As you probably guessed from the title, this article contains nothing but The Predator spoilers. We have a spoiler free review here if you prefer.
The Predator franchise has had its ups and downs through the years, but it has always offered a unique take on the monster genre. The series is an unusual blend of the horror, action, and thriller genres and it’s part of the reason that the Predator has remained such a popular monster since his debut in John McTiernan’s 1987 classic. Even when the franchise was dormant in cinemas, it still saw a healthy life in comics and video games.
Shane Black is the latest to put his personal stamp on the series and try to bring the resourceful alien hunters back into the mainstream. The Predator brings the action back to Earth and digs deeper into the politics and lore of the Predator race than any other film in the series (for the first time ever, their dialogue even gets subtitles). Black takes some big swings with his film and brings Predator dogs, an upgraded Ultimate Predator, as well as the concept of alien-human hybridization into the mix. In spite of a busy final act, the movie has a chaotic energy that’s arguably the most fun entry in the franchise and understands the essence of the series. However, with such an explosive conclusion, it can be easy to lose track of exactly what’s gone down and what it means for the future of the franchise. Well have no fear and put away those Yautjan translators because here’s our breakdown of The Predator ending.
Much of The Predator ending revolves around a crucial piece of Yautjan technology that ends up on Earth. This sets both the human and Predator camps on a collision course in their quest for the technology. It turns out that this sacred hardware was actually sent to Earth by a Predator as a means to level the playing field between humans and the Predators that have been genetically modifying themselves to become stronger. Apparently all of those spines that the Predator collect as trophies also double as sources of pristine genetic material. Not only that, but their race plans to take over Earth after global warming renders it uninhabitable for humans. This all speaks to the noble hunter nature of the Predator race and that they’re not just interested in the kill, but rather the honor behind the hunt. It’s a reasonable twist that actually attempts to understand these monsters.
Finally, it turns out that this “gift to humankind” that everyone is racing for is in fact a Predator suit of armor. This is humanity’s way to get a leg up and increase the stakes of battle. If there’s going to be a fight for ownership of the planet then you better bet that humanity is going to put up a fight. This Predator suit encapsulates whoever it encounters and operates suspiciously like Iron Man’s armor. This Iron Man/Predator hybrid even comes complete with metal dreadlocks. The angle here is that in any future films, humans would use this “Predator Killer” suit and tech to fight against the invading Predators, basically like superheroes.
Now, as insane of an idea it is to “turn” humans into Predators, is this really what we need in a climate that’s already flooded with superhero films? It’s a bold move to turn Predator into some kind of Iron Man tangent (which feels especially clunky after Shane Black’s involvement in the Iron Man series with Iron Man 3) rather than treating them like the monster movies that they are. The idea of intensifying the fight between humans and Predators isn’t bad, but we’ll see just how much the humans’ involvement with Yautjan technology will affect future films. Regardless, Black has found the right kind of attitude for these movies.
For what it’s worth, the film’s original third act that was reshot had this pod containing bonkers Predator hybrids, a scene where Rory defeats the upgraded Assassin Predator, and even a planned cameo by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch. However, leaks and mixed early reactions led to reshoots and drastic changes to the final act. That’s certainly a different direction to take things, but it’s hard to say if it would have been better.
As it stands, if a sequel to The Predator does happen it will surely show humanity a little further along with their new “gift.” In the meantime, maybe Quinn McKenna will show up in Avengers 4 with his Predator armor alongside Iron Man and War Machine.