Fear is Reborn
Louis Ozawa Changchien
Running Time: 106 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
People always get nostalgic about everything from those eternally better times about thirty years in the past – movies, music, clothes, wars… – and so now we move into the season of the Eighties’ movie rehash. Predators is the latest to be given the treatment and unsurprisingly it’s unoriginal, boring and not worth muddying a good name for (although, fair enough, Predator 2 and the Alien vs. Predator series did a pretty good job of that).
Nimrod Antal’s (really) Predators follows the fortunes of a group of elite killers, including hard-bitten mercenary Royce (Brody), Russian soldier Nikolai (Taktarov) and feisty Latino Isabelle (Braga), who somehow end up on a foreign planet as bait for an alien race of Predators who are perfecting their hunting skills on human livestock. As they try to figure out what is happening and how to get off the planet they are slowly picked off by their bigger, nastier and better equipped foes.
Predators’ major downfall is in the infuriating performance of Adrien Brody. Onscreen he puts on his best Christian-Bale-as-Batman growly voice and off-screen he constantly bleats on about how ‘I’m such a serious actor I slept in the forest and ate nothing but cockroaches and constantly let myself be raped by bears for months’ but in all seriousness the character is that paper-thin that the average man off the street could walk out of Starbucks and play him. He’s not got the acceptably naff aura of an Arnold Schwarzenegger about him. Don’t get me wrong, Brody was excellent in The Pianist and The Darjeeling Limited but this is not his territory and trying to make it so is just plain irritating.
Compared to the original Predators that terrorised Arnie and Carl Weathers, these ones are pretty slow, dim and ready to give the humans as much chance as possible. There is still quite a lot of serviceable action, explosions and awful banter but much of this film was done better in the 1987 original. There’s more mud, a suicidal guy with a big knife and a ragtag group of mercenaries and killers spouting admirable rubbish, just on a different planet this time, which begs the question – why, oh why, do it all again? Just watch Arnie kick ass instead.
It's Got: Adrien Brody - unfortunately, Predators who've let themselves go, some servicable action
It Needs: More Laurence Fishburne, some orginality, not to have been bothered with.
A pointless rehash with Adrien Brody in very uncomfortable territory, Predators may please some unfamiliar with the original, or Adrien Brody, but will leave the rest feeling hollow and unfulfilled.