Saw Predators last night.
To set the scene – hopes for this were high. This was *the* sequel. Robert Rodruigez! Predators, plural!
That ultra-cool trailer moment where Adrien Brody stops and his head and torso is covered in the triple-laser Predator sights. Laurence Fishburne! Danny Triejo!
WARNING – HERE BE SPOILERS!
It started well – we find our hero (Adrien Brody) unconscious in free fall, waking to frantically try and open his parachute. Pretty tense. He meets up with a motley crew of assorted bad-ass misfits.
The action ticks along nicely. The dialogue is fairly predictable – you could literally tell pretty much what Brody was going to say a line or two before he was going to say it. Still, that can be fun.
The action sequences are also fun, and well done. The only issue I have is that we’ve seen it all before, and better in some cases.
Brody plays a kind of sub- Vin Diesel Riddick from Pitch Black – anonymous hard case who is tougher than anyone else by a mile, quick with the wisecracks. Riddick was more interesting though, and you ended up rooting for him in the end, despite him being a merciless killer.
Same with the other characters – you could essentially line them up and say who’s going to make it to the end, who’s going to get killed off, and more or less in what order. Even the odd-man out was predictably not who he seemed, though I did sort of expect him to be working for the Predators in the end.
The bit which got me though was how few Predators were actually in the movie. That trailer? The one with the dozen or so gunsights?
Not in the movie.
That whole scene, that whole ‘oh. my. god… how on earth is he going to get out of *that*??’
I wanted it to be what Aliens was to the original Alien – bigger, badder, more intense. What we got though was just another Predator movie, with a couple more Predators and a different motley group of characters to get killed off.
I wanted to see more of the Predators, more of the hunt, more of the why. I know *what* they do, I’ve seen it before. It’s cool, with the thermal imaging stuff, and the laser sights, and the weapons and stuff, but I wanted… more.
Had this been the first Predator movie, it would have been perfectly fine. As it was, it was just another version of it, with no twists or turns or real surprises. It was better than the AvP movies, but Arnie did it better.
That said, I liked the yakuza guy and his swordfight. I liked Laurence Fishburne. Danny Treijo is always watchable. Adrien Brody looked in phenomenal shape.
Oh, and for those who’ve got this far, a question. Why, after being told halfway through the film that Arnie saved himself by covering himself in mud, did Royce (Brody) wait until the very end of the film to actually do it? Then completely ignore the fact that he was covered in mud (as it clearly didn’t work on the thermal imaging camera) and go for the fire instead, which clearly was his plan all along?
So, in summary, a perfectly ok action flick. Decent acting, big explosions, all your standard Predator fare. I didn’t resent paying my seven quid for a ticket, and was quite happy that I’d seen it on the big screen.
It just wasn’t what it so easily could have been. It’s been set up for a sequel. Now I want my Predators, plural. And *lots* of them, this time.
7/10. Try harder next time.