I liked THE PREDATOR only when it WAS a predator film in fleeting parts.
The opening PREDATOR ship dogfight in outerspace was spectacular and seeing a predator ship interior is always a nice touch. I personally like it, a trend started by ALIEN VS PREDATOR (I'm talking AVP aesthetic of hologram lazer wrist HUDs rather than the tribal fog of PREDATOR 2).
Was a real wow moment in the cinema with the volume up too loud.
The pre-mission banter and possibility of executed hostages falsely suggested an adult tone.
Seeing the first skinned corpse dangled in the woods gave me chills, not due to fright or disgust, but because I knew PREDATOR had returned to the big screen. I wondered what the fuss was about with a "trouble shoot".
The lead character accidentally activating predator tech to survive his first encounter with a predator. Was clumsy enough to suggets a fluke but was cool and plausible deniability why he didn't have to "do a Dutch" or get killed in his first encounter. That's why I hate PREDATOR-2 because that film the predator was running away from the protagonist. One "shameful sequel" style reviewer said it was because Danny Glovers character wasn't a worthy trophy and kept spoiling his hunt.
The impending threat of PREDATOR dogs (hear me out). Again a nice reuse of the concept from PREDATORS and I thought we might get a suspenseful scene and sense of perile and danger. But no it belly flopped and the dog immediately became comic relief pets and inventory containers (sorry this is a positivity thread).
Fugative PREDATOR breaking out of project stargazer and going ballastic. Amazing scene but peeved unarmed scientist were portrayed as being killed. Maybe a focus on non lethal force just because someone had a surgical instrument.
Cool the PREDATOR kind of understood how guns worked and not out of the realm of possibility considering predators use spearguns.
The takedown of upgrade predator in the jungle. Absolutely brutal exchange...............until the spaceship take-off. Then our cast had plot kryptonite where upgrade throws them around like annoying stepchildren rather than dispatching them in a millisecond like the mercenaries or the crazies.
AVP references. The Alexa Xenomorph Tailspear and the predator Shruken (most popularly recalled from AVP-R despite featured in AVP as well during the Queen Alien battle- pic from AVP 2004 below).
20th Century Fox were dumb to go with the PREDATOR killer imo, rather than a mooted AVP tie-in to the point completely new AVP props were designed. Then again they weren't ready to suggest AVP and AVP-R were really worth burying the Ridley Scott Prometheus continuity despite so obviously wanting a MARVEL style universe.
But a spiritual association with Iron Man? Come on!!!!!!!!!!!!