This post contains spoilers for the movie The Predator, and discusses the ending of the movie in detail.
There are always more Predators on the way. That's true in the corpse-ridden Predator film franchise, which kicked off with Arnold Schwarzenegger's wildly re-watchable 1987 original, and in the larger sequel-hungry landscape of Hollywood, which has put the dreadlocked super-alien in multiple scrappy sequels, ill-advised reboots, and synergistic face-offs over the years. The times change, political winds shift, and blockbusters evolve, but the buff space creatures with poor dental work and a fondness for heavy artillery just keep coming. They can't be stopped.
The latest entry in the series, The Predator, was co-written and directed by Shane Black, a filmmaker who knows a thing or two about adapting to the moment. He got his start in Hollywood penning rude, wise-ass action movies like Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout before re-emerging as a director with 2005's clever neo-noir riff Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. (He also had a small acting role as a soldier in 1987's original Predator.) More recently, he put his sardonic spin on the superhero sequel with 2013's Iron Man 3. On paper, he's perfectly suited to the gung-ho, lowbrow demands of this series.
And yet: The Predator is a mess. Packed with broadly drawn supporting characters, inane plot twists, and crude one-liners, it has the madcap tone of an '80s action adventure but little of the spark. The film's lead commando Quinn McKenna (Logan's Boyd Holbrook) gets in a fight with the titular menace early on, gets plucked up by the pesky government, and ends up on a bus with a gang of quirkily unhinged military men, including comedian Keegan-Michael Key, Moonlight stand-out Trevante Rhodes, and ex-Punisher Thomas Jane, who plays a PTSD-suffering veteran with Tourette syndrome. In the lab, where the Predator quickly breaks free, we meet foul-mouthed special agent Will Traeger (Sterling K. Brown) and expert biologist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn). If it sounds busy, that's because it is -- and I haven't even mentioned the cute kid played by Room's Jacob Tremblay.