I can just imagine the Hollywood pitch meeting: “Okay, so, we open on Adrien Brody falling from the sky. He’s asleep, then he wakes up in a panic, because he’s… falling.” SOLD!
Producer Robert Rodriguez was originally set to direct this Predators rehash until he got caught up with his soon-to-be-released Machete (which looks like a riot), before passing off the duties to Nimrod Antal. But Rodriguez made one thing clear: this new film was to take place after the first and second Predator films, and completely ignore Alien vs. Predator and Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem. Wise choice.
What we’re left with is one hell of a jumpstarted first act, followed by standard action fare. A slew of badasses (mercenaries, criminals, mob members, gang leaders, etc.) are mysteriously dropped in a random jungle, completely unaware of what or where or why they are there. Soon the gang, led by a perfectly miscast Adrien Brody, discovers they are being hunted, or “preyed,” by some seriously savage beasts.
You know where this is going.
The gang will slowly be picked off one by one in increasing more gruesome ways. By the end, there will undoubtedly be a mano-a-mano showdown between human and predatory beast. But that’s not the fun part, is it.
The best aspect of this relaunch is the ballsy casting of Brody. The youngest lead actor to ever win an Oscar is best known for his subtle vulnerability. But I can’t tell you how much fun it is to see a him ridiculously beefed-up, with a gravely Christian Bale-Batman voice, kicking some serious predator ass. Kudos to the producers for giving him a chance to play against-type.
The rest of the film? Eh. Much in the way of Salt, this movie ends abruptly and with far too many questions open. But given the film’s better-than-expected box office returns, we might see Bordy suit up again faster than expected. C-