For the best of the Horror/Cult/Exploitation film experience
Predators (2010) - (Blu-ray)
Growing up as a kid of the 1980s few action/horror films out there had the impact on me like the film “Predator”. I was a huge Arnold Schwarzenegger fan to begin with but when he was matched up one on one with an alien like creature I had never seen the likes of before, I was blown away. It also didn’t hurt that I was a huge wrestling fan as a kid and the likes of Jesse “The Body” Ventura was also part of the cast. But I have to admit when I first heard the prospects of a new “Predator” film was on the horizon I was excited, but concerned about it. From my years of experience witnessing Hollywood bastardize every film or film franchise I loved as a kid, I wasn’t thinking that anything valuable was going to come out of it. Boy, I can’t tell you how happy I am that I was wrong about that.
“Predators” starts out with lead character Royce (Adrian Brody) basically falling out of the sky with a parachute. Next thing he knows he’s landed right in the middle of a jungle with no idea how he got there or why this is happening to him. He eventually runs into a few other people who had the same experience that he had, only to learn that they are on a game preserve and are being hunted by something. Now the group of soldiers and misfits have to work together to find out exactly what is hunting them and how to kill it before it gets to them.
Considering I’m a fan of the original “Predator” as well as it’s sequel “Predator 2 I was curious to see how they were going to go about this. First off, they had to distance themselves somewhat from the original film. There is nobody in Hollywood now that could pull off the persona that Schwarzenegger did in the original film and I thought this was going to be a problem. But instead they were trying to go for something different here and I appreciate that. I have to admit that I didn’t think Adrian Brody was going to be right for the lead role at all and was simply miscast in the film. But after seeing the movie that wasn’t the case at all and his performance is actually a solid one. The rest of the group was pretty solid in the way it was setup too. Frequent collaborator with director Robert Rodriguez (who is producing here) actor Danny Trejo was one of the actors cast in the crew stuck on the preserve. Although I thought they could have done a lot more with the character itself, I was happy to see Trejo involved who does a good enough job. I was however a bit disappointed to see some of his best stuff end up on the cutting room floor (revealed to us in the special features on the Blu-ray disc). Also veteran television actor Walton Goggins (The Shield) shows up here as Stans (a convicted murderer who was supposed to be executed two days before arriving on the preserve) was also a nice touche. The Stans character is easily one of the most memorable out of the bunch and was a pretty funny (although rough around the edges) character. Former MMA fighter Oleg Taktarov shows up as a Russian soldier and does a fine job. It was also a nice touch to see them have him use the same Gatling gun that Jesse Ventura used in the original film too.
I have to admit that I really enjoyed a lot of the updates the film was able to make due to the current advances in film technology. I thought that the heat sensor that the Predators used in the film were a great upgrade over the ones we saw in the first two Predator installments. Also the introduction of the Super Predator’s were also something that I really enjoyed. Even though I generally dislike CGI in movies I have to say that the Predator attack “dogs” were pretty impressive even if they were computer generated. It was also nice to see them integrate some prosthetic effects as well.
The Blu-ray disc for “Predators” was pretty impressive and it was quite the breath of fresh air to be honest. This is the type of film that people like me are just dying to see how it was made and all of the time and effort that goes into doing it. So when I watched the special features on the BD I was extremely pleased. The BD is packed with special features including some really cool motion comics that explain something’s that appear in the movie and further the story a long a little bit. But the real bread and butter here are the behind the scenes featurettes that are more than worth a watch. These are things that you’ll not only be glad to watch, but you’ll be pleased that you have this stuff to go back and watch time and again.
Overall I enjoyed “Predators” as the only issue I really had with the movie is an ending which I feel is a bit of a cop out and personally I found kind of lazy. Considering that I was going into it expecting it to be a huge disappointment, the ending was a bit of a surprise to me considering how much work and effort went into the rest of the film. But I have to recommend “Predators” as it’s actually a pretty solid effort overall. RECOMMENDED.
Rating - ***
Blu-Ray rating - ***½