Connect with us
Predators 2010 review
Image: 20th Century Fox

Film

Predators is Halfway to being Pretty Good

The most dangerous killers on the planet… but this is not our planet.

Predators: Fear is Reborn

If it is possible to make a decent sequel to Predator, Predators is around halfway there, and that’s about as close as anyone’s gotten as of this writing. Taking what works about the original and adding some new twists, the film sticks closely to a formula but does so with enough technical and storytelling competence to make it an enjoyable watch…at least as far as the first two-thirds or so are concerned. After a strong start, Nimród Antal’s sequel stumbles at the finish line, dropping in some unneeded late-game elements that ultimately harm the film, which up until that point had been much more focused. The bones of a really good Predator sequel are in there, but some of the meat on top of them has been chewed off a bit off.

Predators takes things back to the basics by setting the action once again in a dense tropical jungle rather than attempting an urban setting a la Predator 2. Our protagonists are once again a group of hardened badasses beset upon by unseen hunters (a trio, this time), and must fight their way to safety. But there’s a twist: this time the prey are a mismatched group of assorted criminals and military types, dropped onto an alien planet after being abducted by the Predators. Adrien Brody plays a hard-bitten, ex-Special Forces guy, Danny Trejo appears as a cartel enforcer, and there’s even a bear-like Spetsnaz guy who carries a minigun around.

Predators
Image: 20th Century Fox

So we’ve got a similar hook to the original, but with a twist — a kind of Cube-esque setup where a group of supposedly qualified strangers are dropped into an insane scenario and have to work their way out of it. And for a while, Predators actually works this angle pretty well. The inter-group dynamics are established early on and largely stuck to, with most of the players having enough of a distinct role and personality to stand out. The film takes its time setting things up, showing remarkable restraint by only revealing the Predators themselves around forty minutes in. The performances are largely good, though the decision to cast Brody against type as a scowling badass never really works. Laurence Fishburne shows up for a great fifteen minutes or so as a crazed survivor of a previous “season,” and his all-too-brief role ends up being one of the most memorable.

However, around the midway point, problems start to spoil the fun. There are several entirely unneeded info dumps, like when Alice Braga’s sniper character basically recounts the events of the first film. We’re meant to believe that she somehow heard about Dutch’s account of what happened to his team, and it would be easier to believe that some random Israeli Defence Forces sniper would have somehow become privy to that information if it really added anything to the narrative. The film starts becoming less efficient, slowing down to explain exactly what’s going on despite the fact that most audience members will know all of it already.

Predators
Image: 20th Century Fox

The script also introduces a Predator vs Predator subplot, wherein a Predator resembling those of the first two movies goes up against one of the sequel’s bigger, scarier new ones. This subplot never really goes anywhere, existing entirely to justify one fight scene that ends fairly quickly. It feels like a plot point that was much more important in an earlier draft, a vestigial idea that got cut down from a major element to something largely superfluous. Beyond a bit of lip service to the original, it really adds nothing, and the movie has enough shout-outs as it is.

These are the kinds of problems you could easily blame on studio interference, a drive to dumb things down and over-explain, and possibly even the Frankensteining of two different scripts together. Whether or not that’s really what happened is ultimately beside the point; what ultimately matters is that Predators loses a lot of focus, becoming much messier by the end. This is actually a real shame because those shortcomings hold the film back from being at least “pretty good.” It was never going to be great, but it had the potential to be a mostly worthy sequel to the original.

Written By

Beginning as a co-host on a Concordia TV film show before moving on to chief film nerd at Forgetthebox.net, Thomas is now bringing his knowledge of pop-culture nerdery to Sordid Cinema. Thomas is a Montrealer born and raised, and an avid consumer of all things pop-cultural and nerdy. While his first love is film, he has also been known to dabble in comics, videogames, television, anime and more. You can support his various works on his Patreon, at https://www.patreon.com/TomWatchesMovies You can also like the Tom Watches Movies Facebook page to see all his work on Goombastomp and elsewhere.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ricky D Fernandes

    September 12, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    I completely forgot this film exists and yet, I remember liking it quite a bit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Facebook

Trending

Anti-War Anti-War

Three Bestselling Anti-War Novels, Three A-List Film Adaptations…Three Flops:  Castle Keep, Catch-22, Slaughterhouse-Five

Culture

Vesper poster Vesper poster

Vesper: Sci-Fi That Thinks Big With Limited Means

Culture

Unforgiven movie review Unforgiven movie review

Unforgiven Ushered the Western into its Afterlife 

Culture

Your Full List of All Upcoming Marvel Movies Your Full List of All Upcoming Marvel Movies

A Full List Of Upcoming Marvel Studios Film And TV Releases

Culture

Robocop 1987 Robocop 1987

RoboCop is a Social Satire That Gets More Relevant With Age

Film

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The 10 Greatest Comic Issues Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The 10 Greatest Comic Issues

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The 10 Greatest Comic Issues

Comics

Nope Nope

Jordan Peele’s Nope Explained: A Spectacle of “Bad Miracles”

Film

Alex's War (2022) Alex's War (2022)

Alex’s War, a Documentary Study of Alex Jones, Misses the Big Picture 

Film

Signs movie review Signs movie review

M. Night Shyamalan Signs Finds Comfort at the End of the World

Film

All Out 2022 Predictions All Out 2022 Predictions

Way Too Early Predictions for All Out 2022

Wrestling

Biography: WWE Legends’ Look at Goldberg is One of the Best Wrestling Documentaries Ever 

TV

Detective vs Sleuths Detective vs Sleuths

Detective vs. Sleuths: Buckle Up for a Bumpy Ride

Culture

Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop 1987 Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop 1987

Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop is an Anti-Fascist Classic 

Film

Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con

Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con 2022: A Full Recap

Culture

High Noon at 70: When Time is of the Essence

Features

Bullet Train movie review Bullet Train movie review

Bullet Train Makes All the Wrong Stops

Culture

Connect