Predators (2010)

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Predators (2010)

Post  BoG on Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:16 am

The thinking behind this one is that it's a sequel to Predator (1987) in much the same way that Aliens (1986) is a sequel to Alien (1979). Proceeding on this trajectory, this means that this film generally ignores the other sequels - Predator 2 (1990) and especially the AVP films. That's actually a good way to go. The story wastes no time - the first shot is of the main character (Adrien Brody) waking up during freefall onto an alien planet. He and a few others have parachuted in and find themselves as the prey in a hunt. Yet, each of these humans is also a hunter, a killer; that's the hook of the story.
That's also a good way to go; rather than having a bunch of helpless humans - a drawback of the other sequels - there's this group of deadly human predators. Besides the pro merc played by Brody, there's a Mexican drug cartel enforcer (Danny Trejo), a Russian soldier (ex-Ultimate Fighting Champion Oleg Taktarov), an Israeli sniper (Alice Braga), a death row inmate and rapist (Walton Goggins), a Yakuza member who can duel with swords and a young doctor (Topher Grace). This last one doesn't seem to fit in, but I figured he was there to patch up injuries.
Also popping up later is a slightly addled soldier (Laurence Fishburne) who had been parachuted in years earlier and managed to avoid getting killed by being extra sneaky. There are a few surprises as the film unspools, but, at the same time, there are serious limits to how surprising this story can be; we all know the formula: the characters will get killed off one-by-one, until there is only one or two survivors... of course, I managed to predict which would be the ones left alive towards the end, so this was overall predictable, but there was one twist near the end I didn't forsee.
The main strength of this one is the group of characters; each is memorable in his own way and they're quite varied. There's sufficient tension and action to propel the film along; it's pretty good for a first viewing. Some things don't make much sense; the doctor describes a poisonous plant, but this is not Earth; so, I guess the Predators terra-formed this planet to be like Earth? Seems far-fetched....

This also added to the whole Predators mythology by having two breeds of Predators, a smaller and larger sub-species which are having some kind of blood feud. I dunno if any of this was necessary; it does add another layer to the whole deal, but also seems like a lame way to give the humans another advantage. The last line of a survivor about finding a way off the planet seems strange also, since it looks certain that there isn't a way. BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10
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