365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About

15Jun/110

Predators (2010)

My oh my, Adrien Brody, what has become of your career? Since winning the Best Actor Academy Award in 2002 for his role as Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist and then starring in The Village (2004), the under-appreciated The Jacket (2005) and the blockbuster remake King Kong (2002),  Brody has then gone on to star in such complete box office failures as Hollywoodland (2006 - $14.3 million box office revenue), The Darjeeeling Limited (2007 - $11.7 million), Cadillac Rechttp://www.bryanbuser.com/365moviesbyday/wp-admin/options-permalink.phpords (2008 $8.1 million), and The Brothers Bloom (2008 - $3.5 million). In 2010 Brody had five movies set for release. Two of those films have been completed, but have since been shelved. A third (The Experiment) went straight to DVD. A fourth (Splice) made just $17 million at the box office. The fifth, Predators, grossed $52 million, but would have earned that money regardless of Brody's presence.

Predators is the 4th "sequel" of 1987's action packed Arnold Schwarzenegger Predator, although two of the first three of those were part of the Alien vs Predator cash cow. Predators tries to get back to some of the basics of the original. A group of eight strangers awake to find themselves parachuting into the middle of the jungle of some unknown planet. They do not know who each other are nor how they got there. Royce (Brody) is ex-military as are Isabelle (Alice Braga - I Am Legend,  The Rite) and Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov - Righteous Kill, Miami Vice).  Though they should all be scared out of their minds, each handles it their own way. Royce tries to act all cool and collected, not wanting to be bothered by the others though he knows it's in his best interest for the group to stay together. "You can follow me if you want." Also among the group of eight are a convict (Walton Goggins - The Shield) and science nerd Topher Grace (Traffic, In Good Company). Laurence Fishburne (Higher Learning, Boyz n the Hood) also has an extended scene in this movie. If you wondered, like me, why Brody agreed to this movie, you'll also be scratching your head as to why Fishburne wasted his time playing a character that is only used to explain a storyline that you really don't care about.

Part of the problem with Predators is they make it far too complicated and far too unbelievable. As I've stated in many review, I don't always mind unbelievable in a movie if a movie doesn't try to be believable and unbelievable at the same time. Predators tries to develop its characters, show human emotion, and make the characters as real as possible while also trying to showcase the Predators (the real stars of the show). As a result, you'll find yourself laughing at the dialog and terrible acting as much as you will appreciating the action. And while the action is, at times, good, it is also seemed very, very pointless to me. For example, if the Predators have the ability to blow humans up with a laser gun attached to a shoulder, then way are they engaging in sword fights or hand to hand combat with the humans they are aiming to destroy. Also, the back story of why certain Predators are killing other Predators is pointless. As an audience we don't care. We don't want to see the characters turn on each other. Nor do we want to see the Predators kill each other off. We want to see the Predators kill the people or the people kill the Predators.

This movie was out to make a quick buck and it shows. It's another example of the lack of original ideas in Hollywood right now. Rather than coming up with something new, sequels and reboots have become the norm. This movie takes place over the course of, at most, two days. During that period Brody's character changes from a cold, almost callous, warrior who cares only about himself to this man who would risk his life for a complete stranger. I'm curious why director Nimrod Antal (Vacancy, Armored) would even try to develop these characters. It just goes to show that a combination of a terrible plot, horrible character development, well below average acting, and poor directing can piggyback a once proud and original movie all the way to the bank.

This movie falls into the horror genre, but it is by no means a horror. Of course it falls into the action and adventure genre too, but the action is mostly boring and the adventure non-present. This movie is terrible and it further ruins the reputation of the original Predator. If you don't want to tarnish your impression of the 1987 film, stay away from Predators.

Plot 1/10
Character Development 0/10
Character Chemistry 1/10
Acting 1/10
Screenplay .5/10
Directing 1/10
Cinematography 8/10
Sound 1/10
Hook and Reel 4/10
Universal Relevance 0/10
17.5%

 

Wladyslaw Szpilman
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