PREDATOR MOVIE REVIEW: “Predators” stars Adrien Brody (King Kong , The Pianist), Topher Grace (That ’70s Show [TV series], Interstellar), Alice Braga (I Am Legend, City of God), Walter Goggins (The Hateful Eight, The Bourne Identity), Oleg Taktarov (National Treasure, We Own the Night), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, Mystic River), Louis Ozawa Changchien (The Bourne Legacy, The Man in the High Castle [TV series]), Mahershala Ali (House of Cards [TV series], Luke Cage [TV series]), and Danny Trejo (Machete, Heat). It is directed by Nimrod Antal (Kontroll, Vacancy) and is written by Alex Litvak (The Three Musketeers , Five Against a Bullet) and Michael Finch (Hitman: Agent 47, The November Man). Eight individuals wake up to find themselves falling from the sky, parachuting onto unknown territory. Armed with only the weapons on them, they must survive the terrors of the jungle, as well as the Predators hunting them for sport, and find a means of escape before they are killed.
Robert Rodriguez, the esteemed director of cult classics such as “Spy Kids,” “Sharkboy and Lavagirl,” and “Machete,” has a specific style when it comes to his releases. Often using silly action scenes, saturated/bold colors, and Danny Trejo cameos, Rodriguez crafts his features to an audience of few. I for one am not a fan and, although Rodriguez is producing this feature rather than directing it (that job falls to Antal), that was this film’s first mistake besides being a movie in the first place. Before I delve into this review, I want to state that this is better than “Predator 2.” I was entertained for the most part and the special effects improved immensely since the last flick; there wasn’t a moment where I wished I was dead. However, this movie unfortunately fails to hit the mark that the original did, and here’s why. Let’s first start out with the plot. What’s going on? Well, it’s the Hunger Games, but on a distant planet and the people must work together to survive the wave of Predators. How did they get here? We don’t know. You see, because our characters have no clue how they got there or the backstory to the Predators, we gain no information as to why they are in this predicament. The only beings that could explain things, the Predators, can’t speak a lick of English, so we are stuck just going with the flow and guessing the order of who dies (which I did to pass the time during this feature). Along with this fact, there are several moments of confusion and zaniness, all in part to the character designs and development. Yes, a band of murderers and crazies are the right people to connect to! Why didn’t the writers think of this before? Besides the fact that I didn’t care for a single soul in this film, what really did harm to the characters was their inability to hold dialogue. There were very few moments where I took notice in who the figures were. I was mainly looking at the location and color grading, along with the few action sequences that took place (which weren’t special). When I realized that there were actually people fighting, I tried to listen to what they had to say, which was either contradictory or simplistic. Those the writers had nothing to do with were given little lines or were killed off swiftly. This story felt as if it were a check-in, to make sure if there were “Predator” fans still out there in order to scrounge up some more change. There was nothing to pull from this besides illogical reasoning and stupid sequences. When looking at the acting, this movie surprisingly pulled many big names in Hollywood. Adrien Brody “led” a group of the likes of Topher Grace and Walter Boggins, even meeting up with Laurence Fishburne. No matter what these stars did, however, they couldn’t save this release from what it was doomed to be. Most of them were either mediocre or okay, none that were noteworthy. Even though Brody was depicted as the main character, he didn’t feel that way, because aside from his unlikability in character, everyone was trying to grab at the rotten script. The Predators themselves weren’t that fun, as there were four competing for screentime, and were merely just there to push the action. I didn’t care for them, just as much as I didn’t care for the characters. If you were to pull a pro from this sorry excuse for a film, it would be the visuals and cinematography. Admittedly, this movie has some good cinematography, with a familiar setting and cool color grading. The visual effects were a given, being as how this was released in 2010, so it isn’t a major thing to cheer about or save this from destruction. I guess the overall summary of my experience with this final endeavor in the Predator series would be that this is what I expected it to be: mindless, silly action trying to fill the void left by shallow character development. This isn’t something I would recommend, but would take over “Predator 2” any day. As I’ve stated, it is at least more entertaining, and I was more content sitting through this than its predecessor. It’s a shame that none of these sequels could capitalize on the greatness of “Predator.” There was so much they could’ve done, but the writers just couldn’t overcome the task of besting, or even meeting, the original piece. FINAL SCORE: 50%= Burnt Popcorn
This movie has been inducted into The Burnt Hall of Shame.
Here is the trailer: