Well, its been 20 years since we got a true "Predator" film and a good 23 years since the original blasted its way into awesome film history, but as is the modern way, a reboot of the franchise was in call. Luckily for us, the "Predator" fans, this reboot/sequel is in proper form for the series and not only gives us the badass Predator action we craved, but homages the original one nicely for its 20th birthday.
Royce (Brody) woke up in free fall. As in falling from the sky loaded with guns and a parachute. When he lands in a mysterious jungle, he finds that he's not the only one there. With seven other survivors, including some of the worlds most notorious killers, they figure out that they have been chosen and displaced on this jungle planet as prey. They are being hunted by the ultimate of hunters. Three Predators have set their three dot sights on their hides for trophies. Its up to these survivors to out smart, out survive, and out kill their stalkers and somehow find a way off this deadly planet.
What makes "Predators" the sequel we have been waiting for (for 23 fucking years yo!), is that it gets back to the basics of what made the original one such a riot. In fact, its almost so geared towards the fans that it might alienate some of its modern audience. With dialogue ("Kill me! Come on!"), similar scenes (the stand off between the Yakuza and the Predator mirrors Billy's stand off in the original), and even the score for the film being homages to the original, at times I felt bad for my sister's friend whom went with us because he had never seen the original one. For a huge fan like myself, it was a blast to catch all the little details and moments and this film was made for us. So if you haven't seen "Predator" or haven't watched it in a long time, catch up on it before checking out "Predators" - it makes it that much more enjoyable.
As for the film itself, it sticks to its guns quite religiously. The story is pretty basic and it relies heavily on its characters and action to get through it. Although I could have used a bit more plot and perhaps a bit more explanation that wasn't so surface level (why the hell does Isabelle seem to remember every damn detail of Dutch's encounter with the Predator from the original film in some random report on the spot?) and even a bit more character work that wasn't so vague (I'm still a little confused on what the Doctor was and his relevance to how the film ended),the film still worked its magic around its obvious flaws. Focusing on the survival aspect of the film and the action, it definitely knew it was going to take you for a ride and it did. The action was top notch and the special effects where sick. Who doesn't want to see two Predators go at it for a couple of minutes? Honestly? "Predators" knew what it was and it rarely veered off course.
"Predators" isn't a perfect film, some of the comedic moments were a bit forced for my tastes and the story was a bit too vague, but it did exactly what it wanted to do. Antal used some of his solid vintage style to its potential to bring out the 80s vibe nicely and it makes "Predators" a fun and exciting watch. Definitely rewatch the first films so that you can catch all the fun details of this one or you will be missing out on a big part of what "Predators" worked so well.
BONUS RANT: With as much as they hyped Laurence Fishburne for this movie, his part is rather minuscule. He steals every moment he is on the screen with his crazy and creepy portrayal as a man surviving on the planet but his time on the screen was almost too little. I wanted more! More imaginary friends! More details of how he survived! I could have definitely loved to see his character more fleshed out even though he was still awesome for what he was in the film. Not to mention I was hoping his showdown with the Predator would have been a bigger battle, but I think his fight was supposed to be somewhat black humor-ish so it worked in the end.
Written By Matt Reifschneider