Top critical review
Want Some Candy?
on 25 March 2011
The original Predator is one of the crowning jewels of Arnie's action man period; it was scary, violent and, at the time, pretty original. I also have a soft spot for `Predator 2' starring mumble man Danny Glover and set in an instantly dated early 1990s LA. `Predators' in its own way follows on from both of these films, but mostly the first. Several hard looking characters wake up in a mysterious jungle only to discover that they may no longer be hunters of men, but the prey. With a cast that includes Adrien Brody it is clear from the outset that director Nimrod Antal, with the aid of producer Robert Rodriguez, is looking to bring a bit of class to this B style movie.
Brody has appeared in some pretty awful films ever since winning his Oscar, but here he is on top form as the mysterious Royce. The rest of the cast is a mishmash of paper-thin stereotypes all laid out as easy fodder for the Predators; a Mexican gangster here, a Yakuza there. The problem is that the films paper-thin characters exist in a paper-thin plot. It is an incredibly linear tale about people being bumped off, usually in a way that is in keeping with their character, or stereotype they are supposed to represent. Without Brody's leading man the film would have no characters that appeal. Topher Grace does a decent job as the odd one out, but the less said about Laurence Fishburne's cameo the better.
Despite the `Predators' script showing no signs of intelligent life, the film is still fun to watch. The action set pieces are heightened and you feel that the cast can look after themselves in a fight. The final showdown is also of a good standard, taking a modern riff on what we have seen in earlier films. Perhaps the best thing that `Predators' has going for it is that it sticks to tried and tested lore - Arnie's film is even mentioned as if it were fact. This means that although `Predators' lacked original ideas, it at least has plenty of material to work from should they may a `Predatorors'. As a reboot to the franchise, I think it made a decent first try.