7.12.2010

Predators (2010): “Do it, do it now!”



While the plot of the latest entry in the Predator series suggests that the world’s most elite warriors are assembled together for the supreme hunt, it is clearly flawed because this already happened in the first film. Therein lays one of the few flaws of Predators: if a single predator could take down The Body, Apollo Creed, and the Duke, then there’s absolutely no way this hodgepodge of characters could survive the runtime. However, I suppose I am asking a little too much.  All things considered, Predators is a solid entry—modernizing the look of the series, building on the story without damaging it, and providing a fun story in the process.   

A death squad killer from Sierra Leone. A Yukuza armed with a pistol and a tailored suit. An IMF soldier as the token “badass chick.” FBI’s most wanted felon. A sub-machine gun toting cartel member from the Baja. A highly intelligent doctor. And Adrien Brody…I mean a former black ops mercenary who whispers one-liners left and right. Lucky for us, this eclectic mix of killers all happen to speak perfect English. After realizing they’ve been kidnapped and thrown onto a strange planet as game in a large preserve, they must band together to survive, all while learning about one another’s unique differences and cultural backgrounds. Just kidding about that last part.

The action is consistent throughout the film, changing pace with new enemies and building up to a strong conclusion. Even though we all know the score with the way the predators hunt, we still manage to learn more about them as the film goes on. Unlike other sequels (*cough* AVP *cough*), this doesn’t replace Predator lore or alter the world that has been previously created. It only adds. And we can forget all about Predator 2 by the way, because it’s irrelevant to this story. So if you liked it, no hard feelings. And if you didn’t like it, don’t worry.

Sure there are some negatives about Predators. It is the year 2010 after all. Yes, there are a few instances of crappy CG. The opening scene, for example.  As you sit through the awful-looking sight of Adrien Brody free-falling from the fake sky with digital wind rushing by, just remind yourself it’s only temporary and that 90% of the film is full of practical environments and effects. Speaking of effects work, the predator design(s) are pretty good. We are introduced to some new looks for different types of predators. I especially liked how the designers were able to distinguish between different predators by their armor/masks, as they adorned their hunting gear with different trophies. This brought them alive as individual characters, as opposed to just another cyborg-appearing race with dreadlocks and fishnets.


The film is shot well, edited tightly, and generally well-written. Director Nimród Antal didn’t seem to get the best  performances from all of his actors, particularly Danny Trejo. Still, Adiren Brody and Alice Braga managed quite well. Admittedly, I’m not watching Predators for academy-award winni ng performances of cheesy one-liners. Antal handled the tone well, making the movie fun with a little bit of cheese, but mostly played straight. I’m still torn about the score, as it’s basically the same as James Horner’s original music with a little bit of updating (add in some heavy guitar riffs, maybe some bass beats). I loved hearing the amazing score again, but I also wish this film’s music stood on its own more.

Predators is most definitely worth a watch, especially if you’re a fan of the original. Keep count of how many lines are ripped right out of the first film. It’ll be fun. I promise.

8 comments:

  1. I made a rare appearance at the movies to see this on opening day because a lot of it was actually filmed near where I live (no, I don't live on a Predator planet) and I have to say that I was very let down by this movie. I wasn't expecting much in the first place, but it was a lot worse than I thought it was gonna be. I didn't like how stereotypical the characters were, but that's fine and I could overlook that because this is a dumb action movie after all, but I think the weak cast is what really ruined the movie. I liked the person who made the big "surprise" cameo and thoroughly enjoyed whenever he was on the screen, and I also thought the super-Predators were pretty fucking bad-ass, but other than that I thought this movie just sucked. I like Adrien Brody a lot, but I'm sorry I just don't buy him as an "Action star", and the lead actress was basically playing Michelle Rodriguez which is a double-whammy.

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  3. They should have combined the story of Predators with the Expendables. It would be watching badasses cause a holocaust on the predator planet.

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  4. jervaise brooke hamsterJuly 13, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    Predator 2 (1990) is one of the most ludicrously under-rated films of all time, i`m one of the few people who thought it was actually better than the original. By the way, the Alien vs Predator movies are also quite magnificent and absurdly under-rated as well.

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  5. @ jervaise brooke hamster: I'm with ya on PREDATOR 2!! Great flick. The only thing I don't care for are the "futuristic" guns the police have; those are way lame and cheesy. But everything else in PREDATOR 2 is top notch! Outstanding sci-fi/horror monster romp.

    @ Becky - good shit as always, and thanks for maintaining a sunny attitude while telling it straight... that approach made this review a joy to read. *clasps hands* Oh, joy!

    Yikes, where did that come from? Anyway, seriously, great & balanced review.

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  6. @Aaron - I can understand your disappointment. I guess I just wasn't expecting more than what I received.

    @jervaise and j.astro - I enjoyed Predator 2, though I don't think it even compares to the original. I just don't get why Danny Glover was selected for the role...lol

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  7. I gave it 2 spinkicks. It was ok. Trejo should have gone out with some style...but the best scene was Yakuza vs Predator...now that was bad ass!

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  8. Im waiting for DVD but only because I hate finding a babysitter, I was flinching reading reviews lately but there seems to be a decent amount of support for the film which is a huge relief after the two AVPS

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