“Predators” – 2010. Nimrod Antal

 


With Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Topher Grace, Walton Goggins Louis Ozawa Changchien, Oleg Taktarov, with Danny Trejo and Lawrence Fishburn.

“Man let me tell you, if I get out of here… I’m going to do so much fucking cocaine.” – Stans

    I must say, I’m a very, very big fan of the original Predator film and I’ll slightly defend its sequel with Danny Glover even though it is pretty bad. The two AVP films are worst than any Pauly Shore film. So that leaves the new installment of the tail spinning franchise. You know I’m all pompous about film – so pompous in fact I resent Steven Spielberg. So…what did I think about the new Predator film which is carried by Brody who should give his Oscar to Daniel Day-Lewis who rightfully owns it for his performance in “Gangs of New York”? I fucking loved it.

    What I think is extremely important about film franchises (that’s not LOTR’s or Star Wars) is that a good sequel, threequel can exist on its own terms – without relying too much on the previous film. “Predators” is one of those films.

    The film starts out with Brody falling from the sky in a dead sleep, he’s awoken and is trying to pull a parachute – he can’t. He’s panicking and searching his body – the chute opens on a timer – seeing a device that is all too familiar in the Predator universe. He lands in the thick of a jungle, with some huge automatic shotgun that makes Anton Chigurn’s shotgun look like a rubber band.

    More bodies begin to fall from the sky – these men (and one woman) are all hostile to each other at first – than realize they have a bigger problem once they reach a ridge and see the sky – they’re not in Kansas anymore (Stephen Lang rocks in “Avatar” – come on now).

    There are a band of random people on this alien planet – Brody who is a badass mercenary, Braga who is Special Forces, Trejo who is a cartel member, Changchien who is a Yakuza, Walton Goggins who is the redneck on death row, Taktarov who is a soldier and Topher Grace…as a…doctor? The one thing they all do have in common is that they were brought to this plant to be hunted by the Predators. Awesome.

    What makes this film strive is the wonder homage to the two previous films (and completely ignoring the AVP films which is classy). The score got me wet – it was a wonder, wonder brooding jungle music that had me waiting for Arnold to pop out of the jungle and scream “Dillion…you son of a bitch!” Sadly it doesn’t happen. A lot of actions and encounters in the film are blatenly subtle with it’s reference to Jesse Ventura’s minigun or Billy’s standoff with the Predator at the end of the first film. This is a very smart film. Would you expect anything less of Robert Rodriguez? His original draft of “Predator 3” was Arnold and Glover being captured by the Predators and taken to their planet to be hunted – that would have been an instant 10 – but I’ll settle for this film.

    Lawrence Fishburn was a nice treat in the film. Once his character first appears, I rolled my eyes and just thought to myself – when is he going to stop playing Morpheous? But he did, and essentially shattered his type cast of the second act of his career. He’s very good – and my friend Kevin over at www.porkchopexpressblog.com thinks if the Academy had any balls, they’d nominate him for Best Supporting Actor. I don’t agree, but I do think if that Academy had any balls, they’d not nominate “Shutter Island” for best picture, but nominated Ted Levine for Best Supporting Actor.

    Fishburn’s character is probably the only human that’s killed Predators on their home turf and lived. He’s held up in some huge machine and he’s crazy. I mean multiple personality crazy. How could you not be? The Predators look hot, the action is killer, and I think the director and Robert Rodriguez had balls by casting Brody as our hero. How cliché would it have been to get a current “action” star for the film? That would have been weak sauce. I never, ever thought I would say this but Topher Grace is actually pretty solid in the film.

Rating: 8/10

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Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

7 thoughts on ““Predators” – 2010. Nimrod Antal”

  1. …good review but speaking of Brody’s casting, I too thought he was excellent. If they’d cast Statham or someone like that I might well have avoided the movie!

    Oh and keep defending Predator 2 – I think it’s a great sequel.

  2. I suspected you’d like this, Frank, given that you’re one of the few people I know who BOUGHT the “Predator”/”Predator 2” pack. Me, I had a grand ole’ time with “Predators.” It does, as you mention, work as its own film and not as a tack-on to the predecessors. I’m VERY happy that it ignores “AVP” and “AVP: Requiem.” Adrien Brody blew his image as the nerdy big-nose guy to the moon (did you SEE those abs?), and the rest of the characters were likable enough, especially Topher Grace and Laurence Fishburne, who had what I call a “hameo.”

    Plus, there was a Russian dude who was NOT A VILLAIN. That alone is worth celebrating.

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