Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Predators - Dir. Nimrod Antal

Before you go to see ‘Predators,’ one thing you must remember is that in this reconstructed universe, the awful ‘Alien vs Predator’ films and the equally as bemusing ‘Predator 2’ (set in downtown Los Angeles of all places) does not exist. Producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimrod Antal (‘Kontroll’, ‘Vacancy’) have decided to cut out the below-par spin-offs and sequel and give the original 1987 film a commendable follow-on, which fans of the original will no doubt enjoy. Yet, the irony comes in the form that despite Antal attempting to provide depth to the series, it only serves to detract from the films actual purpose – to show the visual representation of humans and alien beings taking part in explosive action sequences.

All of a sudden there was a light, as eight human beings land in the middle of a game preserve, disorientated, annoyed and becoming increasingly agitated, they soon find that their day’s going to get just that little bit more stressful as they realise that they’re the hunted, not the hunters. And those committed to the act of hunting the hunted, are an evolved race of aliens simply known as the Predators, whose primary abilities revolve around their advanced alien technology providing dangerously vicious weapons and heavily protective armour, essentially rendering them as almost perfect killing machines. But this isn’t nearly two hours of watching humans being stalked before their spinal cordz becomes part of a trophy exhibit, as those chosen to be part of this game are all hardened killers and criminals. The mysterious Royce, played by a brilliant Adrian Brody, is a US Special Forces soldier who takes centre stage as the no-nonsense taking, cliché-speaking loner who only has one goal; to get away from their current location. While IDF sniper Isabelle (Alice Braga) is the yin to Royce’s yang, as she constantly refuses to put her morals and ethics aside when it comes to the tough decisions, creating a stage of tension outside the confines of the confrontation with the alien beings. Alongside Royce is an Russian soldier (Oleg Taktarov), a Mexican enforcer (Danny Trejo), a US Death Row inmate (Walton Gobbins), a RUF officer (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), a Yakuza member (Louis Changchien), and the seemingly odd-one-out in an American doctor called Edwin (Topher Grace).

While ‘Predators’ is beautifully shot by cinematographer Gyula Pados, and contains a well-written script filled to the rim with plenty of grin-silently-to-yourself-one-liners, it’s fatal flaw is reminiscent in the fact that Antal is torn between creating a film in the same sci-fi action-packed vein as the original ‘Predator’ film, and one that contains the visual flair and character development which is more apt to film that may act as the beginning to a trilogy or further motion pictures. Because of this, instead of concentrating upon the actual battle between the two sets of predators, the film is more concerned with developing a back-story and plot which just isn’t visible nor is it viable. The screen time of the actual alien beings pales in comparison to sequences of the eight hardened criminals trudging through overgrown shrubbery as they constantly try to gain their bearings, and this detracts away from the giddy, enjoyable nature of the original film. Aside from this however as mentioned, the performances are on-form, the is script short, but sharp and witty, and the shooting and subsequent editing create a competent and worthy sequel to the John McTiernan’s 1987 original ‘Predator’ film.
blog comments powered by Disqus