It’s a bit difficult to approach Predators – it’s a good film, not as fantastic as, say, Inception or Toy Story 3 (the other films I saw this week), but entertaining enough for what it is – a decent action film. Plenty of running and shooting and violent evisceration to get you through. Hit the jump for more, and there will be spoilers (though if you’re coming for the plot, you’ll probably be disappointed).
There’s quite an interesting cast – Adrien Brody as… well, I’m not quite sure. I went to the toilet during the couple of minutes when the characters explained themselves, but his name’s Royce, and he has an automatic shotgun – this is a film where people don’t have personalities, really, just weapons. The sniper rifle is played by
Michelle Rodriguez Alice Braga, playing the Vasquez character, Lawrence Fishburne as a Predator-hunting nutter who turns up half-way through, and a bunch of other people you’ve never heard of, because (as MovieBob pointed out) all the default action-hero actors are off making The Expendables, so they’re all a bunch of people you’ll never have heard of, but they consist of a minigun, two SMG’s, an assault rifle, a pistol (later a samurai sword), a knife, and a doctor.
The movie begins with Adrian Brody in freefall, his parachute opening just before he hits the ground. He discovers several others in the same predicament, hi-jinks ensue, and they work out they’re on an alien planet, a hunting ground for the Predators. They first encounter some alien dog-monster things, but soon run across the Predator’s camp, where a pitched battle ensues, at which point they all fall in a river. After washing up, Vasquez reveals that she knows what the creatures are, via an extended reference to Predator which goes on for about five minutes, they try to lure the Predators, but they end up getting some other alien and Lawrence Fishburne, who’s not doing his usual calm military dude role, but rather a crazy guy who’s been living in some abandoned structures for ages. I think the only attempt at emotional depth, character development or anything of that nature goes on in about two minutes of this scene, which (as I said) I missed when I went to the toilet. That doesn’t really matter though.
Thing is, as I said at the top, this isn’t a film about deep characters, involved plotlines or really anything very serious at all. It’s a film which says ‘Look at that! That guy just got his head ripped out by his spinal cord!!! That Predator just got decapitated and bled green blood everywhere! There’s a yakuza guy having a swordfight with a Predator! There’s another decapitation!’. It’s not asking to be taken seriously or anything. There’s not really an awful lot more to say about it*. Unlike, say, Gears of War, it doesn’t have pretentions to be anything other than what it is – an none-too-cerebral, action-packed film, with some cool effects, explosions and comedy gore. If you want to think, go and watch Inception. If you want an unchallenging, entertaining hour-and-a-half, go and watch Predators.
*No, that’s not just my being lazy.