Review: Predators

Predators | Nimrod Antal, 2010

As we all know, the original Predator is something of a classic, the sequel was underwhelming, and the Alien Vs. Predator didn’t do the creatures any justice (although I do like the first one). So, when you hear that Robert Rodriguez is producing a sequel that ignores the second one, and that promises a return to form for the characters, I could not help to get excited a bit. And the fact that it was called Predators one could not help but make the association to the great Aliens. In the end, the movie did not live to expectations, and it is in fact, one of the worst movies of the year.

The movie opens with an unconscious man (Adrian Brody) falling from the sky, he wakes up and opens his parachute just in time. Seconds later, Danny Trejo also arrives. Eventually, they meet up with six other people, among them Alice Braga and Topher Grace. They don’t know why they are where they are, but they have one thing in common, they are ruthless killers back on earth, except for Topher Grace, who is a doctor (or is he?). Eventually they come to realize that they are being hunted and that they must try to find a way to kill the hunters and find a way back home.

There are so many problems with the movie, starting with the script. First off, every decision the characters make, is ultimately pointless and it is obvious that some scenes were just there because the writers knew that the characters had to do something and that they could not have a movie that was just one, two-hour action scene. Also, the characters are pretty one sided, not that you would expect fully developed characters out of a movie like this, but still. Also, these people are supposed to be merciless killers who are creative and what not, but all they do here is shoot guns. The only one that uses his impressive skills is the Yakuza guy, but even then the scene was rather pointless, but I must also fault the director and the actors for this.

The movie was directed by Nimrod Antal, whose other known movie is the Kate Beckinsale-Luke Wilson Vacancy and he had an acclaimed debut with a movie called Kontroll. But his work here is atrocious. The action scenes are badly shot, the cinematography is bad (I freaking hate the digital video look), the score is intrusive and does not fit at all, and he could not get good performances out of his actors. So, Antal just failed with his production team.

Like I said the actors were rather bad. I sort of expected it from the unknowns who play the other humans, but I expected something better out of the bigger names in the cast. Adrien Brody is not an action star, and his awful performance (which seemed more like a Christian Bale imitation) shows this. This movie, combined with a recent viewing of Splice (a movie that I enjoyed much more than this) makes me think that he got lucky with The Pianist and that he will never live up to the potential he showed in that movie. The same can be said for Alice Braga as it is obvious that she just did it for the money and in hopes that the movie would be a hit so that she is hired for bigger movies. Danny Trejo can be awesome, but he is not given the opportunity to shine. Topher Grace makes it so obvious that he is the killer next door, that when the reveal finally comes, I felt that they shouldn’t even have bothered. And the way he acts during this scene is just painful. Oh, and the award for most pointless cameo goes to Lawrence Fisbourne.

Like I said, Predators is one of the worst movies of the year. It has a good premise, but the script, the directing, the performances, and the lack of Predators just destroyed it. I’d say that they should let the franchise rest in peace.

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