ReviewWriter: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang YangWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Predator”, “Predator 2”, “AVP: Alien vs Predator”, “AVP 2”
If you're wondering why this Robert Rodriquez re-update feels so close to home with the two "Predator" movies in 1987 and 1990 when you were expecting it to be another colossal CGI bore in the vein of say, "The Incredible Hulk" (2008), that's because it's based on ideas that the "From Dusk Till Dawn" (1996) and "Sin City" (2005) director developed more than 15 years ago after watching the originals. Ignoring the events in all the "AVP" spawns, the man commissions the able hands of Nimród Antal ("Kontrol" 2003, "Vacancy" 2007) to direct a largely satisfying picture that is dirtier, edgier and less pretentious than one would've thought.
Dragging a muscular Adrien Brody along with Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, Danny Trejo, Louis Ozawa Changchien and Derek Mears through Hawaiian jungles to simulate a Planet Predator game reserve, the movie is more "Rambo" (1982) than "Avatar" (2009) although some of the creatures do hint a nod at Cameron's creations. The plot is after-thought; you simply plonk a couple of mercenaries, cons and military men (just one woman in Brazillian beauty Alice Braga "Lower City", 2005 and "I Am Legend", 2007, who continues the franchise tradition of having a Latin female cast, following Elpidia Carrillo in the first and Maria Conchita Alonso the second) into a confined environment and set the dread-locked devils loose on them. Whatever they do will be your entertainment.
Since the movie is intended to be character-driven as Rodriguez wants it, we'll leave the delicious details about those characters out, as spoilers. Let it be known though that all the media reservations about casting Brody as the lead is justified because while Mr. Pianist is a superb dramatic actor, his charisma as an action hero goes as far as talking with a wheezing Batman voice and spewing cheesy one-liners. Rodriguez did get it right by going for someone less burly but Brody's new muscles don't equate to menace. For fanboys who didn't catch the online interviews with Rodriguez, "Predators" will have more than one type of Predator, including the original "classic Predator".
In sum, "Predators" does what it says on the tin, although a few more standoffs and encounters would've sealed its entertainment value. The only aspects missing were an Arnold Schwarzenegger cameo and a couple of female Predators that Rodriguez said were designed but never used. Oh well, let's hope he uses them in "Machete" for a laugh.Cinema Online, 06 July 2010