Friday, July 16, 2010

Predators - Review

The long awaited movie event. Predators.
Small side-story - I was running late to the movie theater, so I was hurrying through the streets and as I got closer I began humming to myself "Long tall Sally, she's built sweet, she got everything Uncle John need -- gonna have me some fun, gonna have me some fun...". (small reference to the original Predator movie)

I'm not going to give anything away here and do encourage anyone who liked the original to see this one. By that I'm already giving away that I liked it.

It was a great fun ride throughout. As we knew from the trailer a group of people are kidnapped, put together in a jungle and hunted by the Predators.
All the chosen people were real "characters" and although I didn't like them all it still made for an interesting mix. They did an interesting turn of being similar to the original Predator movie in some ways, but then straying away from it to make this into its own movie. What I liked in particular were the WTF and ho-ly-shit moments because this movie has a lot of them. To be more precise, there are a bunch of reveals and surprises for this group of people as they move along in the jungle and you can somehow share that feeling of discovery and astonishment as they move along. That was the original's strong point. You didn't know what was going on until much later in the game. I won't go into the sequels (Predator 2, AvsP, AvsP-requiem) but suffice to say that they didn't have any of that mystery or charm (the AvsP movies actually didn't have anything to offer at all).
So while the story unfolded you never knew what would pop up next from the bushes.
They also avoided trying to "explain" the Predator-alien any further except that they added a little extra on top, which you will understand after seeing the movie.
It's funny because I was actually worried in the first three minutes of the movie, because I didn't like that they used two elements from the original right away (the music & minigun). But as the story went on it got much better.

I read a critique that was complaining about Adrien Brody as the main lead. I disagree.
First, he's a genuinely good actor, second, he wasn't what I would have expected, which is always nice as a little surprise, and third, to try to imitate Arnold with a muscle packed, macho-one-liner tossing hero would just look ridiculous. Those days are unfortunately over.

I won't be going into the small things that bothered me simply because in a long line of disappointing movie experiences, this one actually delivered and made for a really fun time to watch. And that is a lot to ask for in today's stream of sequels and remakes.

My conclusion is a pat on the back for Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antal for recognizing what it was that made the original fun and unique and how to develop that into a separate new experience.

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