The substantial realization that we might never get a decent Predator nor Alien revival has been becoming more and more of a cold reality. After the death of Stan Winston, it just appeared that all hope had vaporized along with any honor that might have still been beating in the Predators ruthless hearts. With word of Robert Rodriguez spearheading a continuation/reboot/remake, I began to feel a little more calm towards the concept. After all, it could never be as bad as either of those Alien vs. Predator films, right? Soon word was handed that Rodriguez jumped from the director's chair to producer and passed the project onto Nimród Antal, the director known for directing Armored, that mediocre bowel movement only saved by Jean Reno. With a credible "experiment" in showcasing African-American poverty and the trials & tribulations of an honest black worker, could Nimród Antal create a film that is fluent with the mythology and the technology of the Predator mythos? Better yet, can anyone sit through the credits of the film without giggling?
Predators opens up blindingly fast with a shot of Adrien Brody's face rippling in the wind as he plummets towards "Earth" at what I'd guess to be 125 miles per hour. After regaining consciousness and swearing rather loudly, he begins frantically beating at this alien device on his chest until the chute deploys at nearly 1000 feet before ground leaving him free-falling through the trees and hitting the ground with a wincing crunch. The screen switches to black and the Predators title block appears. The opening is not only one of the greatest set ups in action/horror history but shocks the participating audience as well. All three times I've seen this film, after the feature presentation snipe plays, the audience is murmuring and gossiping only to be interrupted by the crude sound of wind resistance and flapping cheeks. Everyone redirects their focus to the screen and remains silent for most of the film, only letting out a hearty chuckle at the comedic relief's more important lines e.g. "Fuck you, space faggot!!"
As soon as the cast becomes acquainted with much chagrin, they form an unlikely fellowship and the film hits a very familiar and welcome chord with the paranoia and fear of the unknown that was so arresting in the science-fiction containment odyssey Cube. Predators in fine-print is the rawest nature of Cube injected with Predators only the setting is randomly generated by what could have been a similar engine used in SimCity. This not only creates a new experience from any Predator film we've seen but ultimately makes Predators its own film, not borrowing many likenesses from the sequel and only consisting of nods to the original John McTiernan's action juggernaut and winks to the comics. While the film suffers from the pick-and-kill method of eliminating characters as if they were host to a mundane form of roulette, Predators still features enough surprises to keep your mind vastly entertained. It really doesn't matter if you enjoyed the machismo-ill nature of the original Predator or the street-smart Urban temper tantrum that is Predator 2. If your instinct and taste leads you to either of these two cult favorites then you're in the clear to enjoy the tactful extravaganza that is Predators. If you happen to be a fan of Alien vs. Predator and have no desire to see "boring jungle movies" then you can kindly hit ALT + F4 and do us all a favor.
What you and I doubted about Adrien Brody has been proved to be incorrect. As we'd love to doubt his ability in a science fiction action film, Brody assumes the macho hero role as if he'd been built from the ground up with it. Sure, the body mass in Predator can never be superseded by the cast of Predators but our questionably tasting ethnic marinade is created with Danny Trejo as a monster Mexican degenerate, Topher Grace as a weaselly doctor, and several "can't point my finger on it's" as they pickpocket similar roles or unfamiliar, as if there was an alternative. The way Predators is constructed is quite simple; Antal and Rodriguez takes a formula known to work and installs a nature of gusto into this reprisal as to excite the static youth into admiring something that isn't comparable to Modern Warfare or energy drinks by bringing the war and the energy.
It's been an exciting year for Adrien Brody. This Oscar-winning actor has had 3 different ranges of characters to cover from Predators de facto miniature ass-kicker to Splice's wimpy deviant and finally to The Experiment's struggling musician/activist who gets himself knees deep in Forest Whitaker's shit. Predators is one of those films that struggles to keep the fans happy while sacrificing some of their dignity in the process. There is no doubt in my mind that this may be second or third to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World for pure, unadulterated fun but Predators will be too much for some die hard fans to chew, especially after learning of extraterrestrial boar-beasts being unleashed on our survivors. Predators is its own solemn entity and I appraise its finesse in bringing a new spin on the tale.