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Predators

Predators

By Patrick Samuel • August 4th, 2010
Static Mass Rating: 5/5
PREDATORS (CINEMA)

Release Date: July 8th, 2010
Certificate: 15
Running Time: 106 minutes

Director: Nimród Antal

Cast: Danny Trejo, Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Laurence Fishburne, Alice Braga, Derek Mears, Walton Goggins, Brian Steele, Carey Jones, Oleg Taktarov, Louis Ozawa Changchien

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.

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.

Predators (2010)

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!

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!

Predators (2010)

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!

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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