Holy Yautja! THE PREDATOR Drops Its First Trailer
I grew up in the country. Corn and wheat fields surround my house with miles of pasture to call my own backyard. With hindsight the environment was formative to a lot of my artistic interests about fear and isolation, the insidious personalities that can develop from it, and a vast sense of space.
But I was also raised on movies, and movies have a very specific narrative it plays out regarding cis-het white adolescence. The cookie cutter suburban neighborhood where friends were down the block, not 20 miles away. So naturally, as any "Local Kid Does Good" will know: we yearned for the city life, for buildings taller than two stories and streets with more than one stop light. For me this translated too to the films I loved, namely the monster movie. I salivated at the idea of seeing my favorite baddies taken from their rural stomping ground and juxtaposed onto the backdrop of urban culture. It's one of the many reasons I will always defend Jason Takes Manhattan, Predator 2, and hell even the woeful misfire that was Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem. This interspersing of the primal and the bucolic is electrifying, because it plays on the inherent urban fear of the "other": if we're not safe in our own homes, on our own blocks, where are we safe?
And that brings us to Shane Black's The Predator, the sixth outing for the Yautja menace who was last scene in Robert Rodriguez' Predators. And while their titles bouts with longtime frenemy the Xenomorphs in AVP let the Predator play hero for a change, in Shane Black's new story it looks like we are squarely back to them being the universal nemesis that we fell in love with in John McTiernan's 1987 action classic.
It'd be a leap for me to say that I found this trailer to be terribly exciting, feeling like a measured flash in a pan rather than giving us much anything of substance (commentators like Collider are already zeroing in on the lack of violence and language that have been trademarks for the franchise thus far), but this is just a teaser trailer with a big ol' highlighter over the word "teaser". But I don't think we necessarily need to worry about any of that with Shane Black attached to the script who has seamlessly blended witty dialogue with necessary violence to make gleeful actioners that are blisteringly intelligent. Frankly my biggest critique of Black's films are the blinding whiteness of his cast, but with The Predator boasting Sterling K. Brown, Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes, and Olivia Munn as the core ensemble we can rest assured that this chapter will continue the Predator franchises commitment to diversity.
Check out the trailer below and make sure you catch The Predator when it hits theatres September 14th!