Movie Review: ‘Predators’ Rebooted But Is It Recharged?

24 Jul

If your looking to get your socks blown off by some fantastical upgrade in Predators, directed by Nimród Antal, it just won’t happen.  In this quasi-sequel (it’s not really a reboot) to the 1987 original film Predator, no matter how things change they more they remain the same. The only main change are the eight new stereotypical characters running through the jungle together.

Adrien Brody is the new Schwarzenegger, named Royce, replete with major abs. You can tell Brody worked his ass off, I mean chest off to get this part. What a transformation! The remaining seven are Edwin (Topher Grace) the one who ‘doesn’t belong in this picture’. Not the film itself, just the odd man out. Isabelle (Alice Bragga), the token female who can also kick some ass, Stans (Walter Boggins) the typical loose canon of any bunch, Chuchillo (played by Danny Trejo) who I think is in every action movie ever made (by Robert Rodriguez at least, he produced the film), Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchein) the sword wielding Asian dressed in a suit, Mombasa (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali) the African renegade, and last but not least, Nikolai, the token Russian, (played by Oleg Takterov, who usually portrays the bad guy but in this flick he’s actually a sweetheart). It’s the United Nations of trained killers plunked down on a mysterious island.

Soon they learn they are actually the ‘game’ on this wild island preserve. Cue commentary from each character formulating their predicament and what they should do. Next, the pick off. You know people will die. It is just who goes first and who ends up surviving and what kind of tactics they use to survive.

That my friends is the movie is a nutshell.  The only advances in Predators are new Predators and their pets. I won’t say anymore.

The performances from the cast were standard all around, nothing Oscar worthy.  Because this film is a sequel to the much loved ‘tough-guy-action-let’s-blow-stuff-up-movie’ with Mr. Ahhhnold, I can see why they are in talks for yet another sequel.  I won’t lie, I watch Predator every time it comes on cable. But how many times can we watch tactically trained humans run around getting killed off by the same butt ugly alien and still find it fun and unique?

Hollywood needs to learn when to let go. Between Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990), Alien vs Predator (2004), Alien vs Predator: Requiem (2007), Predators (2010) and now another in the probable works…I smell the stench of Friday the 13th all over  this. Oh yea, but the sweet perfume of mo’ money from remakes covers up the smell of a dead horse. I forgot. (Wink.) If you didn’t know or care to count, there have been 12 ‘Friday the 13th’ movies made.

Regardless of how snarky my metaphor sounds, I still enjoyed the film.

Rated: R

Running time: 107 minutes

Rating: 7/10

Originally written for Open Book Society.

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