“THEY’VE been here before – ‘87, ‘97...lately, their visits are increasing in frequency.”

Those are the words of a nonchalant scientist in a secret lab, seemingly unconcerned about an alien breed of killing machines who hunt humans for sport.

If we take this opportunity to break the fourth wall, it is also a reminder this is a series of diminishing returns that has recently subjected fans to more half baked attempts to recapture former glories.

The Predator franchise has continued to misstep since the 1987 original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

There was hope that this third sequel – putting the awful Alien vs Predator movies to one side – might set the record straight as Iron Man 3’s Shane Black, who played Hawkins in the first film, was behind the camera.

But Black has mistaken the tension breaking jokes and Arnie’s quips in the original as a licence to almost turn The Predator into an action comedy.

Despite a lot of confusion in the commotion of the film’s earlier scenes, the story sees two warring galactic hunters called Predators battling it out on Earth – both with different intentions for humanity.

A crew of washed-up soldiers led by Quinn (Boyd Holbrook) and a evolutionary biology professor Casey (Olivia Munn) are caught in the crossfire, as is Quinn’s son Rory (Jacob Tremblay).

Aesthetically, The Predator is quite satisfying with Black clearly having a lot of fun with the species’ technologically advanced weaponry. The film is also well paced and watchable throughout in a switch-your-brain-off kind of way and Holbrook is strong as a leading man with decent support from Trevante Rhodes as Nebraska.

But in other ways, it resurrects a type of action film most viewers would rather forget – overly gung ho, poorly sketched characters and little real peril for the main protagonists. The less said about the introduction of ‘Predator dogs’ the better too.

Don’t bother hunting this one out.

RATING: 5/10