Monday, 5 July 2010
FILM REVIEW: PREDATORS
20th Century Fox
Predators – a sequel of sorts to the Predator films which began in the '80s with Arnie in a South American jungle facing off with an almost invisible foe; an alien designed to hunt and kill – had the potential to be a guilty pleasure, especially given director Robert Rodriguez's involvement.
But any hopes of a rip-snorting action film to match the spine-ripping action of the said aliens is soon dashed. Wit is not the forte of the writers, Alex Litvik and Michael Finch, and nor is character; here a rag tag bunch of soldiers, crims and transgressors, ranging from the US, Chechnya, Mexico, Africa and Japan. Then again, the predator doesn't have much of a personality either, only ever emoting when he's not happy.
These eight have been transported to another planet where they become the prey in an unpleasant game of cat and mouse devised by a group of these aliens. Royce (Adrien Brody), a mercenary for hire, becomes their unofficial leader but Brody, a fine actor who has an Oscar (for The Pianist), and deservedly so, failed to convince me as an action tough guy, he's certainly no Arnie. And his Christian Bale-Dark Knight grumble doesn't help his cause.
Naturally the team of eight are picked off one by one and it's disappointing that even with Rodriguez's involvement, it's the black man and the Mexican who cop it in the neck first (and no surprises who survives).
I'm not sure that the Predator franchise required a reboot; I'd have thought that the Alien V Predator films were the final nail in that coffin. Then again, Ridley Scott is planning two prequels to his classic Alien film, so anything he can do they can do cheaper and faster.
We also seem to be experiencing, for better or worse (worse in my opinion), a return to 1980s TV and film as a source of “inspriration” for studio films. Predators, like most of these other reboots, in not inspired.