Image Credit: Supplied

Just when you thought it was safe to walk the streets of suburbia… The Predator is back. And this 2018 reboot of the original 1987 alien with an attitude and obvious anger management issues is bigger, badder — and better than before.

It’s a bloody movie, but what else could you expect from a hunter that takes the spines of its kills as trophies?

From the outer reaches of the galaxy to small-town suburbia, The Predator is back to Earth. The universe’s most lethal hunter is stronger and smarter, thanks to upgrading his predatory skills with DNA from other species.

This time around, director Shane Black and fellow writer Fred Dekker have written a script that’s witty, irreverent but works set against the challenge of breathing life back into an original movie that spawned Predator 2 in 1990, AVP: Alien vs Predator in 2004 and Predators in 2010.

And it’s fun in spite of the inevitable gore. Black could have easily gone for gratuitous violence — he didn’t. The result is a ripping good yarn that blows the socks off the long list of comic book movies that are too dependent on computer-generated images and videogame angles to compensate for poor scripts.

There’s the feel of a real movie to The Predator, one that’s surprising refreshing, and you’d be best served to leave any preconceptions at the cinema door. It’s a cracker.

The movie pays homage in subtle ways to the original, a film that makes it to the list of best movies of the 1980s and one that grossed a not insignificant $100 million (Dh367 million) worldwide then.

Right from the opening jungle scene, sniper Quinn McKeena (Boyd Holbrook) sets a tone that’s quiet, understated and is a throwback more to the character of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones than Arnold Schwarzenegger, all muscles and sinew.

Inevitably, it’s round one to The Predator, who wipes out McKenna’s team. What follows takes us through a title bout that culminates in the final round — but setting up the rematch for a sequel that Black, Holbrook and Olivia Munn, who plays a disgruntled science teacher, have signed up for. If that’s anything as good as this offering, then 20th Century Fox have struck a winning formula.

Munn’s character, Casey Bracket, is refreshing and, for once, doesn’t become romantically entwined with McKenna, a highly decorated army officer who is estranged from his wife and son. Besides, McKenna is too busy trying to save his young boy, played by Jacob Tremblay, who suffers from autism but has managed to summon the upgraded Predator to Earth in the first instance.

McKenna recruits a rag-tag team of military malfeasants, not unlike the team assembled in the 1967 action thriller The Dirty Dozen, for a perilous mission.

Put in a blender, they work, delivering performances that ooze with chemistry and aided by a very clever and witty script. Yep, The Predator is back, bigger, badder – and better. And bring on the sequel.

Don’t miss it!

The Predator releases in the UAE on September 13.

Film: The Predator

- Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Kay, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen and Sterling K. Brown.

- Director: Shane Black

- 4.5 stars out of 5