Predators – A Review

Having not been a fan of the original 1987 Predator film set in the deep depths of the jungle, I was reluctant to spend 8 of my unemployed British pounds going to see this updated remake/sequel. I don’t know what it is, but I find the predators very one dimensional and boring. When you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. It’s not like a slasher film where the killer can mix things up slightly and vary his kills. The Predator = hiding in the jungle and striping up some unlucky sucker! However, with this being a quiet period before the release of some bigger summer blockbusters, I decided to take a punt and indulge in a double bill of Predators and Street Dance. Yes my friends, times are hard.

 

The plot is very, very simple. 8 people awake in the jungle with no memory of how they got there and no knowledge of each other. All they know is each person is a killer in their own right (Black ops, Mexican mafia, Death Row inmate etc.) It slowly unravels that these killers have not been put in the jungle to hunt and kill, but rather something is hunting them. Yup, those pesky “ugly mutha fuckas!”. What follows is a predictable game of cat and mouse as both sets of killers, human or otherwise, try to figure out how best to destroy the other and survive.

 

After going into to the film with very low expectations, I have to say that I actually enjoyed it a great deal. From the opening 15 minutes, you get the impression that you are watching a Saw movie set in the jungle…but with Aliens…which instantly adds another dimension to the film. For me, the main reason it worked was down to Adrian Brody. When I first heard he was cast as some kind of action hero, I couldn’t really see it, but it turns out he was great in the part. He was cool, calm and in lesser actor’s shoes, his dialogue certainly would have come across as cheesy and unbelievable, but it worked. The supporting cast also had a big part to play in the success of the film. In particular, Walton Goggins from The Shield provided the comic relief but was never over the top. The Predators looked good as always and provided us with some really gory moments. And I’m sure learning how the Predators hone their skills and getting more of an understanding into their psyche will be a nice touch for hardcore fans of the Predator series. But for me, I much preferred the sequences with the human killers rather than any Predator action.

 

The film does have some pacing issues towards the end, with a scene designed to explain what is taking place seemingly lasting forever and slows things down a great deal. And even though Predators does at least try to be a little different from its predecessors with it’s premise, it’s also realizes that you can’t veer too much from a winning formula. Because of this some parts of the film, and in particular the finale, feel a little contrived. Some might call it paying homage. But wasn’t Bryan Singers Superman Returns supposed be some kind of homage, and look how that turned out?

 

However, the few grievances I had are far outweighed by the rest of the film and on the whole, I really enjoyed Predators and it was a hour and a half well spent.

Categories: Film, Reviews

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