Tag Archives: Shane Black

Soundtrack Review: The Predator (2018)

The Predator (2018) is the latest entry in the Predator franchise, serving as a direct sequel to Predator 2 (the film ignores Predators (2010)). The score for this film was composed by Henry Jackman, who has established himself as one of today’s top composers by fusing his classical training and his experience as a successful record producer and creator of electronic music. His work includes Captain PhillipsX-Men: First Class and Captain America: Winter Soldier; Kingsman: The Golden Circle; Wreck-It-Ralph, and Oscar-winner Big Hero 6. His most recent work can be heard in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Captain America: Civil War, and Kong; Skull Island.

Given that this is a Predator film, some of the musical elements are predictable. There is a notable martial quality to a lot of the music, exemplified by heavy brass and fast, driving rhythms (not quite to the level that Hans Zimmer has been known to employ, but similar) during the action sequences. However next to this is a level of delicacy that you would not expect to find. Jackman makes a healthy use of the strings and woodwinds throughout the score and it provides for some refreshing musical ‘breathers’ in between the bombastic moments.


Two examples include ‘Arrival’ (the opening cue) and ‘Rory’ (the theme for McKenna’s son). I remember it surprised me greatly, sitting in the theater, when the film started with the sound of strings (I was expecting a musical ‘bang’ right from the start). To be sure, the music quickly moves into more energetic territory, but I do feel that it says something that the score started with a quieter melody (somewhat fitting as the film opens with a view of space). And ‘Rory’ might just be the cue I like best out of the entire soundtrack. Beginning with the piano and moving into strings and woodwinds, ‘Rory’ is a perfect theme for McKenna’s autistic son. It begins hesitantly (as Rory as just been tormented by some bullies) but then grows with confidence as the young kid demonstrates his abilities by resetting multiple chess boards.


Two more cues that I’d like to highlight briefly are ‘Project Stargazer’ and ‘Beautiful Specimen.’ Both cues take place when Dr. Bracket  (Olivia Munn) is taken to see the captured Predator and contain that martial quality I referred to earlier. My favorite moment from these two comes in ‘Project Stargazer’; the music notably peaks at the moment when Bracket views the captured alien for the first time (a nice example of how the music can reflect plot developments).

Listening to the soundtrack apart from the film has reaffirmed one thing for me: Henry Jackman’s score makes The Predator a better film than it would have been without it. Of course good music can only take a film so far, but Jackman certain put in a very good effort.

What do you think of the score for The Predator? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

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My Thoughts on: The Predator (2018)

I scratched another goal off my list today: I finally saw a Predator film in theaters. I think director Shane Black meant well when he put together this follow-up to the original 1987 film, but the end result falls short in so many ways. The plot is far too predictable, relying on story beats established by the earlier films, and aside from a few interesting encounters with the Predators, really does nothing substantial.

First let me address the few positives:

-The Predators look amazing, using physical suits really helped portray them as realistically as possible. There were also some nice callbacks to the earlier films provided by examples of different Predator masks. The fight scenes with the Predators are delightfully bloody. I particularly enjoyed the scene where the smaller Predator broke out of the government facility. It was also really cool to see humans using the Predator cloaking technology, I think that might be a first. And finally, Henry Jackman’s score fits into the action perfectly, I have no complaints regarding the music.

As for the rest of the film…..

So much of the crass humor in this film was completely unnecessary. I especially did not appreciate the more…sexual jokes (I don’t even want to repeat the word used). This film would be so much better if there had been less bad jokes and more action.


Also, while I appreciate that Olivia Munn’s character had no problem picking up a gun and joining in the fight (minus the scene where she accidentally shot herself with a tranquilizer gun), I am sick to death of action films having one token female in the group (Rory’s mother barely appears so she doesn’t really count). And that opening scene in the government laboratory was downright creepy. Considering Munn’s character is supposed to be an expert in her field, it felt to me like all the men were treating her as something of a joke (I despise misogyny in film, especially films made in 2018).

And that ending…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more blatant set-up for a sequel in my life. I’m not saying it couldn’t be good, it’s just the set-up feels like it came out of nowhere. Also, are we ever going to see the Predator’s home planet? I feel like so much of what we know (or think we know) about these aliens comes from speculation on the part of various human characters.

At any rate, The Predator provided a bit of dumb fun (with the emphasis on dumb), but I won’t be revisiting it any time soon. What did you think of The Predator? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

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