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Predators Does Not Re-Invent Anything

Directed by Nimrod Antal
Written by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch
Fox, 2010

I guess the formula for Alien and its sequel Aliens seems like a pretty easy idea to execute.  I mean, after all, how hard could it be to just drop some badasses into an alien world, and then have even nastier badasses come into the picture and start picking them off?  Really, it must be thought that this kind of film becomes good by using that very bare-bones study of those two movies.  And that’s what Predators is.  It’s like the guy who came out of Aliens gave you a quick summary of what happens without giving too much detail on characters or the building of suspense, and then you decide to make a movie based off that guy’s summary.

Added to that is the fact that the character of the Predator just seems more like an asshole than a menacing creature.  The Alien, at its heart, is just another wild animal coming to defend its territory, killing for survival.  The Predator, on the other hand, has this machine-like Terminator-type structure.  It’s a hunter, but only because it likes hunting.  Predators are dicks.  And despite having a menacing mouth all the better to eat you with, it uses energy bursts and shit to kill people.  The original Predator, despite not being a huge hit back in 1987, became a beloved staple of my generation, those who lived their teens in the nineties.  It succeeds mainly because that film really does take a page from the Alien/Aliens saga and makes you care a little bit about the characters, has 80’s era Arnold Schwarzenegger at the peak of his badassness, and makes it very personal by film’s end.  And since, the Predator franchise has endured a horrible sequel, two battles with Aliens that were a couple of the worst films of the last decade, and now this so-called re-invention, complete with producer Robert Rodriguez’s approval.

The film drops menacing killers Adrien Brody (Royce), Alice Braga (Isabelle), Danny Trejo (Cuchillo), Walton Goggins (Stans), Oleg Taktarov (Nikolai), Mahershalalhashbaz Ali (Mombasa), Louis Ozawa Changchien (Hanzo), and the biggest menacing killer of all time, Topher Grace (Edwin) into a multi-cultural Most Dangerous Game, involving two different kinds of Predators and some pets.  Dudes just be fallin’ from the sky and gettin’ they asses in trouble as soon as they land.  The Predators have set up all sorts of traps on their home planet to hunt men, the most devastating killers in the universe.  And eventually these people are going to have to be resigned to the fact that Adrien Brody knows everything, and they’ll just have to follow his advice.

Laurence Fishburne shows up briefly, much like Samuel L. Jackson did in Deep Blue Sea.

This film is colossally bad and wrong.  The weakness of the Predators is…themselves.  The two warring factions apparently disagree about the whole human-hunting thing.  See, some Predators just want peace.  They were born with those disgusting, scary mouths so they could eat carrots all day and kiss Barbies.  Or maybe their disagreement has something more to do with the fact that one is big, and the other is small.  The larger Predators are always playing Randy Newman’s “Short People” at full blare into the other camp, and that just stings, man.  You don’t know how it is growing up as a pipsqueak Predator, enduring insults about your mom and how she likes to lie with circus midgets.

Ultimately, here it goes: it’s not suspenseful, scary, or entertaining on almost any level.

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