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Predators (2010)

A movie produced by Robert Rodriguez released on July 9, 2010.

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The Third Dedicated Predator Film Pays Homage to the First

  • Jul 10, 2010
Rating:
+4

I have been an avid Predator fan since the Governor of California first tangled with one in the jungles back in 1987.  I wasn’t swayed a few years later when the black cop from Lethal Weapon took one of the same alien species out amidst gang warfare in a (then) futuristic Los Angeles.  I stuck with it even through the AVP disaster (redeemed slightly by the second effort).  Naturally, it was with extreme trepidation that I went into Predators; first showing on opening day.  Robert Rodriguez’s past film efforts coupled to some pretty tantalizing trailers was enough to put Paul WS Anderson’s folly aside.  Now that the material has had a few hours to settle in, I can state that the piece lived up to my expectations.

To clear the air right from the get-go, this is perhaps the theoretical sequel fans of the original have been waiting 23 years for.  In fact, one of my few complaints is that the picture comes dangerously close to emulating the first film in multiple occasions.  On the whole, there are enough diversions and new concepts presented to dismiss fears of it simply being a “redo”, but Rodriguez very well may have studied the original a bit too closely in his pre-production inspiration.  More on that later.

That said the film opens in an undisclosed time period but presumably present day based on some of the dialog shared throughout the movie and it does so with alarming efficiency; namely in the form of Adrien Brody’s character plummeting toward the jungle from the stratosphere.  He, along with several other humans, land within the very Earthen-like jungle only to slowly discover that they had been abducted from their daily lives and apparently deposited on some alien world.

In keeping with the Predator franchise’s mythos, they are allotted weapons ranging from machine guns to pocketknives to aid them in their mission; in this case simply surviving.

I mentioned similarities to the original and right from the onset there are many! From the obvious jungle setting once again to the Gatling gun being used to clear foliage, on down to moments like a very warthog like alien being stabbed in the chest with a straight blade, a human-built net trap complete with swinging log, and an accidental tumble while being pursued by the Predator off a cliff into a quick moving river/ waterfall.  There’s even a moment where the “insightful guy” decides he has run long enough from the mysterious predators and turns back from the group in effort to challenge their pursuer with nothing more than a sword. Combine these onscreen moments with a John Debney score that was deliberately designed to mimic Alan Silvestri’s (who was busy scoring The A-Team) work on the original 1987 film and it becomes easy to experience a little déjà vu.

The film’s structure is similar to the original as well with a slow building methodical first half linked to a fairly action-packed conclusion.  And none of these revelations are mere conjecture as when asked where he drew inspiration for how to make this film, Robert Rodriguez was quoted as saying he was inspired what to do from the original Predator, and what not to do by Predator 2 and both AVP efforts. Interestingly he also went on to say that he drew no inspiration whatsoever from the Predator comics.

The piece, which was shot in a fairly brisk 53-day span, introduces Adrien Brody in his first appearance as a genuine tough-guy and to answer the immediate question, yes he pulls it off for the most part.  Taking a cue from Christian Bale’s vocal performance as Batman, Brody delivers a forceful (if forced) gruff snarl that makes up for his lack of physical proportions typically considered requisite for the role.  The remaining cast is solid as well, with nothing extraordinary to report but no glaring flaws/ miscasts to complain about either.  Alice Braga continues the tradition of casting a Latin lead actress in the film and this is further cemented by the fact that Rodriquez himself has stated that the project is intended to be a part of the Predator franchise (making it Predator 3 by definition) and not a part of the AVP mythos which breaks this tradition.

Effects are truly spectacular this time around; not that the earlier entries ever had much to complain about, it was nice to see Predators that didn’t rely simply on their high-tech weaponry as a means of eliminating their prey.  Sure the shoulder-mount plasma guns are back as are the twin forearm razors but spears, whips, and boomerang-like fist-blades don’t make an appearance here.  Additionally, and it is yet to be seen whether the community at large will accept this one as part of the mythos, Rodriguez plays around a little bit with the Predator culture by introducing two different sects of Predators that are apparently quite un-fond of one another (quite a diversion from all of the past entries which showed definite camaraderie between the creatures).

And rest easy those who fear this as being the first of the 5 pictures featuring these costumes to fail to up the “ugly” factor of the unmasked aliens; the bar is raised once again with the addition of the superior of the two Predator species!

In all, Predators succeeds on many of the fundamental levels of suspense, action, horror and sheer nastiness that has elevated the first film to near legendary status while introducing enough uniqueness to prevent the experience from feeling like a carbon copy.  I was particularly impressed with the explanation presented for alien abduction/ human disappearance here on Earth.  The final homage is that events of the first film are actually referenced in the dialog but, and despite being acknowledged as a legitimate part of the franchise, events of the second film are not mentioned (which obsessed fans may take to mean this film is in fact set some time between 1987 (Predator 1) and 1997 (the setting for Predator 2).

Fans of the original will surely delight in Rodriguez’s debut stab at the material and those of us who have found something to enjoy in all of the incarnations thus far will be especially impressed with where he has taken the franchise.

The Third Dedicated Predator Film Pays Homage to the First The Third Dedicated Predator Film Pays Homage to the First The Third Dedicated Predator Film Pays Homage to the First The Third Dedicated Predator Film Pays Homage to the First

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December 05, 2010
Excellent review, this was a fun flick for sure.
December 06, 2010
Thanks buddy! Imagine that- Me on an opening day! Those darn dread-locked aliens get me every time.
 
July 14, 2010
Excellent review! I liked this film I liked it allot more than I thought I would and I still found it lacking in some areas however, it is tremendous fun.
July 15, 2010
Hey, Lopez do you go by with a scale of 5 or 10? I personally go with a 5 but I know most reviewers go with a scale of 10.
July 15, 2010
I go by a scale of 5 actually
 
July 10, 2010
Stellar review, Jason! So happy that we see eye-to-eye on this one. One thing you mentioned that I didn't include in my review is the fact that the movie didn't mention its timetable and just what is the state or the condition of the Earth during this time; I bet it'll be in its planned sequel. What I did miss about the original was the grainy look that made it look "dirty" and emulates the humidity of its set designs. Of course, Alice Braga makes an extra star just for me. Thanks for hitting the theaters for this, bro! Hey, I will email you guys something since I need suggestions...
July 11, 2010
Thanks William! You know it's a big one when ol Jay pauses the DVD player and heads to the big screen! I thoroughly enjoyed this one, can't wait for the blu ray now! And you're right, I love the use of digital cameras (google the RED camera system if you get a chance one day) but there is certainly something to be said for that grit that can only be captured using 35mm film stock. And I love that you likened the effect to "humidity"- brilliant! I noticed modern filmmakers are using a technique of "digital interference" in effort to emulate the grain of film but it is undeniably different, no matter what anyone says. Thanks for the feedback and I thoroughly enjoyed your review as well. Absolutely, email me anytime.
July 15, 2010
hey, Jay, this review of yours got featured in the site--not just in the community, in the site! woo-hoo!!

Check this out:

 
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More Predators reviews
review by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
3 ½ Stars: The PREDATORS Are Back In Town...
I’ve always liked the concept of 1987’s “Predator” with Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was simple, precise and exciting; admittedly the franchise has been misused by Hollywood with “Predator 2” and “Alien Vs. Predator” since they proved quite inferior to the original and even to the comic book mini-series that has been inspired by the original movie. When cult director Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror, Desperado) was announced as the producer of the new …
review by . November 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
 ** out of ****      Through all the bad sequels, prequels, and of course AVP, a new "Predator" film releases and essentially tries as hard as it can to revive a potentially great franchise. And...it doesn't quite do any of that. In fact, it doesn't revive "Predator" at all. The original is still the best and as far as I'm concerned it will always BE the best, even if "Predators" is a positive step up from "Predator 2" …
review by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
Year: 1987 Location: Val Verde, South America   An elite commando unit led Major Alan "Dutch" Schaeffer and C.I.A. Liaison Major George Dillon were dropped into the deep jungle with orders to rescue a presidential cabinet minister kidnapped by guerrilla forces in Val Verde. As the progress through the jungle Major Schaeffer and his team stumble upon a downed American helicopter and the skinned remains of several bodies later revealed an American Special Forces team afterwards, …
review by . January 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
After two awful movies where the Predators hunt Aliens on Earth, Robert Rodriguez, Nimrod Antal, and company went back to the jungle for the latest installment in the Predators franchise.   Eight, well actually nine but one dies upon impact, people from different occupations with varying skills find themselves in an unknown jungle. The last thing each person remembers is that they saw a bright light and when they awoke they found themselves falling from the sky. These eight individuals …
review by . November 27, 2010
Unlike Alien (The Director's Cut), which had a great sequel in Cameron's Aliens (Two-Disc Collector's Edition), Predator 2 was a flop and an insult to Schwarzenegger's Predator. The more recent predator movies, like Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem, were total garbage.     Thus, it was nice to see Predators captured some of the magic of the original. Sure, it doesn't take many risks and pretty much copies the same recipe as the original, from who dies when and the finale. However, …
review by . July 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
WHAT A FUN MOVIE AND A FUN NIGHT
      PREDATORS      It has been a long time since an actual Predator movie as been made and I have to say that I am truly happy another did indeed come along. Sure we had two AVP films come out but those were not straight Predator films, and to be honest those had the potential to be so much more. Don't get me wrong I didn't hate any of them but they could have been better. So when I heard Robert Rodriguez was involved with the next Predator film …
review by . July 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Predators Is The Bad Summer Action Movie That Wasn't Bad
What Pompted You to write a Review?   Coming back from the movie, I felt like I really had seen my money's worth. With a movie like Predators, you going in knowing what you're going to get most of the time, so getting surprised by an above average flick is always great.      How was the Plot, Acting, Direction?   The plot, acting and direction were totally standard by genre. The plot basically revolves around a bunch of earthling bad-asses dropped …
review by . July 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
"Predators" begins with Adrien Brody coming to in mid-freefall, which is a first for me as a moviegoer. We don't exactly know where he fell from, but we do know that he's literally falling from the sky, and only at the last second does he realize he's equipped with a parachute, which miraculously pops open. Regardless, his landing is rough; he plummets through dense jungle foliage before ending up in a muddy clearing. Over the next few minutes, he meets - and is nearly killed by - seven other people, …
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Intense, gritty, bloody and merciless "Predators" is a worthy if not flawed Sci-Fi horror thriller that brings back fond memories of why audiences feared the Predator in the first place.
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I saw this earlier and found it alright. There was nothing new to the storyline and well that was a big shame
About the reviewer

Ranked #14
Jason Rider (AKA OneNeo on Amazon.com) is the author of the successful children's fantasy novel series The Uncommon Adventures of Tucker O'Doyle from Bellissima Publishing.      … more
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Rated R for pervasive language, gore and strong creature violence
  • Maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez tackles producing duties for a revamp of the Predator film series with this 20th Century Fox/ Troublemaker Studios production focusing on a human survival adventure set on one of the Predator's favorite hunting grounds. Kontroll's Nimród Antal directs from a script by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch, with Adrien Brody heading up an international cast.
  •  
  • Cast: Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, Danny Trejo
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  • Director: Nimród Antal
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  • Genres: Sci-Fi Action, Action, Science Fiction
  • Executive producer Robert Rodriguez (Grindhouse,Spy Kids) is the driving force behind this energetic reboot of the popularPredatorfilms, which pits the dreadlocked alien hunters against a rogues' gallery of human antiheroes, led by a bulked-up Adrien Brody. The Oscar winner acquits himself nicely in the role of a gritty mercenary who finds himself stranded on a jungle planet with a host of criminals and professional killers (among them such scene-stealers as Walton Goggins and Danny Trejo), as well as a seemingly innocent doctor, well played by Topher Grace. They've been deposited there to serve as living targets for a horde of Predators--whose looks, designed by Gregory Nicotero and Howard Berger, are impressively varied and sleek--that use the planet as their private hunting grounds. Laurence Fishburne is also on hand as a ...
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    Details

    Genre: Horror
    MPAA Rating: R
    Runtime: 107 minutes
    Studio: 20th Century Fox
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