MOVIE: Predators (2010)

Hey, guess what!  This movie doesn’t totally suck!  Will wonders never cease?  Oh, world of wonders, you amaze me so.

I’m not sure exactly what made me want to go see this film.  I’ve seen the original Predator, of course, and while I thought it was a pretty good sci-fi flick, it’s not one I’ve ever sought out again.  But something about the trailer for this one intrigued me.  I’m not sure just what it was, though.  Let me think.  What could it have been?  The special effects?  No. . .  The jungle setting?  Eh, not really. . . The. . . OH WAIT.  I KNOW.

The Adrien Brody!  Humina humina humina.  Despite his ridiculous nose (or possibly because of it — I’m still trying to figure that out), I find Brody insanely sexy, and the rest of the cast piqued my curiosity as well.  It’s a bunch of serious bad-asses (Laurence Fishburn, Danny Trejo, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov) plus. . . Topher Grace?  What the hell is Topher Grace doing in there?

Let’s find out, I said to myself this afternoon when I suddenly found myself downtown with two hours of free time and a twenty-dollar bill burning a hole in my pocket.

The plot of Predators reminded me right away of the sci-fi thriller The Cube, in that it’s about a random group of people with varying skill sets thrown into a dangerous situation and forced to work together to get out alive.  The bulk of the group here is made up of mercenaries and militaries — a soldier from Sierra Leone, one from Chechnya, a member of the Japanese mafia — but they all have different fighting skills.  And then there’s Grace, clearly the odd-man-out — a doctor, and not someone who seems particularly suited for jungle war.

As the group starts exploring the jungle, and themselves, they begin to realize what’s happened.  They’ve all been snatched and then dropped onto a distant planet to serve as entertainment for the aliens I’m just going to call the “Predators,” even though in this movie, that’s a term you could use to describe either team in the game.

As it turns out, the Predators have been capturing creatures from a variety of different worlds (though it seems to be predominantly humans) so they can hunt them for fun.  It’s The Most Dangerous Game, except that the predator this time is a Predator instead of just an advantaged member of the prey.

For the most part, I found this movie pretty successful.  It was the perfect flick for a lazy summer afternoon.  I was entertained, I laughed (not always on purpose, mind you — everything Brody says is hilariously cliché and his delivery is also sort of unintentionally comical as well.  Despite my affection for his various angles, I have to confess he’s not really much of an actor), and I had a good time watching it.  Is it a brilliant film?  Hell no.  Don’t be ridiculous.  And whatever you do, don’t get me started on the gravity issue (fine, you can have your alien planet with its breathable air and identical-to-Earth plants, but really?  You also want me to believe your alien planet has the same mass as Earth?  Stop it.).

But you know what?  Nevermind all that.  If you’re looking for a good summer popcorn flick and you like these sorts of explosiony, bloody, sci-fi monster things, you’ll have a pretty good time at this one, I think.  The aliens are cool AND the director’s first name is NIMROD, which means you get to start out with a laugh before the opening credits have even ended (sorry, Nimrod, but it can’t be helped, sir).  That’s always a plus too.

Recommended for anybody who likes dumb alien movies and/or Adrien Brody’s schnoz.

[Netflix it | View trailer]

Genre: Science Fiction, Action
Cast:  Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo

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9 Responses to “MOVIE: Predators (2010)”

  1. Haidee Says:

    thank you. I shall go see it tomorrow.

  2. Kerri Says:

    It’s definitely because of the nose that Adrien Brody is attractive, not in spite of it. Without that particularly huge schnoz he’d just look odd.

  3. Liz Says:

    I think he looks odd anyway! 🙂

    That “Cube” plot device shows up all over the place! It does work, though (those “Cube” movies were good, although weird), and this sounds like another good use of it. There’s a TV show this summer which I immediately “glommed” onto, called “Persons Unknown” which is based on exactly that premise. It’s already been moved to Sat. night, so you know not a lot of people are watching it. Phooey!

    I didn’t realize Danny Trejo (an under-appreciated actor IMHO) and Walton Goggins are also in this movie! I’m looking forward to it.

  4. Trip Says:

    Just back from Inception, and I’m pleased to report that it, too, does not suck…in fact, it’s pretty much the opposite of suck.

    It’s got a clever script, a great cast, some undoubtedly Oscar-winning editing, and a cool sense of style.

    It’s very much an ensemble film – Leo is the star, but the rest of the cast have as much interesting screen time as well. It invents its own principles and sticks to them religiously. Some neat-o ideas and a few WOW-inducing scenes, particularly the zero-gravity action ones, which made me genuinely giggle with delight.

    Definitely worth full price and perhaps a second viewing to appreciate the work that’s gone into it.

  5. megwood Says:

    Just got back from Inception myself and am absolutely BONKERS about it. My god, utterly brilliant. Review soon!

  6. Jo Says:

    Since Trip already hijacked the discussion, I’m just going to add my LOVED IT Inception comment here. We saw it in IMAX which was a bit overwhelming. I wouldn’t mind seeing it again on a smaller screen so I can take it all in.

  7. Trip Says:

    Well let me just (un-? re-?)hijack the thread by saying that Danny Trejo is starring in another Robert Rodriguez film called Machete, which is apparently due out in September.

    The guy’s been a stock villain/token sidekick in so many movies, I’m glad to see him get his own for once. I mean, check out his resume on IMDB, the guy’s done more movies than Alan Smithee.

  8. megwood Says:

    Yep, saw the trailer for Machete at Predators. Love Trejo! Total bad-ass.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that originally, Machete was one of the “fake trailers” that was created for Tarantino’s Grindhouse. Right?

  9. Liz Says:

    Meg – you may be right! And I THINK it has dear old Lindsay Lohan in it!

    Trip – don’t worry about “hijacking” – I’m sure I speak for all when I say we love your comments.

    Also, Danny Trejo was in the remake of “Halloween,” and was, as I recall, quite sympathetic – until he got unceremoniously “mushed” by Michael Myers. And BTW, in the AWFUL remake of “Halloween II” (Rob Zombie, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?), did you catch “Weird Al Yankovic, name-dropping “Mike Myers,” of “SNL” and “Austin Powers” fame – can you say ANACHRONISM?

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