Posted on 7/09/10 02:38 PM
The original Predator is one of my favorite action movies ever, and every since the original, there really has not been a sequel that has delivered on being a solid film to follow up the classic first. While Predators will more than likely never be called a classic, it is a solid sequel and a fun movie in a summer that has seriously lacked it.
Predators returns the franchise to its home; the jungle. Eight people, all "predators" in some sense of the word themselves, have been kidnapped and dropped into a jungle on an unknown alien planet. At first they fight with eachother, but soon they realize that they must work together if they want to go from being the hunted, to the hunters. The set-up is simple and straight to the point, with the movie literally wasting no time to jump into the action from the second it begins. We get introduced to the characters right off the bat, and while the movie does not have very deep characterizations, all of the characters are different enough to keep things fresh and make all of them seem like different individuals. The acting by all of the cast is pretty much solid as well, although anyone expecting Oscar calibur performances (why in the world you would be expecting that in a Predator film is beyond me though) will be disappointed. Speaking of the actors; Adrien Brody does a pretty dang good job as the main hero, which surprised me since he is not exactly made for these types of rolls, but he pulls it off quite well and had me rooting for him by the end.
One of the things director Nimrod Antal managed to do very well was mimic the first films formula. That may sound like a negative, and it is in some ways, but I liked the fact that he avoided the nonstop action style of modern action films and went for a more old school approach, which is slowly building up the tension throughout. There are outbursts of action here and there, but for the most part Antal keeps the groups run-ins with the Predators quick and brief during the first portion of the film, which might upset those looking for a nonstop blood bath, but I enjoyed the build up of tension as the characters come to grips with what they are facing. The final twenty five or so minutes of the movie is where the bulk of the action is, and it does not disappoint, and the build up to that point makes it more rewarding.
The negatives I have with this movie are that the ending feels a little too open. I will not spoil it, but for any who have seen it, they will understand what I am talking about. It was not bad really, just a little unsatisfactory. As stated above, the movie sticks to the original Predator's formula rather close in some aspects, and while this is not a completely bad thing, I do wish they would have maybe strayed a way from it a bit more at times. Also, not to sound weird or demented or anything, but I was hoping the violence in the movie was going to be a little more hardcore and grusome. Do not get me wrong, there are spines ripped out and plenty of blood to go around, I was just hoping for something a little more visceral I guess.
Overall, this is a fun summer movie that delivers on its promises. If this film is a success, then I hope Robert Rodriguez continues to have a hand in the creative department for this series, since him and Antal have gotten it back on the right track. While it does not have the same surprise factor as the original, Predators does maintain much of its suspense and fun; thumbs up!