Back to the basics seems to be the name of the game in Nimrod Antal’s Predators: simple story, straight forward in your face action (when it happens). One I’ll make clear this is not a reboot or re imagining that many of us (including myself) thought this movie was going to be but it’s based on a reworking of an old 1994 script written by Robert Rodriguez (hence his involvement) though throughout the movie we do get some references to the original 1987 John McTernan movie.
This movie has an simple story of 8 of the deadliest killers from earth all abducted and parachuted right into a jungle not a central American one bit one of a unknown Alien world. The 9 despite the ropey start must bond together and discover where they are, what is chasing them and how to stop them. These 9 mercenaries are like a box of chocolates as Forrest Gump would say (sort of…), all different characters from a Mercenary for hire (Brody), Israeli Sniper (Braga), A Yakuza-san (Changchien) African Death Squader (Ali), Russian Solider (Taktarov), Death row inmate (Goggins), Doctor (Grace) and finally typecast again as a Mexican drug baron (Trejo).
As in development on the character front there wasn’t as really there was no need for it here though a little more few details of each one would have been helpful, yes we know there killers but maybe the odd fact would have helped. However sometimes having kees can mean more and in the case of The Yakuza less was more, keeping a little bit of the urban legend of the histrionics of Yakuza, I admit we do get drip fed the odd character information. This movie could be seen as a all male testosterone action flick and the only girl of the 8 the sniper played by Alice Braga she holds up well with the seven other dudes and shows she’s capable enough in this so called mans world. I did also like Topher Grace as out of the other 7 he looked well out of my place from the others making you curious what did he do to be called a killer by the predators, best kept little secret.
One criticism was Adrien Brody, I do respect him as a actor though he must have realised the shoes he was stepping into and tried too hard to convince the viewers I can be a action lead man, instead of naturally act and cutting out the Arnie clone vibes. Overall the movie didn’t come across as macho “I can take them all on” attitude from the 1987 movie and its probably why this movie can stand nicely next to that movie because of the change of attitude, brains not Braun.
One thing creating an movie is trying to create a good or even perfect start and Predators opening with Brody’s character free-falling into a jungle was a inventive way to be introduced into the ‘play pen’ of the predators. Like I said earlier less can also be more you can say the same about the Yakuza versus The Predator fight scene, He maybe small it proves tactics with one weapon can be more effective as having a number of weapons, so quality rather than quantity.
Another criticism and seems to be a general consensus of many of the reviews was the movies pace. It just took a bit too long for the movie to kick off though it did build a momentum of some good and drastic will soon happen. But when the action did happen it felt a little bit rushed, so paced out better along with a little bit more in creative thinking on the way a predator killed its prey, but those dogs of the Predators looked excellent!
Lets not beat about the bush Predators wasn’t created to go out and win Oscars or have major market campaigns with some fast food chain or soft drink. The movie was a thrilling solid action flick that used what they could get to full effect, it was brutal, nasty, story of survival of the fittest, us versus them but most of all a damn fun movie to watch!!!
sci-fi, Action, Thriller | USA, 2010 | 15 | Cinema | 8th July 2010 (UK) | 20th Century Studios | Dir.Nimród Antal | Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Mahershala Ali, Danny Trejo