Dave White
Predators Review

Dave's Rating:

4.0

Adrien vs. Predator

Who's In It: Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, Lois Ozawa Changchien, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali

The Basics: More people--not a team of commandos this time, instead they're angry strangers with reputations as very efficient killing machines--are dumped into an immediately violent new jungle (different planet, in fact, so even if they win they still lose, sort of like being the lone survivor in a human centipede but then remembering that you're still the middle segment) with upgraded Predators. You can call them Mega-Predators if you like because that's what I did. Anyway, is that what kind of B-movie you wanted? I'm going to speak for everyone right now, presumptuous though it may be, and say "Yes. That's exactly what I wanted."

What's The Deal: The original movie, the Arnold one, had a reason to exist. It was a metaphorical Vietnam War revisionism/Cold War anxiety/masculinity crisis sci-fi slasher movie with invisible monsters, whether they planned it that way or not. This one has no point but gunfire, spinal cord removals, twisty moments that I won't spoil, splattery gore, poison plants as plot points, multi-horned, lizard-like Predator pups, cleverly inverted references to Scarface and awesome Yakuza-vs-Predator samurai fights. And it's the most direct sequel to the first two Predator movies, as one character recounts that story for you on screen in case you never saw it before and another character announces that, if he ever gets out of there alive, that he's "gonna do so much %#@&ing cocaine, man." It has no real new thoughts in its head but it updates all the old thoughts into a slimy new package just fine.

Let's Assume That Adrien Brody Was No One's First Choice: Like you think he was even one of their top five on the wish list? Probably not, Oscar be darned. But he's kind of awesome here anyway, grunty-whispering like Christian Bale as Batman, turning all emotion down to stone-cold nothing and then, to justify all those months with the trainer, making sure he got his "Check out how sick ripped I am" mud-covered-torso moment.

Best Entrance Of The Year Award: Laurence Fishburne arrives when you least expect him and sort of bounces his way into the movie with a big "Ta-Daaa!" To describe it in more detail more would be cheating you out of good times.

And Now That We Can All Forget About The Cruddy AVP Dead-End Detours: I vote they bring back post-ruining-California Arnold for whatever the next sequel is. It would be appropriate, I think, if they just called it Predatorses.

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