A group of eight strangers are mysteriously dropped onto a foreign planet in the middle of a jungle. They soon realize they were all brought there as part of a hunter/prey type game where they are obviously the ones being hunted. When they finally discover who (or what ) is after them, the ultimate cat and mouse game begins.
After all of the sequels that came from the PREDATOR films, including the ones involving the aliens from the ALIEN franchise, I was hesitant to expect too much from this film. However, once it was revealed that Adrien Brody, Topher Grace and Laurence Fishburne were attached, all hope was restored. This film gives a new boost to the PREDATOR franchise by adding the element of humans back into the mix. One of the best things about the original film was how the human characters reacted to being hunted by a more advanced species, and, thankfully, PREDATORS went back to that formula. Although Robert Rodriguez is really just the producer, we have him to thank for reviving this classic series.
Adrien Brody is by far and away the best part about this film. After seeing him in so many dramatic roles, it was really strange (but refreshing) to see him play a tough, ex-government soldier turned mercenary. His calm expressions made his characters aggressive nature that much more intense and he completely commanded the screen. This film would have not been nearly as good or exciting without him in the lead. The supporting cast also did a decent job with a surprisingly good performance from Alice Braga. She played a really tough character but was able to make us believe that she still had a heart even though she was also a hard-core soldier who has made more than one kill in her career. She’ll be one to keep an eye out for in the future.
The one major flaw with PREDATORS is that fact that it was very, very similar to the original. It was good that they brought back the human vs. predator relationship because that is just a better story, but there wasn’t really anything different. Human is hunted by Predator, human decides they don’t like to be the prey but the hunter, human finds a way to kill the Predator through some crazy scheme because Predator has advanced technology. Sure, there are some fun and exciting new ways to kill a predator and Nimrod Antal gave those to us, but really this is just another horror film sequel where the serial killer comes up with a new twisted torture method (SAW, anyone?). Maybe we could get some more development in the Predator species. They had a good chance to move forward with this concept when they explained that there were two kinds of Predators that had a long time feud, but then they went nowhere with it.
In general, PREDATORS was a fun revisit to the franchise but offered nothing new for audiences. I’m glad they brought it back to what the films used to be, instead of the ridiculousness of PREDATORS VS. ALIENS, but I think they can do so much more. And I’m sure they will, because PREDATORS left us with the ultimate sequel set-up.
Video (2.35:1 Widescreen) Not a bad transfer although there were a lot of dark scenes that were a bit grainy, hard to get a really clean image when there is so much infrared used in the film.
Audio (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) Clear dialogue and levels were good.
Commentary by Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antal: These guys are fun to listen to and really keep the conversation going. It’s very obvious they have a good rapport and are buddies so they have a lot of stuff to talk about. Of course there are some slow parts where they are enthralled with their own film but that’s to be expected. This is one of those commentaries that is worth the watch.
Robert Rodriguez presents exclusive prequel vignettes voiced by the cast of PREDATORS. Witness the secret adventures that turned our world’s most ruthless killers into the ultimate predator prey. (8:45): This is a prequel done through comic book style filming broken down into short segments. It was interesting because we learned a little more about the characters and how they developed into their final versions in the actual film. It’s short and worth watching.
Evolution of the species: Predators reborn (40:12): This is also broken down into separate segments starting with how the franchise began, location scouting and the concept of having killers become the prey. There are a lot of movie clips sprinkled throughout these featurettes but the information is still fun to listen to. Lots of interviews from the behind the scenes players including some cast input.
The Chosen (4:52): A complete fluff piece full of movie clips and special effects, it appears to be an extended trailer.
Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making a Scene (7:06): Typical making of featurette, what is surprising is that it is so short. There are some cast and crew interviews, but none of the major players (except for Antal) are included in the interviews. Skip this and just watch the Evolution of the species featurettes.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (11:21): These didn’t really add anything to the advancement of the story but it did give a little more in the character development department. I do feel bad for Danny Trejo though, because several of his scenes were in this section.