Run time: 107 min
Genres: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
Director: Nimród Antal
Writers: Alex Litvak, Michael Finch
Stars: Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace
The mercenary Royce; the military Isabelle; the Russian soldier Nikolai; the San Quentin criminal Stans; the Sierra Leone militia Mombasa; the drug lord Cuchillo; the Yakuza Hanzo; and the Doctor Edwin awake in free fall but they succeed to open their parachutes landing in a jungle. Soon they discover that they are on another planet and they are prey of aliens in a deadly hunting game, and they need to join forces to destroy their predators and survive. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Plot Keywords: predator, alien, free fall, planet, doctor|
Release Date: 8 July 2010 (UK)
Budget: $40,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: £2,203,193 (UK) (9 July 2010)
Gross: $52,000,688 (USA) (8 October 2010)
I'm surprised at the polarized opinions of Predators here on IMDb. From fans of the original movie (like me), I would have expected a degree of respect for this latest iteration; it seems to honor its predecessors while still offering new twists and depth. Without presenting spoilers, I would simply say that there were developments in Predators that present some exciting opportunities for future films. I also always appreciated Predator for its "gravitas", and Predators continues that somber and grim tradition with arguably better acting.
For new viewers, I don't see what more could have been expected. It's an old concept (The Most Dangerous Game, with hunted humans), but Predators does a good job with it. The acting is great, the lines are not successive groan-worthy quips, the cinematography is delicious, and the soundtrack is fantastic (segments of the original with new score!). Again, the overall plot isn't new, but at least it's not stupid. The characters behave in a realistic manner, and I wasn't plagued by the "why-didn't-they-just-do_____?" question for the entire movie.
Frankly, if you read a review from someone with a rating lower than five, they're just not being fair. Predators AT LEAST deserved to be watched and appreciated for what it offers.
Just to clear the air, this film is not a reboot or a remake of Predator and its associated follow ups. Rather, it is an able complement to the established mythos, adding its own two cents worth to an expanding franchise, even though it chose to ignore the crossover hybrids with the Versus Aliens films, and connects itself directly to the first Predator film by John McTiernan starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Produced by Roger Rodriguez and directed by Nimrod Antal who did films like Kontroll, Vacancy and Armoured, Predators clearly met its objectives it set out to achieve without flashy fanfare, with Antal providing assured direction in the many set action pieces that don't rely on the hair-tearing quick MTV-styled cuts so just to let you know everything's kinetic and hyper. Some scenes will also get your eyebrows raised at how gory and violent this installment can get, with in-your-face dismemberment, and even one which shows how cruelly wicked the Predator can be with a move that closely resembles a "finish him" from Mortal Kombat.
The story is kept simple with one primary plot, and that is to witness how a band of para- military personnel get to outwit and outlast the Predators as they learn that they're prey and game for the alien beings, which are armed to the teeth in advanced weaponry, armour and various sensors like infra-red, with electromagnetic pulses ready to discharge and wreck havoc on human rifles. It's not a fair fight, especially when it comes to the famed cloaking camouflage that gives the Predators an advantage.
But hey, who says hunting sport has to be fair anyway? In fact, this film only serves to cement the franchise plot point of having as many characters as possible to add to body count, and we're almost unlikely to hope for anyone to emerge unscathed when faced with such odds. But well, Schwarzenegger's character did it in the first film through a simple battle strategy, so perhaps this group of rag-tags have some of the same luck as well. Given the Predator's penchant to play with their game, don't expect instant blood and gore as a few teasers have to be in place, before the first death occurs (well, death to an unidentifiable actor, is no count)
Leading the team is Adrien Brody's reluctant soldier of fortune, who decides early on that while he's a member of the human tribe, he's not going to forge any emotional bonds with anyone, being quite dogged and determined to leave the gaming planet alive. This of course irks Isabelle (Alice Braga) the female soldier from Israel who holds a few secrets of her own, and others from the likes of Chechnyan soldier Nicolai (Oleg Taktarov) to the odd one out in Doctor Edwin (Topher Grace), given the rest have tasted real life action in the killing fields, now brought through alien abduction to a planet whose atmosphere is almost identical to Earth, for a game of survival skills.
The story also allows time to dwell on moral dilemma and ethical issues that fighters face in combat, with the strategies employed by the Predators seem to have come out of familiar theatres of war and rules of engagement, where traps are set not to kill but to maim, and fellow survivors forced to make hard decisions as to saving their new found compatriots, or whether it's all man for himself. While offering no surprise twists, with the A-list cast here you can bet that they are all roles which offer a slight challenge, and to see how what we have assumed is the rabbit of the group, able to flip the other way round gradually to reveal some violent, inner ambition.
One of the selling points here is of course watching Adrien Brody play the brooding action hero complete with bulging biceps and washboard stomach. The lack of young, emerging alpha-males in the action genre has somehow led to dramatic actors such as Jake Gyllenhaal and now Brody to hit the gym to buff up for films that require the baring of torso, to make the characters they play more believable, since they are soldiers of sorts hell bent on saving the day. Laurence Fishburne did what he could with his limited appearance in becoming the oracle that is to educate everyone on what conditions are like on the unnamed planet.
But one thing that will be missed, is those frequent POVs as seen through the Predator's eyes and hi-tech helmet. The filmmakers seem to want to steer clear of this since it doesn't offer anything new, but I always thought it was cool to adopt the Predator's first perspective. That aside, Predators delivered when it mattered, even though the story seemed like a shade of the original, and the aliens aren't really using the entire plethora of weapons available to them. One can continuously make the Predator films since this one opened doors, and it'll be interesting to see how others apply their take on the mythos now.
Before I took a chance on this film there was really only one question I wanted answered…
'Is this film going to be another steaming pile of disappointment like the AVP films?'
And the answer, happily, is 'No', though after having to sift through all the unhelpful and uninformative 1 rater reviews here, I never would have guessed. I almost gave this film a miss, but I'm glad I didn't. It was actually quite good, and I'll tell you why (no spoilers I promise).
I think it is important to go into this film with the right expectations. This film returns to the original Predator format, and borrows heavily from the first 1987 Predator film. There are scenes and characters (and even weapons) which are so reminiscent of the first film that they would not be out of place in a remake. I like to view this as very deliberate homage to the original rather than shameless plagiarism, and I enjoyed the film more and feel much happier because of it. Of course this is not a remake. It is a sequel with some major differences from the 1987 film, and enough originality to make it interesting and unique in its own right.
The story is not overly ambitious, they play it straight and the focus is given more to building tension, which it manages to do very well. Because it is a Predator film you kind of know what is going to happen, but it still manages to be suspenseful from the start, and there are quite a few surprises and twists along the way to keep you guessing. The unnerving way the truth of their situation unfolds for the characters is quite enthralling, and reminded me strongly of shows like 'The Outer Limits'.
The characters are interesting and all of them are well portrayed. Some are a little cliché, but the main character played by Adrien Brody is actually more human and teeters on the edge of being a full blown anti- hero.
My only major gripe with this film is that there is little character development. The characters are (as I said) interesting, but there just doesn't seem to be enough time to explore them very deeply. The most you really get is a shallow glimpse of who they might be, which left question marks over some of their motivations. This does make the film slightly forgettable, as you never really end up feeling or caring too much for them, and sometime it feels like they do things just to drive the plot/action forward, rather than because it is something their character might do.
Overall I would give the film a 7 out of 10, it was above average for and action flick and screamed quality, despite a retentively low budget, and I definitely wouldn't mind going to see it again. An entertaining action thriller at worst, and a nice edition to the Predator franchise.
In a season of remakes, re-imagining's and sequels, Predators certainly lives up to what's expected of it. It's a re-imagining of the classic 80's action movie which had Arnie take the reigns as the leader of a super band of commando's being hunted by an extra terrestrial in the middle of the (jungle), and ended up spawning quite a franchise, consisting of a sequel, and 2 movie mash ups, the Alien vs. Predator films. Fans of the original and followers of the franchise can be forgiven for being weary of this remake (after all, I was), but believe me, Predators is the best in the series since the original.
Predators, as the name suggests, features more than 1, which alone makes you wonder how true to the original this will be. Well, the movie approaches this question in a strange way. First, it takes the original premise of a band of elite warriors being hunted by an unstoppable alien menace, and gives quite a unique and refreshing twist, delivering another band of elite warriors, but this time being hunted by 3 Predators, and on THEIR planet, rather than Earth. Then on top of this, Predators takes much of what made the original great; the cheesy dialogue, the big guns, the crude humour, and even some of the same great moments, and adds them in to give Predators its own unique style, while still paying a worthy homage to the classic. There are some direct references to please the original fans, but it's not spoiled by filling it with references that only the die-hard fans would understand like many other movies are. Most of the action scene's deliver and the fire fights are well done. The scenery of the planet is beautiful (though it's actually only Hawaii), and the movie generally has a good pace, despite some times where this falters. And I have to award bonus points for the movie's opening: it was a unique way of introducing us to the situation, and without giving too much away, it sucks you in, even if it is a little far-fetched.
But don't get too excited, the movie definitely has its problems. Some of the dialogue, especially of one character is just bad, and I'm still not sure whether or not it tried to do it purposely and just failed, or if the writers just scribbled down anything they could think of at the last minute. Then there's also some back-story and deeper meaning to the entire Predator universe and their scenario, which is nice, but at times it really drags on and takes the rest of the movie down with it. There's also one specific scene, which includes a homage to the original, but is ridiculous, and apart from the reference, it's almost laughable. One of the biggest things that got me though, and it may not annoy others, is the amount of Predator screeches and screams. It seemed as though every 5 minutes, another Predator was screaming for some unknown reason. Maybe he didn't hit what he was aiming for, maybe he trod on a sharp rock, or maybe his Predator wife left him and he's not taking too well, but any way I don't care what's happened, so please stop screaming at me! The casting is strange to say the least. Adrien Brody, trying to channel the essence of Schwarzenegger, and who would have been my last pick as an action hero, pulls off the role surprising well. Most of the actors perform satisfyingly, and the brief appearances by Laurence Fishburne and Danny Trejo are a nice touch. My only queries with the casting are that of Topher Grace. He spends the entire movie seeming out of place, not quite fitting in to the situation, and at no point is he even slightly convincing as the character he is meant to portray.
Predators was released with some big shoes that it knew it had to fill, and so instead of trying to outdo the original or be new and fresh, it uses what made the original great to its advantage. I must say kudos to Nimrod Antal for directing, and kudos to the make-up department, because they definitely outdid themselves with this project. Predators is a refreshing shot in the arm to a nearly dead franchise, and stands out in the ocean of movie remakes and sequels that Hollywood is churning out. For what it's designed to be, an action blockbuster popcorn flick, it definitely delivers.