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The Predator is a movie hurt by controversy — and by editing

Everything you need to know about writer-director Shane Black’s new spin on the alien huntsman known as The Predator is contained in Sterling K. Brown’s sunglasses.

At one point in the film, Brown, who plays a government agent named Will Traeger, enters a mysterious structure, which just might be of alien origin. As he first steps inside, you can see his eyes, but a few seconds later, the next time we see him onscreen, he’s wearing sunglasses. It feels like the setup for a payoff that never comes.

Does he know there’s going to be a bright light in here? you might ask, or Does he know the Predator won’t kill someone in shades? But, no, he’s mostly just wearing sunglasses, and it’s neither clear where he got them or when he put them on.

Now, obviously, I can fill in the gaps between shots for how Will pulled sunglasses out of his pocket and put them on while the camera was focused on something else. A movie doesn’t need to hold the audience’s hand every step of the way, especially when it comes to something so mundane as putting on sunglasses, a behavior that most viewers will be familiar with.

Nonetheless, the moment stuck in my craw just a little bit, because it exemplifies, I think, where The Predator goes wrong in a way that bugged me. I love Black’s other films (which include the effervescent Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and the hugely underrated Iron Man 3), and he’s perhaps the best writer in Hollywood at capturing the way guys wish they talked when they’re casually busting each other’s balls.

But The Predator escapes him just a little bit, despite a valiant effort. And most of the answers lie

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