I am cautiously optimistic about The Predator movie, in spite of the by-the-numbers trailer.

I really like director Shane Black. He’s made some excellent movies that I’ve enjoyed that became cult favorites, like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys. Some fans may have taken issue with his version of The Mandarin in Iron Man 3, but I would argue that the rest of the film was very well done. The focus on Tony Stark as a person, aside from Iron Man, to the the thrilling free-falling airplane scene, to fighting villains who weren’t a bunch of mechs or robots. Although, considering that the aforementioned movies all take place at Christmastime, it’s weird to see the director set The Predator during Halloween. Regardless, the kind of creative thinking he’s shown in his other films might help reinvigorate the Predator franchise. Besides, the man was an actor in the film that launched the franchise.

In Predator (1987), he played Rick Hawkins, the team’s tech guy and radio operator. You may remember him better as the soldier who kept telling crude sexual jokes to the other guys, often having to explain the punchline, and finally making the stalwart Billy crack a smile and laugh. Speaking of dialogue, Shane Black helped doctor the original script and has also helped write the script for this new film. I think the man is an outstanding screenwriter. In addition to writing the scripts for the other movies he’s directed, he also wrote the scripts for The Monster Squad and the first two Lethal Weapon movies. You can kinda get the sense of that buddy-cop exchange in one scene in the trailer.

“He saw something.”
“Hell, yeah.”

I wish we saw more of this kind of dialogue exchange in the trailer, but then again, I don’t want all the good interactions between the characters spoiled before I see the movie, which brings me to the cast. Being a huge fan of the original Predator (1987) film, I would have loved to have a bunch of macho actors to star in this one. But since they tried that inĀ Predators (2010) and it didn’t reinvigorate the franchise the way Fox hoped it would — even though it grossed $127 million against a paltry $40 million budget — I understand why the studio would want a more well-rounded cast.

While we won’t exactly be getting the kind of actors who could show up in an Expendables movie, I think the cast is solid.

I know Boyd Holbrook from his role as the bad guy, Donald Pierce, who was trying to track down Wolverine in the movie Logan. I’ve also watched the first season of Narcos on Netflix and remember him as one of the leads, so the actor can certain hold his own. I love that Olivia Munn is in this movie. As I mentioned in my previous article, if any X-Men actor were to reprise their role in the MCU, my vote would be for her incarnation of Psylocke. So, it’s good to see her in another action film.

It’s neat to see Keegan-Michael Key in this film. It’s almost a shame that Jordan Peele isn’t in this film as well, considering how great of a dramatic turn the Key & Peele stars did as special agents in the first season of Fargo. Then there’s the Punisher… I mean, Thomas Jane. Here’s hopin’ we get to see him kick some butt and that he doesn’t die too soon. Or, at least, have him go out in a blaze of glory facing down the Predator.

Speaking of which, Gary Busey’s son is in this movie. Jake Busey appears to be playing the son of Special Agent Peter Keyes, played by Gary Busey in Predator 2. I like this callback to one of the original films. I hope we see more references to the original franchise. Secretly, I’m hoping for a cameo by Danny Glover or Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’ll make sure to stay through til the end of the credits, when the movie comes out September 14th.