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Predators, a bold new chapter in the Predator universe, shot under the creative auspices of Robert Rodriguez, stars Adrien Brody as Royce, a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors who come to realize they’ve been brought together on an alien planet… as prey. With the notable exception of a disgraced physician, they are all cold-blooded killers--mercenaries, Yakuza, convicts, death squad members--human “predators” that are now being systemically hunted and eliminated by a new breed of alien Predators in the ultimate battle of survival of kill, or be killed.
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A very underrated Predator film. I'd go as far to say it's the best in the franchise so far. Adrien Brody's performance is brilliant. You can tell he put a lot of work in off-screen to make his character believable on-screen. The film is also very good at building up suspense in the beginning just like the original Predator. The samurai fight was awesome. The asortment of characters in the group are good and they have interesting weapons.
I would have liked to have known more about Brody's background. All we were given is that he was a bad ass mercenary. It's a shame that the film did not make enough money to see him reprise his role in a sequel.
Laurence Fishburne's character appearance was short lived and his actions towards the group did not seem fitting with a character who supposedly survived a long time before the group met him. Risking giving away his location by his actions didd not make sense.
The writers could have come up with a more creative ending. Making Laurence Fishburne character appear at the end as the hanging alien that Joyce let lose would have have been an awesome twist.
Predators begins pretty badly, all things considered. It's plot recalls the dreaded LOST TV series, which instantly made me think the filmmakers do not understand why Predator (and to a lesser extent, Predator 2) was so entertaining. Worse still, Adrian Brody is our (anti)hero with a prepostorously gravelly voice ala Christian "No Talent" Bale in The Dark Knight.
However, things pick up from there, with a great look, a score which might as well be a reuse of the Predator soundtrack recording (this is not a bad thing) and a plot which, while pretentious at points and trying too hard to mimic the original, does engage and occasionally thrill. The twist (which I won't divulge) can be seen about 10 miles off, but by that point you won't really mind because the overall scenario is played out quite well. Lawrence Fishburne's performance is like the film in microcosm, actually...when he shows up, you think it's going to be a terrible performance, acting schizophrenic the way an amateur theatre actor would and clearly embaressed to be in the film. By his second or third minute on screen, his character very subtly helps change the gear of the film to be slightly more impactful and meaningful. The third act "plan" on part of the characters is a bit of a cheat (again I won't spoil), but much as with the intended "twist" it's lack of success doesn't ruin the film.
However, it does have some more serious flaws, including two major ones that are repeated from the Alien VS Predator films, especially the truly horrendous first crossover. (Here there are minor spoilers) First of all, the current trend of having a Predator team up with the humans may have been hinted at in Predator 2, but it is awful when actually seen as in AvP. Here, much the same thing happens again (though thankfully without any Power Rangers-esque shots of the Predator and a human running in slow motion). Another issue is with the Predator designs...while what is here is mercifully used (I don't mean quick cut nonsense, I mean not on screen long enough to become silly ala AvP) and the "classic" Predator design of the 1987 film is better realised (by Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger) than it was in the AvP films, the new designs stink to high heaven, being simultaneously remiscent of the (silly and politically correct) Celtic designs from AvP, and totally incongruous with the excellent Stan Winston work on Predator and Predator 2.
Regardless, if you can get this movie for under a £5 and you're already a fan, you will be pretty entertained. I'd keep another DVD handy if you're fussy though, it might not be enough for a weekend evening.