddmcd.com) consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management. Follow him on Google+. He publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain and volunteers with the Alexandria Film Festival. He is also on Linkedin. To subscribe to emailed updates about additions to this web site click here.

Shane Black's PREDATOR

Shane Black's PREDATOR

A movie review by Dennis D. McDonald

I found myself smiling a lot during this movie. The plot and characters are overly familiar, as are the dialog and music, but somehow the whole package is one of the most entertaining action movies I’ve seen in a long time.

What makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts is the action. It’s nonstop, convoluted, extremely well choreographed, and at times even surprising.

The icing on the cake is the ensemble acting from the youngest to the oldest cast members. They may not be overly familiar and the characters they play may seem cookie cutter, but there’s a chemistry here that shows up on the screen as Our Heroes track the aliens and attempt to thwart their evil plans.

If I had to compare this 2018 PREDATOR to other films I would list SUPER 8 and COWBOYS AND ALIENS. There’s an emphasis on the overly familiar here that we’ve seen before (e.g., suburban trick or treating, showdown in the high school stadium, ragtag bunch of miscreants thrown together to battle both monsters and the Authorities, monster runs amok in the high tech government lab, dad has to rescue his kid, etc.) but that’s part of the charm.

What sets this Predator apart from the two films I just mentioned is the almost “B movie” vibe the film projects. The special effects are superb and the action scenes exceptionally well orchestrated (there are more stunt people listed in the end credits than in any other movie in recent memory) but there are no attempts to focus on Spielbergian sentiment or nostalgia. This is a Predator movie, damn it. When we buy our tickets we want to see the Predators Do Their Thing. By gum, director Shane Black delivers. Recommended.

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Review copyright (c) 2018 by Dennis D. McDonald.

John Sturges' BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK

John Sturges' BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK

Bill Plympton's CHEATIN'

Bill Plympton's CHEATIN'