Actually, to call this film a ‘remake’ or a ‘reboot’ of the original “Predator” released 23 years prior is semantically wrong. However, it does feel like it was a reboot and given the unfavorable percentage of failed remakes, reboots, prequels, or whatever, I was naturally exasperated when the project was announced. This film, however, is a proper sequel and for me, as I re-watched the original “Predator” immediately after this film, there is a noticeable lesser suspense from it than its original and I just can’t stop myself from staring at Mr.Brody’s beak-like nose up to a point where it became a nuisance. But that’s just me.
In summary, I enjoyed the first act but significantly less so afterwards.
“Predators” opens quite nicely, actually. It sets the mood of an unknown peril and promises a pleasant and gripping adventures ahead. We see Mr.Brody suddenly awaken as he was free falling. He then frantically tries to open his parachute. It opens narrowly as he crashes into the foliage and the ground below. Title appears, and at this point I was just slightly amused with Mr.Brody’s nose. Soon after he crash landed, Mr.Brody quickly acquainted with the rest of the ‘crew.’ A russian soldier equipped with a gatling gun, an Israeli woman equipped with a sniper rifle, a Mexican gangster, a Japanese yakuza, and others. There are in total eight strangers thrown away together in almost the same manner as the other, oblivious to what, where or why they were suddenly air-dropped into a forest unlike they’ve seen before (1). But of course, you who claimed to have a hobby watching films wouldn’t have to guess.
When it was announced that Robert Rodriguez produced this film, I was immediately giving the project the benefit of doubts. Sure, his works were for me, polarizing but at least he had worked on films he _really_ cared about. That, in itself, is a commendable quality and at the very least, the end results wouldn’t be insulting. And then, Nimród Antal sets to direct with Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Adrian Brody, and heck, Danny Trejo boarded the wagon. On paper, this alone looks very promising as Mr.Antal’s previous works has been in some way or the other brimming with potentials.
For me, the problem with “Predators” was as if I had watched two separate films. The first act, where the misfits ‘crew’ get acquainted with one another, trying to know each other and at the same time, recognizing their surrounding in order to probe to what they were dealing with, shows what Antal could do to invoke its audiences’ curiosity. He timed his shots deliberately, slowly but not too long, as he reveals the ‘secrets’ of the ‘game’ in which the ‘crew’ was a significant part of. In fact, for me, the _best_ action sequence of the film came from this act and it has nothing to do with the nemesis.
The second act is when the ‘crew’ finally gets face to face with the nemesis. Though it still manages to provide a gripping sensation and a commendable trigger-happy sequence that was eerily looked like the one in the original “Predator,” it does seems to me that at this point, Antal was slightly confused on whence he’s going to take this film. On one hand, he tries to piqued our curiosity by concealed the nemesis for as long as possible but on the other, he knows that we’ve already known what the nemesis looked like and therefore concealing it for a bit longer would only made us grow more impatient. Well, at least, I was impatient. Thus, when he decides to reveal the nemesis, the end result was, for me, underwhelming. At this point, I was started to get disturbed by Mr.Brody’s nose.
The third act was even more fell apart that even Mr.Fishburne’s manic performance wasn’t able to coax the dreaded feeling that I’ve been brooded since the second act. I wouldn’t say much, but the third act, specifically the one-on-one final battle in the original “Predator” was _far_ more thrilling than in this film. And there’s that whole business about the character ‘twist’ (2). And at this point, Mr.Brody’s nose has become a nuisance.
My rating: *1/2 / **** I loved the first act, but the rest of the film doesn’t hold that well. I was particularly disappointed with the character ‘twist’ and the obligatory one-on-one battle at the end of the film. Loved: Mr.Fishburne’s manic performance, and most of first act. Not-So-Much-Loved: Almost entire third act. Hated: The ‘twist.’
(1) There’s actually a curious plot-hole related to this forest thingy. It probably just me, but right from this very moment, I wasn’t as interested to the film as I was before.
(2) It wasn’t really a proper twist, and I don’t feel like it belongs to the overall film. I was highly annoyed when the ‘twist’ was revealed.