Review: Predators

Genre: Sci-Fi |  Thriller

Director: Nimród Antal

Writer: Alex Litvak, Michael Finch

Cast: Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali

MPAA Rating: R (for strong creature violence and gore, and pervasive language.)

Summary: Chosen for their ability to kill without conscience, a group of killers, some trained and some who are not, must endeavour the alien race of predators that have set out to target them as prey. Dropped into the vast jungle of a distant world, these human predators must learn just who, or what, they are up against, and that their ability, knowledge and wits are tested to the limits in the battle of survival of kill or be killed.

Run Time: 107 min

View the Trailer Here

Predators directed by Nimrod Antal jumps, or should I say falls right into the action. We see Royce (Adrien Brody) in free fall, heading towards the canopy of trees. After opening his chute at the last second and having a less than pleasant landing, we are quickly introduced to the rest of our anti-heroes: Cuchillo (Danny Trejo), Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov) Isabelle (Alice Braga), Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien), Mombasa (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), Stans (Walton Goggins), and Edwin (Topher Grace).

None of the characters have any idea what they are doing in the jungle, or why they are there. While happening upon evidence that they weren’t the only thing air dropped into this jungle, they see a horizon with multiple planets/moons and deduce that they are definitely not on earth. Royce and company then spend the film trying to outwit the Predators and stay alive. The most original thing that the film shows us the new Super Predator and the existence of a Predator hierarchy. The Super Predators are totally bad ass and are the upper echelon of the aforementioned hierarchy, as they hunt and torture not only humans but also the original Predators that we have come to know throughout the past films.

Adrien Brody may seem like an unlikely choice to play the ‘action hero’, but I have to admit that he pulled off the survivalist/mercenary role quite well and I was pretty impressed by his performance. I don’t expect this to be Brody’s last action role, I think he carved himself another path with this film.

Alice Braga is the beautiful, gritty and bad ass sniper named Isabelle. She was great and it was nice to see someone with a little more range play the “tough chick” role with a bit more dimension and personality. The only problem I had with her character (and this is a writing problem, not her fault) is that she was born in Brazil, is obviously Latin and they made her character a Sniper from the Israeli Defense Force. Though the IDF does recruit Jewish non-Israeli’s, it just didn’t fit right for me.

Laurence Fishburne appears as a lone survivor who has spent 10 hunting seasons living on the Predators’ hunting world and has completely lost his mind, his character is completely over-the-top and not a role you would expect to see Fishburne take. Did he do a good job with it? Yes, he played bat-shit crazy very well but, I was slightly disappointed because I was really hoping to see him kick some major ass in the movie, rather than just playing a total nut. Also, the fact that Fishburne is less than svelte these days didn’t lend any believability to him having been stranded there for 10 seasons, scavenging what he could to survive.

Trejo, Taktarov, Changchien and Ali’s characters were of the one dimensional, anyone could have played them type. I was really hoping for more development of every character but I was especially disappointed that Trejo’s character was left so empty. Walton Goggins and Topher Grace both lend to the comic relief, and take part in some creepy twists in the film. Fans of Goggins’ work will not be surprised how well he portrays a sociopathic prison inmate but, fans of Grace may very well be surprised by his role as a doctor in the film.

The kills were good, the goriest moments were definitely cool and while Predators is much closer in spirit to the original Predator film from 1987 than the AvP films ever were, it lacks the character development and the more often than not, cloaked Predator standing right beside you kind of “tension” that the first film excelled at. At times the film seems like a lazy homage to the original that just doesn’t reach it’s level. There’s so little character development that you really don’t care when someone gets killed.

The practical effects in the movie were outstanding and the Predators themselves did look fantastic .

In the end, Predators is a decent sci-fi/action flick on it’s own but it just doesn’t hold a candle to the original, nor does it bring anything amazingly new to the table.

I Give Predators Two Out of Five Stars

Jason Moore
Written by Jason Moore

is a member of the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films and the Founder/Editor In Chief of SciFi Mafia®