Screen Rant's Vic Holtreman reviews Predators
We've given a fair amount of coverage to the Robert Rodriguez-produced, Nimrod Antal-directed sequel, Predators. Most everything we've seen and heard about the sequel to the original 1987 movie has been good, and readers seem to agree. So the question is: Does the final product live up to expectations?
Pretty much, yeah.
Predators wastes no time whatsoever getting started - the first scene we get is of an unconscious Adrien Brody falling out of the sky. We're right there with him as he wakes up groggy, and within seconds figures out his predicament and tries desperately to figure out where the ripcord is for his parachute. Nothing like a little adrenaline rush to start a movie.
A number of other people have been dropped the same way, and they're not the friendly sort. They start firing at and fighting with each other, until they realize that maybe they'd better figure out just what the heck is going on. In the group we've got mercenaries, a bandit/thug, convict, special ops soldier, member of the Yakuza and incongruously, a doctor.
It doesn't take long for them to realize that they're no longer on Earth, but on a game preserve planet - and they're the game. Of course the point of the movie is to watch them get picked off one by one - the only question is in what order and which of them might survive.
This time instead of one Predator, we have a number of them. This give us the opportunity to watch the humans take down one or two and get a couple of shots in instead of it happening only at the end. It was refreshing to watch an action movie these days that had no aspirations to be 3D, nor to use significant amounts of CGI. We get a lot of cool sequences in the film, including one that contains what can only be referred to as "dogs from Hell" and another where someone goes up against a Predator with nothing but a samurai sword (pretty cool, gotta say).
Unlike the original film, this one was pretty much devoid of humor - part of the appeal/fun of the original were the quirky characters and the occasional unexpected funny line. Of course some of the jokes in the film were beyond crass, but others were tongue in cheek and they all fit the characters. Here it's pretty much all seriousness.
The story is VERY close to the original film, only it takes place on another world - and with multiple Predators. Personally, I didn't mind - it's a basic story but for what it is, it works. There were multiple nods to the original - in particular, as a big fan of Predator, I appreciated the music played during the closing credits.
But even within such a simple framework and for the sort of film it was, there were problems. In particular with the doctor, who while he didn't fit in and I didn't guess his purpose there - when it was finally revealed it seemed completely out of whack. And while I enjoyed seeing Laurence Fishburne in the film (who gave a great performance, by the way), he was kind of a non-sequiter and while how he came in was cool, what his character ends up doing is pretty stupid.
I also had a problem with the ending, with something obvious missed by Brody's character, and a fight scene that should have been epic but was shot in such a way that I could hardly make out what was happening.
Overall, despite these issues, I enjoyed Predators a LOT, and that's coming from someone who's a big fan of the original, doesn't even remember the first sequel, disliked Alien vs Predator and despised Aliens vs Predator: Requiem.
So take that for what it's worth.