I didn’t have much faith in this sequel. Let’s be honest, the Predator franchise has long been one terrible joke of a film after another. So when my roommate talked me into a midnight showing of the latest installment, I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic. On the way to the theater we saw Ashton Kutcher, which, at the time I thought for sure was going to be the highlight (or lowlight depending on your taste) of the evening. Then, the movie started and it was – AMAZING!
The film gets off to a wild start, literally. Adrien Brody gains consciousness, realizes he is in the middle of a free fall, and desperately struggles to open his parachute before crashing into the ground. Dude. Yes.
The plot is tried and true material being a near carbon copy of Richard Connell’s iconic story “The Most Dangerous Game.” Except humans hunting humans is just so passé. Here, the predators have assembled elite killers from Earth and dropped them into the middle of their “game-reserve” planet. And oh yes, they plan to hunt them down and kill them.
Predators absolutely delivers on all levels as a bad-ass action/sci-fi/horror film. First, the cute and cuddly predators that you are familiar with, yeah those ones, are the Michael Cera’s of the predator species. There are in fact two kinds of predators. The species that are hunting humans on the reserve are the smarter, larger, and more deadly kind (if you can imagine such a thing).
The movie also delivers one of the more epic scenes in recent memory. An Asian guy. An old sword. A large grass field. A mega-predator. I am sure you can piece it together from there. Quite simply fantastic.
The acting is superb, largely in part to the great cast. Adrien Brody (Splice), Laurence Fishburne (he takes both the red and blue pills here), Danny Trejo (Machete), Alice Braga (I Am Legend), and Topher Grace (That 70’s Show) round out a nicely concocted group. I particularly enjoyed Adrien Brody, his versatility makes up for anything the Governator could have added to the film.
Since the film is rather obvious – if you can’t figure out who is going to live in the first 5 minutes you should probably quit watching movies – the ride must be worthwhile. This is where the film is at its best.
A steady flow of blood, guts, and homages make the experience a memorable one. Lots of good stuff including: The old spine-removal via hand trick, Fishburne in a small but remarkable role, the aforementioned scene in the grass field, horrific deaths of the dwindling human contention, and even a few great comedic moments (“When I get back to Earth, I am going to do soooo much cocaine”). It all adds up to one hell of a good time.
Easily the best film I have seen this summer. Predators is exactly what the franchise and the genre so desperately needed.
Snore Factor: Z