Robert Rodriguez and Director Nimrod Antal attempt to give the Predator franchise back some cinematic credibility after the unpopular Predator 2 and the downright woeful Alien Vs. Predator movies. Twenty three years after Arnie nearly came a cropper in the wilds of Guatemala we find ourselves deep in the jungle again being hunted by predators even bigger than the one in the first movie. This time the jungle is on an alien planet where a race of predators has dropped off a random group of humans so that they can skin them for sport.
This film isn’t a reboot, the character Isabelle gives a full account of what happened in the first film and if you look closely you might spot the odd Alien skull lying around. It’s set in modern day but being on an inescapable alien planet means they could get away things that wouldn’t exactly mess with continuity. If the AvP world has some sort of continuity to maintain of course!
Okay it’s not a remake but does a pretty good job of trying to remake the first movie, gang of soldiers getting picked off one by one while looking for thing that’s hunting them. Some scenes are very reminiscent of the first movie and very reminiscent of a lot of action movies in general. The plot does not have any huge twists and some things can be seen from a mile off. It’s a by the book action flick really. Raised to above average by the acting of some of its stars. Adrien Brody as Royce is a lot better than I expected him to be, he does dip into his best deep ‘I am Batman’ voice at times but that aside he does a good job as de facto leader. Topher Grace is the understated, quite one. Yet you knew he was going to turn out to be the craziest killer of the lot. Alice Braga, last seen in I Am Legend, is the other of the longest surviving trio and does a solid turn as the only female in the cast. Rodriguez staple Danny Trejo makes an appearance but is dead after about ten minutes and I can’t remember if he said anything of note. Another character that kicks the bucket is Laurence Fishburnes Noland. He appears, says he has survived for ten seasons of the predator hunts then proceeds to lock himself out of his home and gets blown to bits by a predator, a very strange few minutes. They muddy the predator lineage with some predators using weaker predators as bait and Noland describing them as different as dogs and wolves. They hunt for sport where as in other movies it was hunting more as a rite of passage. Also there are not as many predators in this movie as the trailer would have you believe? While the scene with Royce caught in the predators sight is in the movie, it’s only one gun trained on him, not a dozen or so. Why are trailers doing that nowadays? All this being said I guess I was satisfied with Predators. It wasn’t as good as it could have been but it was better than it had any right to be. Action movie fans will get a kick out of it and Predator fans can feel they finally get a half decent movie they wouldn’t mind paying good money to see. But as Little Richards ‘Long Tall Sally’ plays over the end credits, it only serves to remind you that it isn’t as good as the original.