Predators takes us back to the jungle with a varied cast as I continue my adventures with the dangerous alien in my journey through the Sci-Fi Chronicles book.
Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, Alice Braga, and Topher Grace are among an elite group of killers who are abducted and dropped into a jungle. As attitudes clash, they begin to realise they aren’t on Earth anymore, and they are the ones being hunted. That is unless they can find a way to outsmart and outfight the Predators that have brought them to this distant planet for sport.
I won’t lie. I like this one. There are some solid action beats, it puts the story back into the jungle, brings in a strong cast, and the special effects have leaped forward since the last film.
As the characters, all highly trained military types but for Grace’s odd man out, Edwin, and knowing that these characters are as badass as they are and are becoming frightened by the thought of what is out there trying to kill them makes the Predators increasingly scary.
The reveal of Fisburne’s character, Noland, takes the story in a new and fun direction when it happens, and once again, the mythology is expanded nicely.
Unlike Predator 2, this one looks like a theatrical film, and for once, it seems Fox gave the film an appropriate budget. Sure some of the dialogue falls flat, Brody playing a tough, speaking in his best Batman voice doesn’t always work, but the story embraces its sense of fun, it’s R rating, and its history.
I also love the fact that John Debney, the film’s composer, incorporates Alan Silvestri’s iconic themes into the film, because the music for the series are just as important as the actual creatures.
Knowing the film couldn’t be one endless action sequence after another, it actually introduces some very tense sequences and solid character moments for some of the stronger actors.
The reveal of the larger Predator, while adding a new page to the mythology is a little off-putting, because it seems to say that the other creatures, previously introduced, weren’t dangerous or awesome enough. And I’m sorry, but they always were. It was just like someone wanted to make the Predator bigger and scarier, but it’s not. You can’t mess with the original.
I do like the ending as it seems like everything is about to start all over again for a new bunch of victims… Beyond that, I still find this one a pretty entertaining film, and knowing that Shane Black is working on the new one fills me with all kinds of giddy excitement.
This one doesn’t top the original, but was definitely stronger than the second film. It’s always fun to see that ugly motherf#cker on the screen.