Movie Review: PREDATORS (2010)
Yea yea, another Predators movie, after AVP & AVP:R I know everybody did a collective eye roll when the trailers for this one hit. Also when you hear the cast is led by a Pianist and a whiny kid from the 70`s… it doesn’t really give you much hope. I thought the same. But the power of producer Robert Rodriguez and Troublemaker Studios impressed me enough to stay awake for this one with giddy excitement. (I fell asleep during AVP in theatres.)
3 out of 5 Samurai Swords
I won`t lie to you, this story adds very little to the Predator mythos. However, the addition is pretty significant. Not to mention some standout performances by Adrien Brody, Topher Grace (I know!) and Laurence Fishburne (however brief). The premise is almost formulaic and trite, but not. The worst of humanity—mercenaries, soldiers, killers, rapists, and sociopaths—are mysteriously transported to an unknown planet where they have become the hunted. No prizes to guess as to who`s doing the hunting. We`re then taken through a classic Predator style cat and mouse game where each character gets picked off through horribly lit sets and creepy alleys and jungle brush. What makes this unique though is that there are no unnecessary heroics or coming together of this group as merry men to survive a common onslaught.
This movie doesn’t really boast of anything particularly groundbreaking, but there’re a lot of cool things that make thisone worth a watch, Adrien Brody being one of them. Having been in a horde of films where he’s portrayed a range of characters, Brody’s picked up some chops. I’ve personally been impressed in his more comic roles such as THE DARJEELING LIMITED & THE BROTHERS BLOOM, but Brody plays a very anti-heroic, almost unlikable role in PREDATORS. Being the most perspective in this group of human prey, Brody’s Royce is a ruthless loner whose only interest is to save his own ass. This he plays to perfection throughout the film. Unlike other films where the bad-ass character finds a conscience or grows a heart, all of Royce’s actions are motivated purely by self preservation. A must watch for anyone whose impression of Adrien Brody is as being the underrated, awkward and charming actor known for an Oscar win in a Holocaust movie.
The second treat here is a subtle Topher Grace. I’ve tried to keep this article so far as being spoiler free, so I’ll have to be equally subtle to get my point across about his performance. At first glance Grace’s character is typical to what we’ve come to expect from him, a bumbling and nervous fish out of water amidst other more confident people. That much of his character is set up from his first appearance… however, as would be obvious on a planet used by Predators for hunting human prey… there is more than meets the eye. That’s subtlety done to perfection—no? Laurence Fishburne has a brief appearance as the only human survivor on this planet for an estimated 10 years, whose isolation has unhinged him, to say the least. Small role, minimal screen time, but it’s an awesome-fest for 26 seconds to see him kick some Pred ass.
Ultimately, PREDATORS gives us a more detailed insight into how these creatures strive to become the best hunters in the universe, going to lengths that imply a longer connection to Earth than we had previously thought. These perpetual human hunts through decades, if not centuries, give great depth to the Predators that the previous films couldn’t provide. Definitely worth a watch for any fan of the Predator franchise… film or comic.
Oh, one more thing: Samurai vs. Predator!!! That is all.