in Review

Welcome to the Jungle


After a long 23 years the 1987 classic Predator finally has a sequel worthy of it’s name. “Predators“, clearly a nod to Aliens has been an idea brewing in the mind of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez since the 90s and now he’s finally got the power to bring it to the screen. Taking a backseat as producer you can still feel the little touches and tweaks of Rodriguez, making it his mission to make this as gory, action-packed, a tribute to 80s action/sci-fi as possible and in this day and age it’s probably the best Predator sequel you could of asked for.

Opening with a group of various assassins falling from in the sky in parachutes on to a leafy alien planet, Predators wisely avoids going into heavy detail why these characters have been gathered here. Rather they draw conclusions as the story develops through various exposition as apposed to lengthy explanation. Adrien Brody, playing against type is Royce, a mercenary who doesn’t seem to give a damn about anyone or anything. He’s accompanied by a rag tag group of various violent backgrounds; including Black Ops, a Cartel enforcer, Yakuza and Topher Grace (wait till the end to see how he fits in.) So what do they do? they wander around in a lush game preserve facing off against three of our favorite intergalactic antagonists in a bloody, balls-to-the-walls, romp that would make Ah-nuld proud.

The action is top notch, the cast is surprisingly likable and the atmosphere is pitch perfect. Part of this can be attributed to the large chunks of Alan Silvestri’s original score being used once again, it’s like it’s 1987 all over again! The Predators themselves are still tackled with traditional makeup effects and there’s no shortage of nods to the original. Surprisingly one of the weaker aspects in my eyes was Adrien Brody. They try so hard to make him a stubborn, s.o.b, loner that he almost doesn’t seem human. He lacks charisma and although I’m a fan of his he’s not right for this movie. Laurence Fishburne also seems misused in a performance that’s solid but playing a character that doesn’t have enough time to be fully developed or fleshed out.

With cash-ins like AVP and AVP: Requiem it’s nothing short of a miracle that a Predator movie could be made in this era and actually be good. It’s nothing spectacular noted by a few messy spots in the script, including the lack of a satisfying ending but it entertains and thrills with a giddy 80s like glee. Not to mention the ending credit music was so appropriate I couldn’t help but laugh. Remember when Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” was playing in the chopper in the original? Imagine some overly serious dialogue muttered by Brody fading to black and cutting to credits with that song… It was awesome I almost felt like standing up and applauding, these guys get it.

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