You might associate film festivals with tawny awards bait or earnest biopics about great men who changed the world by inventing suspenders or whatever, but there’s room for genre fare at the Toronto International Film Festival too. Last night at midnight, Toronto debuted the brand new reboot of The Predator, co-written and directed by Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3’s Shane Black.

Maybe the film qualifies as a biopic about an alien who changed the world by killing lots of people using advanced otherworldly technology, I don’t know; I haven’t seen it yet. Those who have seen it gave it mostly positive reviews. The ones we have so far praise Black and his dark sense of humor, along with the action and the cast. The more negative reviews bemoan the lack of horror in the series at this point and it’s failure to live up to the legacy of the original film from 1987.

That seems like at all order to me; I’m still looking forward to seeing The Predator next week. In the meantime, here’s a sampling of the first reviews:

Jim Vejvoda, IGN:

“With its bawdy sense of humor, disorderly cast of characters, and hardcore kills and action, The Predator does a lot right to reinvigorate the 31-year-old series. But everything crashes down during its frenzied, messy final act, a disappointing conclusion to what had largely been a fun romp up until that point.”

Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter:

“Black’s movie is so cleverly over-the-top that it’s easy and pleasurable enough to watch, though never exactly scary or suspenseful.”

Chris Evangelista, /Film:

“The plot doesn’t make sense. A lot of the jokes fall flat. There’s a pointless sequel set-up. But while you’re watching the movie, it’s hard not to get caught up in all the fun.”

Dennis Harvey, Variety:

“Within the Black oeuvre, The Predator lands more between The Last Boy Scout and Iron Man 3, being a mixture of the flippant-knucklehead-machismo species with frantic comic-book action.”

Hugh Armitage, Digital Spy:

“The Predator is a flawed actioner, but a strong cast and some Shane Black magic give it a sparkle that has been lacking from recent attempts to revive the killer aliens.”

Matthew Leyland, Games Radar:

“Yes, this is superior to those, and 2010’s direct threequel. But while Black’s film carries a ‘The’, the original Predator remains far and away the definite article.”

Brett Michael Dykes, UPROXX

“The Predator is probably not worth your time, and I’m surprised actors of the caliber of Sterling K. Brown, Olivia Munn, and Boyd Holbrook even thought it was worth their time.”

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