A dreadlocked alien sends heads flying.
Shane Black’s Predator reboot is “a so-so movie for grown-up kids who like the smell of their own trash,” said Joshua Rothkopf in TimeOut.com. In the 1987 original, Black played a wisecracking character killed off early by an unseen alien creature hiding in a Central American jungle, so it’s no surprise that his own edition is an ultraviolent, aggressively paced action film “overloaded with smug one-liners.” Black’s screenplay “always feels the need to be winking at us,” and the hyperactive jokiness robs the film of needed solemnity. Keegan-Michael Key enjoys room to shine as a cut-up who’s part of the team charged with hunting down the Predator, said Bryan Bishop in TheVerge.com. But while the movie gestures at satirizing the excesses of ’80s action flicks, it never commits, and “ends up feeling like the least inspiring combination” of thriller, horror flick, and parody. In the end, the movie “works on the level of a disco ball,” said Dennis Harvey in Variety. You won’t find many rewards if you bother to see it, but “it’s shiny, it moves, and it’s accompanied by much noise.” ■