THE PREDATOR — Review by Susan Granger

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As this sci-fi franchise continues, Shane Black, who was an actor in John McTiernan’s 1987 “Predator,” has become its director and co-writer with Fred Dekker.

Their story begins as a former Army Ranger sniper-turned-mercenary, Capt. Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), spots a UFO crashing into the Mexican jungle. Aboard the alien space ship, McKenna finds a Predator helmet and gauntlet – but not before the creature has annihilated the rest of his troop.

Realizing this technology may be valuable, he mails it home, just in case the government tries to cover up the incident entirely – which, of course, they do, discrediting McKenna’s report. He also swallows something which, inevitably, emerges later.

Meanwhile, evolutionary biologist, Dr. Casey Brackett (Olivia Munn), is summoned to examine and analyze the captured Predator.

And when McKenna’s young, autistic son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) gets his hands on the postal package, he dons the helmet to go out trick-or-treating on Halloween, utilizing its powers in an unfortunate encounter with neighborhood bullies.

Predictably, the Predator escapes, along with Dr. Brackett, landing on a bus that’s transporting McKenna and a group of quirky, PTSD-stricken veterans (Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane). Plus, another, even deadlier Super Predator is dispatched to save his predecessor.

This monster movie attracted some unwanted attention before its release when it was revealed that Shane Black had hired a friend, Steven Wilder Striegel, who was a registered sex offender to appear in a short scene with Olivia Munn which was deleted once Striegel’s criminal background was made public.

Ms. Munn was the whistle-blower, alerting 20th Century-Fox that Striegel was convicted in 2010 for attempting to entice a 14 year-old girl into a sexual relationship via e-mail. Subsequently, Shane Black was upset that the film’s release was “overshadowed in some ways by a stupid decision that I made.”

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Predator” is an R-rated, profanity-filled, tedious 2. Where’s Arnold Schwarzenegger when you really need him?

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.