Predators (2010)

Predators (2010)

Predators (2010)

By Patrick Samuel

As a long time fan of the sci-fi genre and of course Predators, I was lucky enough to catch this at a press screening last night in London’s West End. From the opening scene with Royce (Adrian Brody) freefalling through the sky and landing in the jungle, followed by the opening titles, I knew it was going to be an adrenalin fuelled movie on par with the previous entries in the series (original included).

Directed by Nimród Antal, produced by Robert Rodriguez and starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Laurence Fishburne, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali and Derek Mears, the story follows Royce who is stranded on an alien planet with 7 others (cold-blooded killers – mercenaries, Yakuza, convicts, death squad members, and a disgraced physician). They come to realise that their training, knowledge and desire to survive is no match for the Predators who are hunting them for sport. Royce is an aloof and reluctant leader who looks out for himself, but he soon learns that in order to fight the monsters, he must find his humanity, something he finds difficult since he also considers himself something of a monster too.

One of the strong points with Predators is that by casting Brody in the role of Royce, they made a conscious decision not to carbon copy Dutch (Schwarzenegger) from the original 1987 movie. In many ways, it would have been a much simpler movie had The Rock or Vin Diesel been cast, but Brody brings a credible conflict to his character and for Royce, adds something interesting to his human nature which unfolds during the course of the movie.

“Today’s soldiers look like me,” comments Brody. “Movies today have changed a bit and are more rooted in reality. Soldiers are not super-human. I think that’s part of what attracted me to this. I wanted to create a flawed and tragic hero for the film. Royce is essentially a loner. In a sense, that’s his great strength as a killer and his great weakness as a human being. In this piece, he is effectively asked to make a choice to lead people and care about those people – things he has convinced himself will get him killed or, at the very least he will be constitutionally incapable of doing. So we essentially liked the idea of creating a character who had to make a choice that ran counter to his basic and inherent character”.

The subtle nods to the previous movies are all there too, even the dictum from AVP (2004) “the enemy of my enemy” but quickly followed by “that doesn’t make it your friend” from Isabelle (Alice Braga). If you look closely you may even spot a couple of Alien skeleton heads, or at least they bear an uncanny resemblance to them!

On set with Predators (2010)

On set with Predators (2010)

A mention has to be made on the soundtrack as well, which in parts felt very 80’s inspired with; slowly building the eerie atmosphere of the planet. For the action sequences we have full orchestrated sounds with strings, percussion and horns headed by composer John Debney which heighten the tension and thrill of the chase to the point where I found myself gripping the hand-rests of my chair!

One of the standout scenes in the movie comes as the 8 team members approach a canyon and look on disbelief. Up until that point they thought they were on Earth, the camera pulls back and we then see what they see. The horizon with the alien sky and half-destroyed orbiting planets above. There was however one scene I was quite looking forward to which is in the trailer but sadly not in the movie. This is when Royce is the jungle at night and the Predator locks on his location with the red lasers, and suddenly over a dozen other Predator lights lock onto him too. I assume this was changed because it would have meant that there were more than 3 Predators there for the hunt. I also would have liked to have seen what other creature inhabited the planet, but in a way am glad they avoided too much off this or it could have looked liked Avatar!

All in all, Predators was a thrilling ride and reminded me of how I felt when I first watched Jurassic Park as a youngster at the cinema. I had no idea what was coming next and it felt great! Definitely a movie I will add to my Blu-ray collection when it comes out to own. Certainly a movie I will watch for many years to come during my sci-fi nights at my house! I do hope they follow it up with another one because I am sure this will have fans hungry for more!

Static Mass Rating ★★★★★

Predators is released on 8th July in the UK. For more details:
Official Movie Site
Official UK Fanpage

The Predators Legacy
New Pedators Images