He’s aboard a bus filled with colorful eccentrics — featuring Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes, Thomas Jane and “Game of Thrones'” Alfie Allen — before mounting an escape, with McKenna leading the squabbling group on a hellbent chase to stop the predator and save McKenna’s son (“Room’s” Jacob Tremblay), who is in possession of alien tech that his dad (idiotically, it’s worth noting) sent him.
Tagging along, meanwhile, is a space-savvy biologist (Olivia Munn), who seems to be there largely to add a female presence, although scientific chops notwithstanding, she plunges into gun-toting battle alongside the soldiers.
What ensues is chaotic, to say the least, mixing juvenile dialogue and macho putdowns with frantic action sequences that become less exciting as they grow more ridiculous.
The best thing the movie has going for it, ultimately, is the original character design, including all the way-cool weaponry that the predator wields. The new version, perhaps inevitably, tries to up that ante, seeking bigger thrills — literally, in one key respect. It gives away nothing to say that involves mucking around with alien DNA, in what’s being described as a “reinvention” of the franchise that might be evolutionary but doesn’t feel like progress.
“They’ve been here before,” Traeger announces near the outset, referencing a 30-year period that corresponds with the first movie.
That they have. But after this misguided addition to the trophy case, it would be advisable to go back to the drawing board before these violent space tourists plan a return trip.
“The Predator” premieres Sept. 14 in the U.S. It’s rated R.