So my journey to see “Predators” is complete. A note to Hollywood. This is not a “reboot,” “remake,” or “reimaging.” This is the story in the next chapter. There are some chapters that can continue to be written. This is an example of one of those who worked pretty well.
It was a Robert Rodriguez production, so it kind of had the feel of Desperado/Once Upon a Time in Mexico/Planet Terror in a Predators world. The cast was pretty good, with one glaring exception. Adrien Brody (Oscar winner for “The Pianist”), Alice Braga (“I Am Legend,” “Blindness,” niece of Sonia), Topher Grace (“That 70’s Show,” “Spiderman 3”), Oleg Taktarov (UFC pioneer, “Rollerball”), Walton Goggins (“House of 1,000 Corpses,” “The Shield.”) and of course, Danny freakin’ Trejo.
We had an interesting concept. The best, toughest warriors from different factions all end up on a strange planet as part of a game preserve. We have the American black ops mercenary, the Latina jungle fighter, an African militant, a Russian soldier, Yakuza, ruthless criminal & Cartel enforcer. They all try to band together to survive and defeat this alien race.
The plot is really good. There’s not much to it, but simplicity sometimes is best. The direction is really good. Nimród Antal (“Armored,” “Vacancy”) should have a very nice, long career ahead of him. There were some interesting shots. The writing was also incredible. A lot of great one-liners.
There were some things that didn’t quite click for me. Laurence Fishburne’s character was a waste of film and whatever they paid him. This film made his Cowboy Curtis role on PeeWee’s Playhouse seem like Morpheus. Still not sure why he was there to begin with.
While I enjoyed the conflicts, I feel that it was a little cliched and overdone. We had conflict between Mahershalalhashbaz Ali (the African soldier) and Walton Goggins (the obviously White Supremacist criminal). I hate to break it to you, but “The Defiant Ones” was released in 1958. There could have been some more interesting conflicts. Mossad vs. Mujahideen/Taliban, Triad vs. Yakuza. It’s 2010. Our racism is a lot more complicated than black vs. white. And I felt there were some more threatening people they could have added in that group: Mossad, Mujahideen/Taliban, Triad, other groups I probably don’t know that exist yet and Caroline Manzo of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” (Of course, then what chance would the Predators actually have?)
I guess a mixture of both would be Adrien Brody. He’s not the first guy I think of when I hear “tough guy” military man. As the judge would say… I’ll allow it. He worked on getting some nice abs for the film.
Again, just the next chapter in a franchise. Good outing, worth the time. Pretty violent. The language is pretty bad (in English and Spanish). And while there is no sex, there ae some questionable degrading sexual references. I hope you enjoy.