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May 27, 2011



by Franz Patrick

Predators (2010)
★ / ★★★★

Eight people (Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Topher Grace, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Danny Trejo, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali) with great ability to kill awoke in free fall toward a strange jungle. Eventually, they learned they were bait for alien creatures who liked to hunt and learn about their prey’s skills in order to adapt to dangerous situations. Nimród Antal’s “Predators” was devoid of fun and creativity. I would like to start off with Adrien Brody’s performance. As an action star, Brody failed to embody a convincing attitude, the confidence required for me to keep interested and want to root for him. In every scene, whenever a discovery was made such as their role in the jungle and survivors revealing themselves from past carnage, Brody remained wooden and completely unconvincing. Perhaps his idea of masculinity was not conveying emotion to any situation, which was completely wrong. I wanted to feel his anger that he was sent to a situation in which he did not agree with and his frustration toward the other survivors as they made one stupid decision after another. For example, when one said not to split up, the next scene showed the characters doing exactly the opposite. If Brody had reflected what the audiences would have felt if they were in his character’s situation, he would have been that much more relatable. Playing a sensitive and charming hero would have been a great antithesis against hard bodies in the 70s and 80s action flicks. The only twist I liked was Laurence Fishburne’s appearance as the unpredictable Noland who had an imaginary friend. As he talked about his experiences about trying to survive in the jungle, I had forgotten that I was watching an actor. The film suffered from many unnecessary twists, especially toward the end when we came to realize that one of the eight had other intentions apart from escaping the jungle. I was left in the dust wondering why the writers felt the need to put in a twist. It felt desperate as if it was aware that the action sequences offered nothing new to the genre. In the end, it was all confusion and chaos lacking in genuine suspense and purpose. As for its visual and special effects, they were not used to the film’s advantage. Instead of hiding the alien creatures in the shadows, astutely done in John McTiernan’s “Predator,” to pique our interest and to heighten the horror, the movie revealed too much too quickly. Either the filmmakers had no control of their project’s tone or it was purposely done that way because they designed the picture for Facebook and Twitter generation. It gave nothing for people who relished subtlety and irony.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Earnest Ryan
    May 28 2011

    Aw. I think after I saw this I recommended you watch it. There was something very satisfying in how they built up the characters as experts and then allowed them to make fools of themselves. I loved Larry Fishburne in it. Probably because I saw it opening night and everyone shouted “Morpheusss!”. Why they included him and made him mentally unstable, who knows? Why did they make the Jap stereotypically fight with a samurai sword and die comically after an incessantly long staring contest? Why did they make Topher such a wimpy psychopath? Just nonsense. A jumbled mess of action and comedy fall backs shouldn’t be judged like a drama. Larry made a valiant effort at topping his doppleganger in “Snakes on a Plane”. Not as poetically chaotic, but at least it had better production value. :)

    • Jun 1 2011

      Ry Ry, thanks for visiting! Yes! You did recommend it to me and I couldn’t believe it. It was so bad, I looked at the clock every fifteen minutes. And, no, I did not judge the movie like a drama. In ANY genre, for me to enjoy it, it’s almost always a requirement that there be a character worth sticking with. They don’t have to be likable; they just have to be remotely interesting. “Snakes on a Plane” is a masterpiece compared to this load of–.

  2. mcarteratthemovies
    Jun 2 2011

    Only one star? Huh, I thought “Predators” was … surprisingly not sh**ty. I kind of dug Adrien Brody as an action hero, and the Laurence Fishburne cameo threw me for a loop.

    But surely we agree on one thing: However bad you thought “Predators” was, it’s still better than the “Predators” sequel.

    • Jun 17 2011

      I haven’t seen “Predators 2,” but I heard terrible things about it. I’m interested in watching it someday. Maybe we’ll agree on that one.


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