Film Review – Predators (second review)
I’ll give a quick review of
***CAUTION SPOILERS AHEAD***
Here’s the plot: 8 people are dropped into a jungle in the middle of who-knows-where. These people gain consciousness in free fall from thousands of feet up and their parachutes open up at the last minute to almost slow their descent into the canopy. These people don’t know why they’re here or who each other are. They have some conversations and realize they’re all killers. A couple of military people (both official and non-official), a couple vigilante fighters (including Machete… I mean Danny Trejo), a Yakuza (and clearly a ninja since all Asians are skilled at martial arts – racism), a convicted rapist, and Eric from That 70’s Show (playing Eric from That 70’s Show). Now they have to figure out why they are together and where they are.
They traipse across all kinds of wilderness – which frankly reminded me of the various scenery from Where the Wild Things Are – and eventually discover they’re not on Earth. A couple of planets and moons over a mountain range confirm that. Strangely, Eric, who is a doctor of some sort, knows all the names of the plants and which ones are poisonous. He must have studied a LOT in doctorin’ school.
They are attacked by these horned wild boar dog aliens and remain victorious. This is where they begin to realize they’re being hunted by something very bad. The dogs were called off by some sort of whistle/call and the group is left to think about their situation out loud, like no one ever does. While running, they come across a handful of broken (and empty) cages which used to hold something nasty, including CGI cockroaches). The group then runs across a fallen soldier who has booby trapped a HUGE perimeter and almost kill the small group. It’s here that the macho man leader (Adrien Brody) tell us the proper weight for a swinging log to knock over a person is exactly 5 times the size of the thing you’re trying to take out. Yes, tough guy, he weighed the predator and then weighed the tree trunk to determine which randomly available tree trunk he would use in the booby trap.
The group decides to go into the camp of the predators to determine what they were fighting against, which *I* think is a bad idea. There’s a predator chained to a pillar being held captive in the camp and they poke it with a stick. Brilliant. The predators not chained up attack and tough guy uses the group as bait to figure out what the creatures are. The predators then systematically kill off the group one by one, starting with Danny Trejo. I’m assuming this was the tradeoff so he could star in Machete! “OK guys, I’ll let you kill me first if I can be the master bloodsprayer in Machete. Deal!”
Insert an hour of explosions and fire and bullets here.
They run into Larry Fishburne in the woods. He gets what’s left of the group up into his little bachelor pad and gives them some back ground on the situation they’re in – this happens once a season, predators hunt humans, predators learn the human tricks and are slowly becoming invincible, blah blah blah, here’s some soup. Larry is a scavenger who dresses in the predator’s armor and is able to use their cloaking devices and weapons. He’s also bat-shit crazy and talks to imaginary people. Larry then tries to kill them for their supplies and weapons. The ensuing fire and battle draw the predators to the house and cue more explosions, fire, and bullets.
Insert awkward ninja sword fight in a grassy meadow.
Tough guy Brody has a plan to go back to the camp, unchain the captive predator, and somehow convince him to be friends and fly him back to earth in his spaceship. Really? He somehow manages to do this and the predator fires up the ship and sends him off. The once-captive predator then has to fight the head predator in a death match of swords and claws (and zero lasers, for some reason). And I also think it’s weird that the predators can’t see each other when they’re cloaked. They have like 15 different vision capabilities through the movie, yet they can’t see each other. Consequentially, for some reason, the predators can also see through the mud applied to humans as a heat cloaker, but it doesn’t register. *I* can see what clearly looks like a man shaped red spot, but the predator can’t. I don’t get it. The movie wraps up with a finale of fighting, explosions, bullets, and fire and then the directors leave the film open ended for a sequel.
This movie isn’t anywhere near as good as the original. I mean, how could it be without Arnold, Carl Weathers, and Jesse the Body? But what America wants is explosions, bullets, and fire, and Predators has a metric balls-ton of it. Seriously. My head hurt. I won’t go into how weird I thought the soundtrack (music-wise) was for this film, but I think the director had his iPod on shuffle during the editing. For example, final scene…and… cut to Little Richard… WTF? Anyway, the plot is very similar to the original once you break it down. In fact, it’s almost a remake. A bunch of people heavily loaded with guns are in a jungle trying to figure out what’s hunting them. They finally see the predator and figure out how to kill it. Except in this film, there are three predators to kill.
If you liked the original, you’ll probably like this film as well, just not as much. If you never saw the original or the other ones, you won’t be at any sort of disadvantage with not knowing the previous story. There is only one reference to the original and it is explained enough to make sense in this film. It’s an OK film and the CGI was tolerable, except for the alien dogs – completely unacceptable, ridiculous, and fakey. (I will note that I found something that makes me want to kill much more than CGI – the preview for Step Up 3D shown before Predators…). Don’t go out of your way to see this film, but you won’t be disappointed if you like ‘splosions.
(3 out of 5 fus)