Director: Nimród Antal
Taking the franchise back to its original jungle setting, Predators opens with a seemingly disparate group of people finding themselves abducted and marooned on an alien world. It soon becomes clear that the one thing this group of UN representative characters share is an expertise at killing stuff, looking mean and not smiling much. Realising that they are being used as game in a big hunt, they resolve to find a way out.
Robert Rodriguez apparently wrote the script for this in 1994, intending it to be Predator 3. The original Predator was a massive success, its sequel less so, and the dismal Alien Vs Predator movies seemingly hammered the nails into the coffin of this franchise forever. Then Rodriguez resurrected his script and we suddenly have Predators. Or the alternative Predator 2, if you read into the riff on Aliens (let’s add an ‘S’, yay!). And this is the first problem with it; it’s about 20 years too late for this stuff. Predators may have made a passable sequel to the original, had it been made directly after the original, but three sequels later there is nothing new on offer here.
Unfortunately, the second problem with Predators is that it’s shite. People run around a lot, they squabble and then walk a bit further. And not much really happens for a very long time. To be perfectly honest it’s boring, and movies about people being hunted by aliens with dreadlocks shouldn’t be boring. The cast are largely blameless and do well with what they have. Adrien Brody, who clearly spent some time at the local gym, tries to redefine himself from geek to tough guy, and does a fair enough job. Alice Braga is charismatic as an Israeli sniper. Topher Grace does an excellent Topher Grace. And Laurence Fishburne pops in for ten minutes as wacky-exposition-guy.
All in all, a major disappointment. Even the title leaves you feeling cheated. Technically, yes, there is more than one predator present. As a matter of fact, there are four. But that’s nothing new to the franchise and not quite the horde you would have expected. It’s about time the Predator series got a decent sequel. This is not it.