"Predators" Movie Review (2010)

7/10/2010 Posted by Admin

"Predators" Movie Review (2010)

Directed by Nimrod Antal, Written by Michael Finch and Alex Litvak, 107 Minutes, Rated R

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

Part sequel and part reboot, "Predators" is a startlingly good comeback for a franchise nearly spoiled for good with the horrendous "Alien vs. Predator" films. Directed by the guy with a filmography nearly as cool as his name, Nimrod Antal, the film takes various motifs from the Ah-nuld film for which it is named and other various stories, including "The Most Dangerous Game." And as a Robert Rodriguez production, one can expect what they're going into. It's gruesome, it's excessive, it's silly, but it's also a lot of fun on many levels.

The film follows a group of various people who wake up to find themselves in the middle of a mysterious jungle. Their de facto leader Royce (Adrien Brody) connects the dots and discovers that each of them is a very dangerous killer--Royce himself and a woman named Isabelle (Alice Braga) are black ops; Cuchillo (Danny Trejo) is a cartel inforcer; Mombasa (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali) is an African death squad officer; Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov) is a Russian commando; Stans (Walton Goggins) is a death row inmate; and Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien) is a Yakuza assassin.

The only one seemingly out of the ordinary is Edwin (Topher Grace), a doctor and apparent innocent caught up in the mess. Before long, they discover where they are. The jungle is a game preserve on a distant planet, and the group has been brought there as targets for a seasonal hunt conducted by Predators, a tribal alien race seeking to improve their skills as hunters. The group decides to work together to fight the onslaught as well as find a means of escape, but they run into more trouble when the encounter another human, Noland (Laurence Fishburne), who has survived the hunt for several years and has since gone completely mad.

The film maintains a pretty solid balance between horror and action, with a lot of time early in the film dedicated to developing the characters and building tension for when the big picture is finally revealed. Though most of the characters are pretty one-note, they're all given enough time to warm-up to and the performances are generally terrific. Brody, who seems to be quite into doing genre films lately (with his indie horror films "Giallo" and "Splice" making their rounds the last year or so), really seems to be having a ball here, perhaps not chewing up the scenery quite like Schwarzenegger used to, but he still makes a surprisingly convincing badass. Goggins and Grace are the other standouts, with the latter going to effective use as both comic relief and as a red herring of sorts.

The title cleverly works as both a description of the villains of the film as well as the heroes, as both are, of course, "predators" of their respective planets, and in that sense the film does a pretty decent job of painting all of the characters as both heroes and villains in their own right.

Overall, the film is just further proof of Antal's ability to deftly create immense tension as well as put together an awesome group of characters, skills he displayed in last year's solid thriller "Armored" and that he builds on here. It may not be a brilliant film, and a profound exploration of human morality it isn't, but it's about the best one can ask of an action film.

Grade: B

View the trailer for "Predators" below. What are your thoughts of the film?

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