Even if there was no mention of running to a helicopter in an Austrian accent, Predators is one of those movies that is a thrill to simply sit back and watch. I knew what I was getting myself into the moment I stepped into the theater, everyone did. Truth of matter is that you’re not expecting Gone With the Wind, but are simply looking forward to watching Predators slug it out with the world’s deadliest humans, Adrien Brody included.
The movie’s premise is simple enough: a group of Earth’s deadliest fighters are taken to a game preserve where they are the game, being relentlessly hunted by Predators. That about sums up the movie in its entirety. Now, there have been several Predator related flicks to pop up over the years, most of which have been pretty bad. Sure, seeing Danny Glover in Predator 2 was an almost surreal experience, but in no way did it compare to the original, and the Alien Vs. Predator movies, don’t get me started.
What I found refreshing was director Nimrod Antal’s ability to install Predators with a surprisingly nostalgic feel. You definitely become reminiscent of the original movie with dear old Arnold, from the personalities of the characters themselves, to covering oneself in mud in order to combat the extraterrestrial baddies. Once Predators begins, it just doesn’t stop. About half an hour takes place before we’re even allowed our first glimpse at a Predator and this is a surprisingly still-effective technique. This particular style of filmmaking allows for a certain sense of irony, as the audience is aware of something that the film’s protagonists are not.
Despite the sheer and utter badassness of the poor little humans trapped on an alien world, from black ops to mercenaries, they are completely out of their league, facing a threat unlike any other. This factor allows you to sympathize with these people, as you realize that even with all their combined skills, all they can do is run and hide. Laurence Fishburne pops up for awhile, taking on the role of a survivor, someone who has lasted on the planet for a decade, fighting down Predators whenever he’s had to, while slowly going crazy in the process. The utter loneliness and insanity that has eaten its way at his mind, is shown quite well, unfortunately we just don’t get enough of it.
Adrien Brody as Royce, a warrior by nature, finds himself team-leader, a role that he doesn’t want. Royce is an extremely enjoyable character; to have gotten bogged down in whatever anguish lies in his mind and past would have been senseless, and we’re just left with the basics: Royce will do whatever it takes to get off the hellish planet he’s been stuck on. Topher Grace, who at first seemed out of place when I saw the trailer for the movie, still seems lost during most of the movie’s entirety. A doctor and with only a scalpel you wonder what he’s doing on this planet full of killers and monsters. By the end though, you’re no longer wondering. I’d be spoiling Grace’s significance if I told you his complete role.
While not as great as Predator, and heaven forbid someone should declare the contrary, Predators is an adrenaline-fueled ride that constantly strives to keep you on edge. Whether or not that effect is achieved varies from person to person, but at least the intent is there. Predators achieves entertaining movie status and should fit in nicely with testosterone-driven movies.