I don’t expect this to prove to be universally true, but for me, Predator is the perfectly paced movie. The story has a rhythm to it that means I can pretty much watch that movie on a continuous loop (and have done so in the past).
After action movies of the 80s where Arnie would always kick arse, it was refreshing to see a movie where the action heroes had it handed to them on a plate. It was essentially G.I. Joe vs Aliens, and I loved that premise.
The predator has remained my favourite movie monster ever since – something about those facial mandibles. I’ve even had chance to talk to some of the people who designed it over the years (including the late Stan Winston).
The Aliens Vs Predator movies never seemed to have enough alien or predator action in them so when I heard about Predators, I was excited.
The premise is pretty simple – The world’s best killers are rounded up and put on a game preserve planet for the predators to hunt. But what I liked about this movie, in a slight twist at one point, is that the killers decide to go after the predators.
It has many of the elements I loved about the original – the jungle setting, the cast getting knocked off one by one, vague references to the original Predator, heck even the mini-gun (officially the greatest movie weapon ever made).
Unusually, you never learn the names of the vast majority of characters (or if we did it was very quick and I missed it) and that can make you disconnect with them slightly. Still, it did feel odd, cheering a serial rapist as he decides to jump a predator. And perhaps that’s the problem. There’s nothing likeable about these characters. They’ve all done terrible things, why should we care that the predators knock them off?
Adrien Brody makes an interesting action hero that retains some of Arnie’s traits but gives it a slightly different twist. I’m not a huge Brody fan, but he is good in this. Topher Grace was the one who surprised me, putting in a very subtle but effective performance.
Look, I doubt this movie will win a lot of critical acclaim, but as a popcorn movie sequel to the original Predator, it does it very very well and I found it thoroughly enjoyable.