A worthy follow up that doesn't discount all the other films
I actually loved the 2010 Predators reboot and the original is a stone cold classic. I have yet to see a bad Predators film to be honest so I was anxious to check this one out. It did not disappoint. In fact, if anything it fulfilled my expectations and even exceeded them. One of the great things this film does is capture the current rage of nostalgia by giving the audience a taste of that 1980's R-Rated goodness and even attempts to capture the same feeling the original film did. You have a group of misfits that inadvertently become targeted by the Predator. First of all, the misfits in this movie are amazing. Can we just erase this film and have a "Loonies" Television series? This group of soldiers with very predictable character flaws and traits are amazing. You become so invested in them that they are the perfect anti-heroes. The film is deliciously violent. It holds nothing back and definitely fulfills it's promise to be R-Rated. The only trailer I saw for this made me very uneasy since it looked like it took place on earth and seemed to revolve around a kid. It does and it does but I had nothing to be worried about. The story with the kid actually makes the film unique and even better.
The Predator makes itself a force without any big names carrying weight on the cast. Boyd Holbrook is a fantastic hero for the film. He's believable and an every man and his fierce desire to protect his son and his backstory of being a soldier really makes everything come together. Olivia Munn is good as the scientist who joins the "loonies" in trying to stop The Predator. She is also very good and it's nice that she's not a romantic interest and we actually get to see a bad ass actor take on a bad ass woman's role. Jacob Tremblay is mesmerizing as the son of Holbrook. He plays the autistic role very well and is a great hero in his own right. The loonies are all fantastic even if they're written as fodder. Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, Augusto Aguilera and Alfie Allen are amazing in their roles. Allen is very underused but the rest of them make for comic relief and heroes at the same time. Sterling Brown is also very good as a near perfect 80's type military villain. Yvonne Strahovski has a small role but as a fan of hers, she's always good to see.
I love that Shane Black directs and co-wrote this. Shane Black has an incredible writing career behind him and he played a character in the original Predator film (how great is that!) Some people will probably come at this and say it's very cookie-cutter and the characters are one dimensional and they are! It's paying homage to an 80's action film. They build the characters in the same way those films did with clear, direct, over the top details to make you care for them and invest yourself in them and it works. It's a popcorn flick, it's an awesome homage to the original film and the subsequent sequels and I think Shane Black did an amazing job directing and co-writing. I loved it.