Sunday, October 10, 2010

Predators

The Alien and Predator franchises haven't had much of a good record lately. For Alien, they suffered the fourth film before jumping into the AVP franchise. For Predator, we only got two movies before they joined the abortion of a combo franchise as well. Some people were happy with that. I can't imagine who. Fortunately, some weren't and thus we got a new Predator movie, entitled Predators, which is a return to form for the series as well as giving us a whole new world (literally) to play with.

Indeed, the movie opens with several characters plummeting to their doom before parachutes engage and they land in a jungle the likes of which they haven't seen before or place anywhere in the world. It's a motley crew of soldiers and villains, the pick of the litter from the world's armies and prisons for which to test the Predators mettle against, and test they do soon enough, encountering odd traps and obstacles that let they catch on rather quickly that whatever scooped them off of earth was not benign in its intentions. Soon, they must band together to try and fend off the alien attacks as they realize they are on a completely different world and need to find a way off if they are to ever survive.

Adrian Brody leads off the cast, with notable co-stars that include Topher Grace, Danny Trejo, Laurence Fishburne and Alice Braga. They do a fine job with the material, which seems to tread a bit in homage territory to the first film but breaks off enough to do its own thing that you won't feel you're watching a rehash. Indeed, it's a good start for a new series to take off of, as the Predator game preserve gives us an answer to having repeat Predator encounters without trying to shoehorn them into a plot or figure out why nobody ever sees them when they hunt platoons and people all over the world. The action is fast paced and well done and the Predator designs are great, giving us some fresh faces to look at behind the masks.

I was afraid of what the movie would end up like but Robert Rodriguez produced a great film for us and director Nimrod Antal pulls out all the stops in getting us from place to place without letting us slow down too much to catch our breath. I can't say it's better than the original, but it's up there with the second film at least and I'd be interested in seeing a sequel to this for sure. Check it out.

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