Anticipation is a double-edged sword when it comes to the release of movies. If you lack any anticipation in your audience, they are unlikely to watch the movie. If you have too much anticipation more than likely “expectation” is going to be coming along, and well that bastard is hard to please. Predators is a summer movie that is okay but our expectations and anticipation for its release prevent it from being a good movie.
Audiences should be tricked into seeing a movie such as this much like the characters of the film were introduced to their setting, waking up having no idea of what is going on. Then again maybe over-marketing was part of the plan to have the audience accept a rushed first act and out of place title screen. If we had not been bombarded with TV spots, one could easily think this was next season of Lost.
Like Lost, this film has a sizable ensemble cast and all play their respective character really well. Unfortunately their characters have a very cardboard cut out two-dimensional feel to them, maybe that’s why they only have first names, no more depth needed. The tension between them is quickly lost when the predators actually start to kill them, which makes sense but plot becomes very linear and moves like that of a porn film. It only needs to find a reason to get from action scene to action scene.
The score has a bit of cheese to it but it’s hard to place the blame on that because the original film influenced it. The director, Nimród Antal (Armored), and writers did a good job at taking aspect of the original series and adding them to this movie. There is even a bit of dialogue in regards to the original team in the `87 version.
Aside from those nostalgic references, you will leave this movie with a few questions in your head. Why two sociopaths? What was the nature of the planet’s rotation? Sure, all are there for tension but if your going to refer to them in the actual film then you better resolve them.
Predators isn’t without its fun, actually it has quite a bit of amusement in it. Near the end of the film one of the silent protagonists, Hanzo played by the striking Louis Ozawa Changchien, uses his found katana and has a samurai battle with of the alien hunters; probably the most memorable fight scene in the movie. Most of the choreography lacked the brutality you would expect from a new century version of the classic sci-fi action series.
Again, had we not been so long since the last true Predator film we wouldn’t have expected more from this film, but this is a new day and this film didn’t push the envelope in any way. It’s just a casual ride on a distant planet, great to sit through at the drive-in or second run theater.
Rated R for strong creature violence and gore, and pervasive language.