“The Predators” (2018) brings the predators back to Earth, but there is more to them this time than just hunting. The plot of the film is quite complex compared to the previous Predator films. The earlier Predator films had famous faces as the protagonists and straightforward but interesting and steady plots. But this film isn’t able to make its mark. It gets lost in its complexity, and the absence of a famous face as the protagonist takes its toll on the film as well.
What Happens In 2018’s ‘The Predator’ Film?
U.S. Army Ranger Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) is subjected to an alien space-pod crash while on a hostage rescue mission in Mexico. There is no one inside it, and Quinn manages to recover the armor (headgear and a gauntlet). Just then, he and his team of two others are attacked by the predator who wants its armor back. It kills his two peers when Quinn involuntarily activates the gauntlet that wounds the predator. He also finds a small metallic ball in the gauntlet that allows him to be invisible. He then escapes from the site while a chopper arrives at the spot. Government agent Will Traeger and his team come out of the chopper, and he orders them to look for the pod and the alien. Quinn mails the armor he recovered to his home for safekeeping as proof of extraterrestrial beings.
Quinn’s son, Rory, a child prodigy, receives the parcel. He opens the parcel and gets his hands on the armor, trying to decipher the predator language and how it works. Biologist Casey Bracket is brought in by Traeger to his Project Stargazer lab to help him uncover the secrets that lie under the skin of the heavily sedated predator whose body, and ship, they recovered from the Mexico site. Quinn is taken in for interrogation and, once done with, is put on a bus along with a handful of other soldiers, all of them captives, and is brought to the lab as well. Casey is dumbfounded when she sees that the creature’s genome has traces of human DNA.
Meanwhile, another spaceship enters Earth’s atmosphere and is intercepted by the U.S. Air Force. It crash-lands after taking down two U.S. fighter jets. A larger, more advanced predator comes out of it and sends his two predator dogs in search of something.
Traeger is made aware of the unidentified bogey. At the same time, the sedated predator wakes up and kills a handful of the people in search of his missing armor. It traces the location of its headgear using another headgear in the lab and finds out about Quinn’s son, Rory, and his location. As it escapes the lab, Casey follows it, and so do Quinn and the other soldiers whom he has befriended, who hijack the bus they are on after they see an alien being followed by a woman. They manage to save Casey from the alien’s retaliation.
Meanwhile, the predator is on its way to Rory. When Casey tells Quinn that it is looking for its equipment, Quinn realizes that it is heading for his son and leaves immediately to get to him before the predator can reach him. But when he reaches home, he finds that the armor is missing and that Rory has gone out for Halloween. He is wearing the headgear and gauntlet as his Halloween costume.
An involuntary fire from the headgear makes Rory leave it on the ground and run away from the area. He arrives at a field where he, and his new dog friend, get surrounded by the two predator dogs who must have sensed the gauntlet on his arm. Before the two dogs can attack him, Quinn arrives, along with Casey, followed by his soldier friends. They kill one of the dogs and injure the other that then walks away. Just then, the predator, who has found its headgear, arrives at their location, intending to have its gauntlet back from Rory. Quinn, Casey, and Rory run inside a building nearby while the other guys try to cover them. The predator manages to blast its way inside the building, but none of the soldiers are harmed somehow. It catches up to them, but just before it could recover the ship’s operating system from the gauntlet, it is attacked by the upgraded predator, the one from the crashed spaceship. It has come there looking for the gauntlet too. But the smaller one, who is apparently a traitor, fights back and is ultimately killed by the upgraded one. The upgraded predator then tracks the gauntlet on Rory’s arm from the traitor predator’s headgear and sets off in its direction. After recovering the dead predator’s body, Traeger finds out that Rory has the ship’s operating system. He and his men then set off to find the kid as well.
Quinn, Rory, Casey, and the others take rest at a barn. Analysis of a fluid sample from the traitor predator’s body while it was kept at the lab, which Casey stole, reveals that the reason predators take the spines of their kills is that they are attempting to evolve themselves by using specimens from different dominant species across planets. A few minutes later, Traeger and a handful of his men arrive at the barn in a chopper and hold them at gunpoint. He reveals to Casey that the traitor predator brought something to Earth that would help humans prevent attacks by other predators like the upgraded one. Meanwhile, Quinn’s house, where his wife is also being held by Traeger’s men, is infiltrated by the upgraded predator that has come after apparently tracking Rory’s home address. It kills all of Traeger’s men while Quinn’s wife escapes. It scans the whole place and finds a hand-drawn map of the dead predator’s space pod.
Back at the barn, Rory draws a map of the space pod’s location that makes Traeger take him along to the spot where, unbeknownst to them, the upgraded predator is also headed. Quinn, Casey, and the others manage to take down Traeger’s guards and get on a chopper so that they can follow Traeger’s chopper. All of them arrive at the Mexican location of the crashed space pod. Traeger takes Rory inside the space pod while Quinn, Casey, and the soldiers wait to strike. As Traeger, his assistant, and Rory look around, Quinn makes his way inside the ship using a distraction and the metallic cloaking ball he had found in the gauntlet. As Quinn’s befriended soldiers take down Traeger’s men one by one, Quinn kills Traeger’s assistant and brings Traeger outside at gunpoint. As the soldiers wait for Quinn to give them the word so that they can pull their triggers, the upgraded predator arrives at the scene. One by one, it starts killing Traeger’s men while Quinn, Rory, Casey, Traeger, and the other soldiers hide. The predator goes into the pod and uses a translator to announce that it is going to destroy the space pod as well as have one by the name of McKenna as its prize while the others can run. It then sets a self-destruct timer inside the pod and leaves. Meanwhile, Quinn and the others make their way into the jungle nearby to set a trap for the predator that is on its way to kill them. What follows is a battle between them and the predator that ends with only Quinn, Rory, Casey, and two of Quinn’s soldier mates alive. However, Quinn realizes that by “McKenna,” it is not him that the predator wants but his son Rory, a child prodigy and the next step in the evolutionary chain.
Ending Explained: What Is Inside The Pod That The Upgraded Predator Was Looking For?
The upgraded predator takes Rory to the pod, and starts to take off. Quinn and his two friends jump onto the pod while Casey tries to shoot it from a cliff. While one of the soldiers dies after being chopped off by the pod’s shield, the other sacrifices himself by jumping inside one of the pod’s rotors and destroying it. Casey is able to destroy the other rotor too, which brings the pod down to the ground, freeing Rory from the container that the predator kept him in. As the predator approaches Quinn to kill him, Rory manages to chop off its right arm using the ship’s shield, which gets thrown away along with its launch-able blade. Casey then throws a grenade at Quinn who fixes it onto the blade and fires it at the predator. The blade wedges itself into the predator’s leg, and the grenade detonates, killing the predator.
The cargo inside the pod is recovered. We see Quinn as well as Rory inside the lab where it is kept. This is the very thing that the traitor predator wanted humans to have. Suddenly, the cargo opens, and a piece of alien technology levitates out and attaches itself to one of the scientists’ arms, turning into a predator suit before deactivating again. It seems that it was a weaponized suit that the predator wanted them to have so that they could defend themselves against the upgraded predators. Quinn declares that he has found his new suit.
“The Predator” proves that a predator invasion is imminent. They are looking for a planet that is hot, and with global warming on the rise, they are probably looking to invade Earth, bring an end to all of mankind, and claim the Earth as their new home. DNA hybridization has probably led to a rift among the predators. While some agree with it, others don’t. And herein lies the conflict and the division of the species into two segments. Keeping in mind that in Predators (2010), humans were lifted from Earth and brought to a different planet by the predators to hunt and sharpen their skills, it might be that the technology left for the humans at the end of this film is what made Earth an unsuitable hunting ground. However, it couldn’t stop the predators from doing what they wanted. [ This explanation fits only if the chronology of the “Predator” films is as follows: “Predator” (1987), “Predator 2” (1990), “The Predator” (2018), and “Predators” (2010).]