Run! Get to the Chopper!
A franchise that had begun well with Predator (1987) and Predator 2 (1990) was, somewhat inevitably, ruined with the atrocious Alien vs. Predator (2004 – 2007) series, which unbelievably produced more than one film. Director Nimród Antal and producer Robert Rodriguez are tasked with saving the Predator name.
Unlike the original film Predators includes actors that can in fact act. The film brings Adrien Brody in to an unfamiliar role as tough guy Royce, which he performs admirably. However Laurence Fishburne rather steals the show with his short and sweet portrayal as crazed survivor Noland. Strangely for what is, on first appearance, an all out action film even the smaller parts are well acted. Among these is Walton Goggins whose lines lead to the audience laughing and gasping when they were supposed to.
In most action films the acting and story take a back seat as the special effects control the show. The opposite is true of this film as the action isn’t that great. Sure it does include the familiar codes of a Predator film; a chain gun, luminous green blood and enormous explosions. But these action sequences don’t have anything on the original. What saves the action is John Debney’s musical score. With fast paced music and short jump cuts to increase the pace contrasted with an occasional use of eerie silence.
Brimming with many references to the first Predator film and its lead role Arnold Schwarzenegger; from the mud smeared torso of the protagonist to a spinal cord wielding predator this film is very much paying homage to the original. Predators rather easily becomes the third best film in the franchise, but only manages 5/10.