Cast:Topher Grace, Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Danny Trejo, Laurence Fishburne, Derek Mears, Brian Steele, Walton Goggins, Carey Jones, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Oleg Taktarov, Louis Ozawa Changchien
Yes, just like the rest of you, I have longed for a worthy Predator movie that would wash the steaming turd taste of the AvP abominations out of my mouth. And after the box office disappointment of the last one, I just assumed the franchise would be nailed in a lead lined coffin and thrown into a metaphorical watery grave. Then the ever problematic 20th Century Fox actually gave Rodriguez and Company free reign with the property. And would you believe it; A movie without studio interference actually turned out pretty freaking decent? Who would ever have thought?
Alright, so Predators is NOT a perfect movie, not by a long shot, so I’m gonna quickly breeze through its shortcomings so I can move on to its badassary. Director Nimrod Antal has a strong and building pace throughout the first half of the movie, much like in the original. But towards the end of the second act, things start to buckle and slow down. Everything was going so well and energetic that you just want to get back to the sick creature violence.
The script has some great set pieces and an array of interesting characters, unfortunately the dialogue is too on the nose and occasionally painful to hear. Every plot point is stated in the most blatant way possible, completely idiot proofing what there is of a plot. There’s also a last minute “twist” involving one of the characters’ motivations that is A.) not shocking, B.) unnecessary and useless, and C.) over and done with within five minutes.
My biggest complaint is that of the casting of Adrian Brody as a totally kick ass mercenary in the vein of Schwarzenegger’s Dutch. I don’t know, man, I think he’s a good actor, but I just couldn’t buy him as the film’s hero. He’s completely jacked and talks with a borderline Christian Bale rasp, but it didn’t work for me. Nerdy, loser scientist in Splice? Totally. Machine gun wielding Action star? Not so much.
Despite these weaknesses, Predators delivered in the most important way possible. It consisted of everything I would want to see in a Predator movie. Great creature effects, shit blowing up, predators beating the shit out of each other, and, most importantly, a spine ripped out of a victim’s back! Unlike other recent reboots of horror franchises, this movie actually feels like a Predator film. Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street all missed the atmosphere and all around “feel” of their respective franchises, but Predators got it right.
It’s refreshing to see that, despite the fact that a lot of the new alien creatures featured were in CG form at one point, practical puppets and costumes were used as much as possible. There are also a few scenes that are legitimately creepy and extremely well shot, one in particular involving the fate of Danny Trejo’s character.
Aside from my aforementioned issues with Brody, the cast was all around passable, and all come off better in scenes where they don’t have to speak the cheese-filled dialogue. Laurence Fishburne has one whacked out extended cameo and, despite the characters questionable purpose, he turned out to be one of the highlights of the movie. Topher Grace plays his usual role with ease and Alice Braga looks good sweating and holding a giant rifle, which is about all that’s required of the character. And the biggest achievement in acting comes from Danny Trejo in his stirring and portrayal of - ready for it? - a pissed off Mexican! Something new and different for him, I’m sure.
Predators is the sequel fans have been waiting twenty years for. It’s energetically violent, action packed, and the plot consists of nothing more than a group of humans fighting aliens. Badass. While I can't just ignore the major script issues and debatable casting, there's no denying that Predators is a fun, blood filled summer treat with an undeniable 80s tone that met my Predator requirements.
|Posted on July 9, 2010 - 7:05am | Johnny D|