Reviewed by: Christopher Walker
|Featuring:||Adrien Brody (Royce), Topher Grace (Edwin), Danny Trejo (Cuchillo), Laurence Fishburne (Noland), Walton Goggins (Stans)—“The Shield” TV series, Alice Braga (Isabelle)—“I Am Legend”, Derek Mears (Predator), Brian Steele (Berzerker Predator Black Super), Mahershalalhashbaz Ali (Mombasa)—“The 4400” TV series, Oleg Taktarov (Nikolai), Carey Jones (Dog Handler Super Predator), Louis Ozawa Changchien (Hanzo)|
|Producer:||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Troublemaker Studios, Davis Entertainment, Elizabeth Avellan, John Davis, Robert Rodriguez, Alex Young|
|Distributor:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation|
Movies in this series:
Predator 2 (1990)
Alien: Resurrection (1997)
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
AVPR: Aliens vs Predator—Requiem (2007)
“They are the most dangerous killers on the planet. But this is not our planet…”
“Predators” is a film that starts up from the first second and never lets go. A mercenary by the name of Royce (Adrien Brody) awakes and finds himself falling. His parachute opens and falls on a jungle-like planet. More parachutes soon follow. All of the seven dropped are killers (there is an eighth person, but his parachute doesn’t open in time), and in a matter of time, are used for sport. It’s hunting season where they are, and they are the game.
The movie is the third in the series that began in 1987 with “Predator”, the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger film, and then continued with the illl-fated “Predator 2”. Robert Rodriguez was hired back in 1994 to write an outline for a third film, but was scrapped in order to make those two dreadful AVP films. When looking through the vault, somebody at Fox read the script and wisely invited Rodriguez to make his visionary take on the series to the big screen. Over the weeks and months leading to the release, it was erroneously speculated that the film was a remake. The film works as both a sequel and a reboot of the franchise, but Rodriguez’ script manages to throw some nods to the original without going overboard. However, Rodriguez didn’t direct the film, a guy with a first name of Nimrod (literally!) did.
Whereas the first two films are set on Earth, Rodriguez takes the third movie to their world where the humans are hunted for game, hence the double-entendre meaning of “Predators” meaning both species are hunting each other (and harkening to the 1986 Alien sequel called “Aliens” with similar title and plotline). By the time all the players are dropped, there is a 25-minute setup before the first attack. We are introduced to the characters, who are all “killers” on Earth (some more good than others) and their relationship they share with each other as to why they were sent there. They later meet up with a fellow soldier, Noland (Laurence Fishburne) and gain clues as to who the creatures are and how to kill them. All believe they are in their own personal hell.
The good: The movie isn’t as nearly good as the first one, but it’s stable enough for the franchise to return to its roots in terms of its dark, brooding, and menacing tone. A good portion of John Debney’s score is borrowed from the classic Alan Silvestri score. Some of the characters were well developed, and the Predator make-up was well-done. Adrien Brody was good in his role, as was Topher Grace in the role of disgraced doctor Edwin and Alice Braga as sniper Isabelle. Even Fishburne did a good job here. Even some of the battle sequences were outstanding. (And that Yakuza guy as one heck of a warrior, reminiscent of Billy in the original film). There are scenes of sacrifice and courage to order to save the lives of the other people, and there is a redeeming factor in Royce’s character in that he learns to help people by the end as opposed to just caring about himself.
The bad: I’m not giving any spoilers as to who dies, that is for you to see if you wish to view it, but some of the characters I felt should’ve lasted longer than they did. An extra ten to fifteen more minutes would’ve helped; there were some plot holes, as every movie does. If the movie did have nods to the original, my only gripe is that they left out a classic line that should’ve tied in with this one as well. One of the characters in the movie, Stans (Walton Goggins of TV’s “The Shield”) is a serial rapist, and brags about his life on Earth and all the women he raped.
This is a true action film that stands out in a summer fare that hasn’t seen its fare share of solid hits and more along the lines of disappointments, but “Predators” manages to be both campy and entertaining at the same time, in a good way.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.