Theatrical Review: PREDATORS
Writers: Alex Litvak, Michael Finch
Director: Nimród Antal
Cast: Adrien Brody,Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, Louis Ozawa Changchien
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox, Troublemaker
PREDATORS is being billed as the PREDATOR sequel that should've been, a statement that reflects the overall disdain by the general public for the 1990 film PREDATOR 2, and it is one statement that rings true - well, almost. With PREDATORS hitting theaters this week, it isn't the sequel that should've been - it's the sequel that is.
It honors the original in a way that both helps to account for the time difference, while also playing a part in the film's character selection, making it an entertaining follow-up to PREDATOR that should please fans of the franchise, especially when compared to PREDATOR 2. Just as any film isn't perfect, PREDATORS has its fair share of bumps and bruises (Adrien, did you really have to slip in and out of a Batman-esque growl to prove you're a tough guy in this film?) but most of them should be easily absolved if you love action, pick 'em off movies.
The film begins by assembling the gang - a group of strangers who all mysteriously end up parachuting into an unknown jungle, with no idea what they are doing there or why. While theories are bounced around a bit, it doesn't take them much longer than it does for anyone in the audience to put the pieces together. As with any movie in this genre, the characters are very simple, and only defined as much as they need be to get the right response out of you when they encounter a deathly situation. The only difference is, there isn't much of a weak link when it comes to everyone's performances. While none of them are Oscar-caliber, they bring more than enough for a glossy action B-movie.
PREDATORS does more than any of the other PREDATOR films to help create a more firm concept of what the Predators really are, how they work, and how they live, little bits of information that might not be so exciting if there wasn't already buzz about a sequel. If Rodriguez and Antal are truly intending to start a franchise that actually goes in one direction, this is definitely a good start.
As a movie, the film clocks in as a solid B movie, but not much more. While there may be some gore, and some decent action sequences, there's a lot more time spent on some less interesting aspects of the story that could've been better spent providing more of the action/gore that many PREDATORS fans love. Although, I can still think of one scene that should be of particular interest for those who love their gore, so don't worry, it's not as if Antal left the kid gloves on.
Bottom line, if you have any interest in seeing PREDATORS, you probably won't be disappointed, providing you're not expecting some new, crazy, never-been-done-before kind of action flick, as that just isn't what PREDATORS is. PREDATORS is a basic action movie, done basically well.