This week left me with the choice between Despicable Me and Predators. I opted for the sci-fi movie-fun-time Predators. This is not a great movie; don’t expect it to change your life. If you like the first Predator, you’re probably going to like this. If you like either AVP, I can’t help you and thankfully Predators claims ignorance to those releases.
Let’s start with the production info. Directed by Nimród Antal of Vacancy and Armored “fame”, this sequel was produced by Robert “Desperado” Rodriguez and stars Adrien Brody – The Village, King Kong and most recently, Splice; Topher Grace – Spiderman 3; Alice Braga – City of God and I Am Legend. Also seen in are Danny “Machete” Trejo, and Lawrence Fishburn of Lawrence Fishburn fame.
The movie wastes no time getting to the excitement. The first shot finds our hero waking up only to notice that he is in a free fall. Just about the time the audience begins to think that they may be watching an incredibly short performance by Adrien Brody, a parachute is deployed by an electronic device.
Once on the ground, we meet the remainder of the cast. The military trained Isabelle (Alice Braga), the stereotypical Russian (Former UFC champ, Oleg Taktarov), a cartel enforcer named Cuchillo (Danny Trejo), Mombasa, a member of a Sierra Leone Death Squad (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), Stans, one of the FBI’s most wanted (Walton Goggins), a Yakuza named Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien), and finally a doctor named Edwin (Topher Grace).
Brody falls into his role as de facto leader and is surprisingly believable, if you allow it. Taktarov, Trejo and Ali add to the testosterone factor.
There’s not a lot to say about the plot of this film. If one were to sum up any Predator film, this one would follow the same logical path. One problem I had with the film is that it appears to be an ensemble piece, but several members of the group have very little screen time. If you really compare this to the original Predator, also an ensemble piece, I just felt that Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura and Sonny Landham added more to the dynamic than the group in this current cast.
Predators is not a film that claims to be something it’s not. It is a sci-fi action movie. All of the elements combine to make this an enjoyable film. Sure, some of the effects miss (see the waterfall scene), but if you just allow the movie to be what it was meant to be, you can give it a pass for plot holes and a bad CG shot or two.
Watch it for: Cool weapons, crazy action, a few decent one-liners, great additions to the Predator mythos and…who doesn’t love Danny Trejo?
Don’t watch it for: Oscar worthy acting (although, it’s not horrible), completely original storyline, Lawrence Fishburn alone or storyline that stands up to your disbelief.
Anyone that checks this one out will already know why they went. It’s an action driven film, not a plot or dialogue driven film. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and even references the first film. Predators is mindless summer fun at its best. I can leave my disbelief at the ticket booth for a film that doesn’t make too much of itself.
How much would I pay to see this one again? Out of $10, I would pay $7.50.
Jay (J.C.) Fralick is the host of The Drivecast
The co-host of the Wanna Watch a Movie Podcast
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