Predators – (Action, Adventure, Sci Fi, 2010) (18) D: Nimrod Antal W: Alex Litvak, Michael Finch, C: Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace. 1h 47m. USA.
It had been quite a while since the release of Predator 2 (1990) which took the alien from the hot jungle into the equally hot city and after the failure of Alien vs Predator (2004) and it’s predecessor AVP requiem (2007) we were finally treated to a third installment of the Predator trilogy, And luckily it went old school and gave us some of the thrills that the original movie created and then in perfect homage to the original movie it mimics the original soundtrack but unfortunately fell short on bravado and instead opted for a slightly different less military, tough hombre approach.
Starting a movie in free fall is slightly unusual but this is how Royce (Brody) is introduced into Predators, along with a few other tough guys and gal, from various war zones around the world and a strange doctor they find themselves being dropped into the jungle and are supposed to be the lucky ones as their shoots managed to work… They discover the corpses of the unlucky souls who had crashed straight into the jungle floor and some unknown cargo cases that held something which was obviously not human or pleasant, and possibly very hungry. After lots of tense suspicion and fights for the alpha male role the group eventually they band together to try and find a way out.Unfortunately for them, even their finely tuned skill and expert guerrilla, homicidal and military experience they could never be quite prepared what they have to face here on an alien game preserve.
This summer, fear is reborn.
This is an interesting alternative to what we are used to expecting from a Predator movie, but by this stage and after so many failed attempts of trying to expand on the Predator universe I found myself going back to the original movie for the essence of what Predator is about. There is a lot of the original movie laced into this 3rd edition, and it’s an all round great attempt to recapture this former glory; I understand might not appeal to everybody but the film does offer adequate homage but introduces not only the new setting of a Predator hunting preserve but also a whole new species, a sort of “proto” or “primordial” version of the Predator that we know today.
It’s a solid effort, despite Brody being chosen as the new Arnie character, he’s effective with his acting, maybe not so proficient at handling his plastic gun but he makes an positive impact, it shows the shift from 80’s muscles to the nouveau hero. His sexy sidekick is Alice Braga as Isabelle, a tough but consensus sniper, and who doesn’t’ smoke as much dope as she did in City of God. The rest of the cast are all quite strapping characters who can hold their own, apart from Laurence Fishburne whose character is interesting but it’s easily the films weakest performance.
As action films go it’s pretty good, at times I felt that it was clinging on too tightly to the first movie, it’s great to pay tribute to it, but we need the next level up, the progression was held firmly with the Predator creatures themselves, who stalked and hunted in the traditional manner, but had some help from their pet dogs.
It’s never going to be as good as the original and it doesn’t mimic the mucle bound hero cockready macho man hardcore action of the 80’s, once you start to accept that then there is a chance you’ll appreciate this is as good as a Predator film is going to get. The focus is on introducing new ideas and while each member of the survivors is slowly picked off in a unique way, it’s hard not see it as Saw-esque.
One particular interesting scene for me was the show down with Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien), it’s a little cliche but quite a beautiful Japanese showdown in long grass, something you’d expect to see in Ninja Scroll (1993).
A little over the top and hugely ambitious, but overall it’s entertaining and way better than the Vs’s movies that came before it, I hope that the sequel continues to be as thrilling.
Rating – 6/10
R: Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990), Alien Vs Predator (2004), AVP2 (2007), Alien (1979),
L: Great Thirds, Rating Predators, Rating Predators and Spin Offs.
Vs :Alien Vs Predator
5s: Adrian Brody, Danny Trejo,