EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|PREDATORS (director: Nimrod Antal; screenwriters: Alex Litvak/Michael Finch/based on characters created by Jim Thomas and John Thomas; cinematographer: Gyula Pados; editor: Dan Zimmerman; music: John Debney; cast: Adrien Brody (Royce), Topher Grace (Edwin, doctor), Alice Braga (Isabelle), Walton Goggins (Stans), Oleg Taktarov (Nikolai), Laurence Fishburne (Noland), Mahershalalhashbaz Ali (Mombasa), Louis Ozawa Changchien (Hanzo), Danny Trejo (Cuchillo); Runtime: 107; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Robert Rodriguez/John Davis/Elizabeth Avellán; 20th Century Fox; 2010)|
can't guess which group members survive, you probably haven't seen too
many of these formulaic predictable action films."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Unimportant sequel to the
original Predator (1987), with Adrian Brody as star instead of Schwarzenegger
(like, big deal!). This would be
the fourth spinoff if you must count the two “Alien
vs. Predator” movies and
2” (1990). It's an
action-packed sci-fi film, set in the unexplored jungle of another
planet, in a game preserve, that
features monsters, alien Predators, systemically hunting down a group of diverse multiracial
human warriors. The bad-assed
gruff self-appointed leader of the group is the gravel-voiced ex-special ops mercenary soldier, Royce (Adrien Brody), who clues us in that the plotline can be
traced to a Hemingway quote: "There
is no hunting like the hunting of men . . . ".
After being dropped onto the game preserve
by parachute and wandering around the jungle for awhile in confusion of
where they are and what's up with their situation, Royce tells his
seven other mostly heavily armed fellow wonder-struck cold-blooded
killers that they ended up on this alien planet to be hunted for sport.
This gets the attention of the testy group, consisting of a feisty
Israeli lady sniper (Alice Braga), an American death-row psychopath (Walton Groggins)
armed only with a knife, a well-dressed Yakuza hit man (Louis Ozawa
Changchien), a Mexican
drug cartel enforcer (Danny Trejo), an
unarmed wimpy disgraced doctor (Topher
Grace), a burly Russian Special forces fighter (Oleg Taktarov), and a
black death squad soldier from
Sierra Leone (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali). Royce further tells them to
survive the superior evolved monster hunters, they will all have to make good use of their
proven killing skills. Some time after the film's mid-point, a crazed
human survivor (Laurence
Fishburne) for the last
several years joins the group and invites them to sleep in his humble
If you can't guess which group members survive, you probably haven't seen too many of these formulaic predictable action films. The Most Dangerous Game (1932) starred Joel McCrea and Fay Wray and used the same basic plotline as quoted from Hemingway above, and was made into a fairly intelligent thriller--something this pic couldn't achieve.
Director Nimrod Antal ("Kontroll"/"Armored"/"Vacancy") channels producer Robert Rodriguez's excessive violent filming style in his visuals and takes pleasure in showing the group in unique ways getting picked off one at a time by the evolving race of cloaked-in-invisibility extraterrestrial hunters. Antal keeps the action loud, lays on us plenty of special effects and in a workmanlike turn delivers an uninteresting but well-crafted jungle adventure/sci-fi pic. The Hungarian born Antal keeps things serious and humorless (except for the vile character played by Groggins, who tells us if he gets off this planet alive he wants to treat himself to cocaine and rape some women), as if he's dealing with a story that had gravitas and wasn't a disposable summer blockbuster B-film that can be viewed as a video game-like treat for the male juvenilia demographic intended and others welcoming with open arms such mindless summer entertainment. It's based on characters created by Jim Thomas and John Thomas, and is written for an undemanding mass audience by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch.
REVIEWED ON 7/9/2010 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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