Eight trained killers are dropped from the sky into a non-descript
jungle, each with no memory of how they got there, no clue as to who the
rest of the party is, and no reason as to why they are there. As
various disembowellings and overly elaborate death traps reveal, they
are in the domain of the Predators, or more specifically, an
intergalactic game park where humans are kidnapped and hunted for sport
by a variety of Predators.
Adrien Brody and his team of mercenary misfits in
can imagine how the rest of the film unfolds – members are picked off
one by one, they are befriended and betrayed, and it ends in a showdown
between the hyper-buff Adrien Brody and a Super Predator. It’s all
entirely predictable, which is fine, but not when a film deals
exclusively in half measures. We go to these films for explosions, gore
and terrible dialogue, and Predators gives us a small taste, then
abandons us with undercooked characters who range from mildly offensive
to intensely distasteful (the shining example of this being the oddly
contrived “raping some fine ass bitches” speech). I don’t mind hating
characters, as long as they die in spectacular ways. But none of them
do, none are likeable, none of them relatable, and despite some real gem
dialogue ("Whatever it is; wherever they're from; we're gonna kill them
all.”), none have the charm to pull it off.
Technically, Predators comfortably straddles the middle road. The
CGI already looks dated, the alien jungle animals and plants are too
familiar, and the actual Predators look like little more than the men in
suits they are, thoroughly reducing any scare factor. That being said,
the best scenes are probably the brawls between predators.
all too safe, as if the script was written so it could be easily
optimised into a companion video game. The actors seem to be unengaged
with each other or the script, which makes the film shudder along.
Narrative twists seem to have been thrown in half heartedly, resulting
in almost inexplicable motivational changes for characters who could
have been so much more, and an ending that leaves the franchise so open
to a sequel it’s almost slutty.
Predators does nothing for the legacy of the original films, which
is a real shame.