Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rewatch: Predators

2010, Nimród Antal (Kontroll, Armoured) -- Netflix

Really, the thing about now doing Rewatch posts is to quickly summarize some of my feelings in rewatching a movie, soon after rewatching it. I waited too long for it on this one, but a few things have stuck with me.

The first thing is that I liked it much more the second time round than the first time. The re-use of the jungle setting and ensemble cast of combat ready killers does not bother me as much as normally with the "do what we already did" aspect of many sequels. This time, we have a bunch of disparate killers, random people chosen for their ability to survive and kill -- from wars, from armies, from crime syndicates, etc. They don't like each other but with the help of a natural leader-ish type (Adrian Brody as an American mercenary. Adrian Brody?  Yeah, I know, never woulda thunk him for an straight up action movie but it kinda works) they band together realizing they are not only being hunted, but they aren't on Earth anymore.

The usual faces of action are absent, but for Danny Trejo, and are supplanted by Alice Braga (sniper), Topher Grace (psycho), Walton Goggins (great name! serial murderer) and a few others. They not only have to survive being hunted but also figure out a way off the planet. That last bit is just not realistic; there is no way they could fly a ship, even considering they want to make use of a "original predator" who has been taken captive by bigger, stronger versions of his own people.  But that is blown out of the water so they can have some predator on predator action.

That said, the "new" predators they introduce are rather cool, all amped up, like comic book versions -- bigger, stronger, more evolved than any we have seen in previous movies.  They are more unique from each other. But even so, they seem to get their asses kicked quite easily all things considered.

The one plot element I didn't get the first time around, and don't again this time, was the Laurence Fishburne character. He is the sole survivor of many "hunting seasons" having hid himself inside some abandoned alien machinery. At first he seems to be helpful but quickly he is proven to have survived by sacrificing others and stealing their gear. Once that revelation is with us, they immediately kill him off. Huh? Waste of a sub-plot if you ask me. Still not sure how that ended up like that.

All in all, its a decent addition to the Predator collection of movies, though not the reboot the producers were hoping for. I gather it didn't do well, as it has gone mostly silent since, but apparently there was an announcement sometime this year. I don't think it was strong enough to warrant it as the reboot of a franchise.