fully appreciate the new Robert Rodriguez produced and Nimród
Antal directed Predators, you need to appreciate
the 1987 classic sci-fi/horror, John McTiernan directed,
Arnold Schwarzenegger legend known as Predator.
Lucky for you, I’m an expert.
not only solidified Arnold’s status as a box office
golden boy, but it was the launching pad for a new science
fiction/action movie hybrid and a new franchise for Twentieth
Century Fox. Comic books, video games and a less favorable
sequel starring Danny Glover came afterwards (I love Predator
2) and soon, a new movie monster had hit the public consciousness.
combining with another FOX entity, the Predator
franchise merged with the Aliens movies and we
were treated to two Aliens vs Predator films. Both
films were met with mixed reviews and some might say both
franchises were somewhat tarnished by the team ups.
the idea of joining the franchises as I saw them as a throwback
to the golden years of monster movie cinema where something
cool like a Frankenstein vs. The Wolfman or King
Kong vs. Godzilla could exist, however AvP:Requiem
(2007) was a joke.
studios in what we fanboys like to deem the “Reboot
Age,” where franchises like Batman, Nightmare
on Elm Street, and the upcoming Spider-Man
and X-Men relaunches are just ways of cashing in
on the newest generations of fil goers, it only makes sense
for FOX to reboot one of its biggest properties.
as the story goes, back in the day, FOX approached then
up and coming director Robert Rodriguez to write a sequel
to the first Predator. I forget why it fell through,
(I think because Arnold passed on it…) but Rodriguez
wrote a script that never got produced. Fast forward to
present day and FOX re-approaches now successful director
Robert Rodriquez to get the Predator train back
on the track. R.R. gets promising new director Antal (Armored)
and screenwriters Alex Litvak and Michael Finch and Predators
in a way, is a reboot and a sequel at the same time. I’d
like to call it a re-introduction. Essentially, it’s
for the next generation of moviegoers to get a taste of
the Demon Who Makes Trophies of Man.
die hard fan of the original film, I can honestly say that
I absolutely loved this new film. When I say die hard, I
mean, can probably quote the film ad-nauseum, could give
a college thesis on it and own the soundtrack (listening
to it as I write this review).
is everything I wanted out of a new Predator film
and then some. It’s flawed in parts, sure, and I’ll
get to that later, but let’s focus on what it does
popularity of the first film was complex. There was the
group dynamic – amazing cast of characters, centered
around a strong leader type. The cast was strong with many
different personalities and archetypes. There was the solid
A plot – a group of soldiers on a rescue mission.
The military aspect of the film was well developed and smart.
there’s the sci-fi/horror twist – the group
of soldiers is actually being hunted by an alien. The entire
film builds to a climatic conclusion all the while introducing
a movie monster that is actually noble and intelligent with
a warrior’s honor. This creature doesn’t just
kill these men mindlessly; it hunts for sport.
Predators does right is that it recognizes what made
the first film great and tries to emulate it while not outright
copying it. Predators recreates the group dynamic
of the first film but puts a spin on it.
of the world’s deadliest warriors are brought together
for unknown reasons at an unknown location. Together they
must figure out where they are and why. This new group is
not only racially diverse, but socially as well. And like
the first film, all of these warriors have a specialty and
a charm all unto themselves.
next thing Predators does right is in its script.
The only reason the first film wasn’t completely laughed
out of the theaters was because of its tight, smart script
which focused on the parallels of what man’s capable
of vs. that of what a monster is capable of. Predators
is a smart, concise action film where every single one of
its characters make realistic moves and reactions. The soldiers
act like real soldiers and the characters live and breathe.
any good sci-fi/horror flick, a lot of the fun is the mystery
of the story. More savvy viewers of the film might see beats
coming from a mile away, but for the overall structure of
a film, those beats have to be there. Antal does a great
job of unraveling the curiosity of what really is going
on and just where the hell these characters are going next.
script also is complex in the fact that it not only plays
out the story of protagonists, but it also has some depth.
Not only is the first Predator film referenced,
but the mythos is expanded. Through our characters experiences
we learn more of the Predators' technological advancement,
their hunting practices and interestingly enough, their
also witness to the parallels of what hunting the world’s
most deadliest game can do the hunter.
could have easily just been a quickie action movie with
lots of blood and guts and no soul. But as a true fan of
the franchise this movie honored the original film while
also expanding the scope and hopefully capturing a new audience.
cast is fun and they all work. I was skeptical with Oscar
winner Adrien Brody as the lead but as the mercenary he
actually worked. At times he tried a little too hard to
be the “tough guy” but as a whole, you may be
looking at the next big action star. Alice Braga (I
Am Legend) is the sniper, and she provides a lot of
the humanity of the film. Other stand outs are personal
fave Walton Goggins as the death row convict Stans and Oleg
Taktarov as Nikolai, the Russian with a heart.
action of the film is ballistic and gutsy. Bullets fly.
Energy Blasts fly. Blood is spilled and people die.
I felt the film faltered for a bit was it was a little heavy
handed with Predator dialogue references. I understand the
need to honor the original, but as a hard core fan like
myself, I only found it cheesy when I hear lines like, “You’re
one ugly Mutha@#@%” and “Over Here/Turn Around”
and “Kill Me I’m Here!” used all over
this new film. The first film was cool and it used those
lines. This is a new film, so write some new lines.
some could complain about how close this film is to the
original in some tones. For example – it’s back
to the jungle, which is how we all want it to be anyway,
but other similarities are just too obvious. Predator
had Jesse Ventura toting a mini gun. Predators
has Oleg Taktarov toting a mini gun. Predator had
a little Latina girl who spoke broken English exposition.
Predators has a little Latina girl who speaks broken
English exposition. Predator had a Native American
draw his machete to take on a Predator. Predators
has a Japanese Yakuza member drawing a katana to take on
a Predator and much, much more…
because I’m such a die hard fan I notice this stuff
and it’s only a slight nitpick, but I could have done
though, I was actually very happy with the whole film. Antal
did a great job with the direction, and I especially liked
all the cinematic nods he sneaks in the film. I think I
was most pleased with the script because the film had me
guessing the whole time and I really enjoy that nowadays
in films. I really liked the cast and I think they did a
great job building off of each other’s energy.
it all builds up to the climactic conclusion and I was happy
to say that the movie ends the way it should and now I can’t
wait to see it again. Robert Rodriguez and crew should be
very proud of themselves because Predators will easily sit
next to its predecessor as a damn fine film.