Movie Review: Predators

Predators 1 Movie Review: Predators

Never underestimate the small pleasures of a well-made B-movie. Predators is something of a sequel to the classic Arnold action flick from 1987. The macho mix of Alien and Rambo was a box office smash and spawned a sequel and a ton of spinoffs. Predators gets back to basics, set in the jungle, with some well-staged action scenes and a heaping helping of gore. Adrien Brody (miscast, but amusing) takes over the role of the leader of the gang, this time, it’s mercenaries, criminals, and an out of place doctor. Brody brings his sensitive method acting down a notch and growls his lines like Christian Bale in need of a ludens cough drop. Although seemingly miscast from the get-go, he does a servicable job and even gets to quote Hemmingway in one amusing sequence.

The group of warriors is dropped onto some distant planet and hunted by the Predator creatures. The whole planet turns out to be a game perserve and the human hunters turn out to be the hunted. There’s a slow build-up to the action and bloodshed and the film is nicely directed by Nimrod Antal. Much like Neil Marshall, Antal is turning into a master of the B-movie genre. He previously directed the Hungarian flick Kontroll, before coming to America and directed the tightly paced horror flick Vacancy. There’s some fun action and a ton of beheadings for gorehounds. There’s also a fun cameo from Morpheus (aka Laurence Fishbourne) that comes out of nowhere. Bloated and hammy, he’s not taking the film too seriously, the right attitude for a movie like Predators. There’s also a fun mano a mano sword fight between a Yakuza gang member and one of the predator creatures.

Effectively directed with style to spare by Nimrod Antal and fairly well-acted and paced, Predators is a nice surprise and a worthy followup to the original 1987 classic. While not in the same league, it’s light years better than Predator 2 or the various off-shoots of the franchise and comes recommended. It’s not a classic, but it’s a fun way to burn two hours in the a/c and stay out of the heat.

Grade: B

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