Saturday, July 10, 2010
Predators (2010) Dir. by Nimrod Antal
A group of elite warriors are hunted by members of a merciless alien race known as Predators.
They are calling it a sequel to the original Predator movie. They are calling it the best sequel to an Alien or Predator movie since Aliens. The are calling it an action packed roller coaster of badassery...ok, they might not have said that, but the only thing I call is BULLSHIT. Aliens was not only an entertaining sequel, but was cinematic masterpiece. While Predators is very entertaining, it lacks any sort of cinematic value to make it a master or piece. I know that doesn't make sense, but it will.
To begin with, I'm not the biggest fan of Nimrod Antal's work. Vacancy and Armoured just being mediocre films of their genre, I wasn't really expecting much from Predators. I was excited to see something new from the Predator franchise but I didn't get it. I got a remake of Predator. Let's be honest. There wasn't a whole lot of originality in this film. Alot of the film seemed to be scene for scene remakes of the original movie. It did add some small unique elements to film (the hounds, the Earth-like planet, etc.), but it wasn't enough to make this a film all of it's own. Directing-wise, he actually seemed to do a pretty good job, but it's hard to tell how much of a pull Rodriguez had in the film. I give Antal props for trying though, and for putting together an entertaining film. I think it is probably the best of his American trio thus far.
The acting in this film was as to be expected at sub par. I thought Adrien Brody did a surprisingly great job stepping down from Oscar winning performances to an action driven film that required no acting ability to sustain a plot. My biggest problem individually came with Laurence Fishburne's character, as he just seemed forced. How do we tell the background of these creatures and how to kill them without taking a screen time with a more creative approach? Let's have someone already be on the planet, and has survived there for years. Don't get me wrong, it works, but I can't help but feel a lack of creativity in the process, not to mention a lack of suspense. How many people do you think were doing to watch this movie, that haven't seen any other Predator movies? Seeing LF in a unique, crazy, talk to myself insane kind of role was almost worth it though. He did make me laugh. The rest of the characters are what I like to call "Fill in the blank" characters. They could easily be related to each character of the first Predator. Ok, so we need a large group of people as diverse as we can possibly get them, but they can't be morally sound, so we don't have a problem if they die. You can clearly tell the writer just picked eight characters all different in their own ways. I have done it before as a writer, so i can't make fun of it too much, but it always seems really forced, and it didn't help out Topher Grace's character at all. If you tell me that you didn't see Topher Grace's side story happening, then you are dense, and haven't seen enough movies. His character was just TOO out of place, not to mention when the change did happen, it wasn't as in depth as it needed to be. The characters were all disposable which made it easy to know who was going to live, and who was going to die, but that is typical for an film trying to be an action movie from the 80's.
The special effects and make-up in the film is great. The predators look awesome as usual, and they didn't go hog wild with it, and that made me happy. The thing that gets me though is IMDB lists the 3 "NEW" predators as three different identifiable characters: Tracker Predator, Falconer Predator, and Bezerker Predator. Could anyone else see a distinct difference in the three of them? This doensn't include Derek Mears as the "OLD" predator. I liked the group fight situations more than the one on one stuff. The Yakuza showdown was a little ridiculous, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a little enjoyable. The beheading were all enjoyable as they usually are. Overall the action and effects were amazing. One of the things that upset me a little bit was the implications there were nearly a dozen predators that were going to be hunting them. I should have known better than to fall for the same thing Alien Vs. Predator did to me. The trailer for Predators showed Adrien Brody leading the back in that dark rocky area when MULTIPLE shoulder laser sights are all over his body, but that part was definitely cut down to one shoulder laser sight on him in the movie. I know, its a little thing, but it still bugs me when people use false advertising and get my hopes up.
***spoiler alert***spoiler alert***spoiler alert***
If you don't want to know key elements of the ending, then advert your eyes.
Last but not least, I did thoroughly enjoy how the movie ended. You do get that feeling of completion with the film, but there is something else there. It had a "We won the battle, but we haven't won the war" sort of feel to it, and that really brought the movie full circle for me. I would definitely like to see a sequel to this film, or at least Antal/Rodriguez to take another crack at a Predator film. I can't say this is a great film, but it is definitely an entertaining film. I would like to see them do another one that was such a generic script, and rewrite of the original. I did enjoy the nod to the original film, and even though they didn't want to associate with the Alien vs. Predator films, I'm pretty sure I saw an Alien skull in their camp. This might be a wait until DVD for some people, but it is definitely worth at least one watch for all.
Entertainment Value: 7/10
Cinematic Value: 4/10