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Predatorstuff Reviews the new Predators Movie!

July 12th, 2010

Good morning boys and girls, welcome to my soap box, my pile of pennies, my verbalicious review of the new Predators movie that was released in theaters on Friday, July 9th 2010. I had my daughter over this weekend so I was unable to catch the film on opening night but I finally made it out last night and I am ready to spew forth my thoughts on the movie, just in case you were wondering what I thought.

Predators is currently rated at 65% on the tomatometer over at www.rottentomatoes.com, which is a hell of a lot better than Alien vs Predator (21%) and Alien vs Predator Requiem (12%) and reviews posted so far range almost evenly from god awful to glorious. Over at the Lair, we’ve got a thread going where Predators fanatics from around the world are sharing their reviews and opinions, you can check that out by clicking HERE!

So, want to see what I had to say? You’ll need to click on the link below to read the review due to massive spoilers…

OK I guess I will come right out and say this… I left the theater thinking the movie sucked, and completely failed at being better than the AvP movies in the slightest. They recycled most of the errors of the AvP films and set it in a lame done-it-a-hundred-times story line that seemed brainless. When all was said and done, the movie stood out as something done as quickly as possible for as little money as possible and cash in like crazy. I didn’t go in this movie with huge expectations either, I just wanted to see Predators with bad ass weapons light up the screen and kill stuff and kick-ass. Unfortunately there isn’t anything like that in the movie. Let me explain… first let’s run through the movie.

Movie Rundown

The movie starts off with immediate action… we start off with Royce, played by Adrian Brody, just starting to wake up as he’s free falling towards the mystery planet. He quickly realizes he’s about to become a large splatter so he struggles to deploy his parachute, which opens on it’s own roughly 50 feet from the ground, and he manages to survive slamming in to the ground at 300 miles an hour. I can’t help but think that was lame, but Predators are coming so I don’t care. The rest of the cast starts to arrive in similar fashion, including my favorite actor in the film, Danny Trejo who is playing the part of Cuchillo. We suspend all reality once again when one of the guys who lands carrying an all out mini-gun opens fire on Royce and Cuchillo from 50 feet away and somehow not a single round hits them as they dash for the nearest available fallen log for cover.

Eventually all the characters simmer down and start cooperating somewhat and we learn that they all have horrendous dialogue that makes you laugh when you’re probably not supposed to. I would like to mention that at this point in the film, I still don’t care because I know Predators are coming and will wipe their asses with these humans. Oh and I should also mention that there is a character played by Topher Grace who seems totally out of place. All the other characters are pro killers of one type or another, yet this guy is simply a doctor. He’s well spoken, smart, and readily identifies plants by their scientific latin names and seems to know all the smarty-pants things doctors know. Which brings me to another point…

We’re on an alien planet a bazillion light years away from Earth… why the HELL does the jungle look exactly like something from Puerto Vallarta minus the Tiki tents? The exact same trees, plants etc all happen to be exactly the same? LAAAAAME. And to really drive home the point, the good doctor even identifies a planet with a neurotoxin that is commonly seen on earth. Look, I’m not expecting Fox to dish out the coin to create another Pandora, but for the love of god I would expect the alien planet jungle to NOT look like my local bike path. About the only thing different from the alien planet’s jungle and something from earth is that apparently that planet has no animals, birds or ANYTHING for that matter aside from 1 mosquito and 1 large crawling bug, both of which Royce kills. There was simply no sense at all of this being an alien planet whatsoever, the entire jungle set lacked even the slightest flavor of being beyond planet Earth.

Eventually we get some action… The Predators apparently send a pack of Predator dogs after our group, and I do admit that I loved this part, it was cool, I dug the dogs! But then disaster strikes… THEY KILL OFF DANNY TREJO’S CHARACTER!!! WTF the best character in the entire movie gets killed off in the first 10 minutes, booooooooo! Oh and you know that line in the trailer “Does this look like a team oriented bunch of individuals to you?”? Yeah, that’s not even in the movie… At this point, I am not a happy camper, but hey… Predators are coming!

By now, Royce is the established leader of the group and he decides the best course of action is to follow the dog tracks to actually find the Predators, rather than the usual tactic of getting the hell out of dodge. This is when they stumble upon the Predator hunting camp, which is decorated with all kinds of carcasses, bones, oozing organs and WTF a P1 Predator strapped to a pole?! Whoa ok, I am digging this part… cool! There is a P1 style Predator tied up to some kind of giant spiky looking column, and when the Russian army guy prods it, the P1 Pred wakes up and start going apeshit, screaming and yelling and fighting against his bonds. The group freaks out, Royce is suddenly missing and then chaos erupts. Turns out, the hunting Predators were in the camp, but they were cloaked and Royce was using the group as bait. The African warrior dude gets skewered somehow and then it’s all guns blazing and random plasma cannon fire from all angles ad we get our first look at Predators in action. As the group runs in all directions to escape, they hit a steep slope, and a la Predator 1, they all tumble down and go flying over a ridge and tumble 100+ feet in to a lagoon and to safety. At this point, we see our first and only cool Predator gadget… a mechanical falcon is seen flying over our heroes, IDs them and then flies back to one of the Predators and sort of transforms in to a little box as it lands behind his shoulder. I was like.. ooo that was badass! Unfortunately it’s the ONLY goddamn cool thing we see. From here on it, the only weapons used by the Predators are wristblades and plasma cannons, end of list. We see no spears, no flying discs, no bombs, no shurikens, nothing, nadda, zip. A HUGE yawnfest in terms of cool Predator tech.

OK so the humans regroup and we finally run in to Morpheus… sorry I mean Laurence Fishburne. He plays the character of Nolan, who despite 10 seasons of being trapped on this planet fighting for survival and scrapping for anything he can scavenge, is fat. Huh?! OK first off, to have been chosen to be on this planet, he would have to be some kind of elite killer. I would think that elite killers, warriors etc would have to be in shape in the first place, and second, I doubt he found a stash of pork rinds on the alien planet, so why is he overweight? First off, he should have been in shape when he got there, and second should be emaciated after years of borderline starvation. Weight issues aside, we soon realize Nolan is actually over-the-top insane and tries to kill our group of friends by trapping them in a room and suffocating them with smoke. First off, once again going back to the elite killer thing… shouldn’t that mean he’s pretty much psychologically hardened? OK fine, even if he cracked over being stuck in my backyard and being hunted by an alien species, his insanity was just too ridiculous and seemed.. well… ridiculous. Anyhow, Royce fires off a round of his auto-shotty to attract the attention of the Predators and get Nolan out of their hair. So, within 5 minutes of finally seeing Morpheus, he gets blown up by a Predator cannon shot and we’re back to the Predators hunting humans.

Before Morpheus got himself perished (I love that line – god bless the Crow movie), we did learn a few thing about the movie to help conveniently explain a few things. Once again we are faced by 3 Predators, and apparently there is a blood feud between the super black predators and the smaller ones we’ve come to know by way of the first Predator movie. No mention of where the football style AvP Predators stand in this relationship by the way. We also learn they have a ship parked in back of the hunting camp. That’s about it.

This is when the writer decides to use the ol’ “If I go down, you go down” tactic and we repeat the ridiculous error of AvP by killing off 2 of the 3 Predators within minutes of each other, I can’t stand it when they do this, ARG! So, without seeing ANYTHING from 2 of the Predators, the first one goes down when he’s face to face with the Russian, who is holding two grenades or claymores or some other such devices and they all go down in a fiery explosion as the rest of the group make their escape. Was it just me or was the fire ball CGI hilariously bad… it looked like anime style fire, I was like WTF?!

A minute later, we see yet another familiar Predator 1 scene when Yakuza (he’s the ninja of the group) pulls a Billy and decides to stop running and just take on the Predator toe to toe with his samurai sword, which by the way somehow appears during the Nolan scene… I am guessing it was part of Nolan’s scavenged inventory. So now we completely ignore the established fact that the metal Predators use for their weapons is an alien metal MUCH more dense than any element found on earth and would cut through the steel of a samurai blade like butter, and Yakuza and the second Predator have a sword fight. This was cool I guess even though the Predator would have simply taken one swing and cut through Yakuza’s blade and continued through his neck, but then once again Yakuza and the Pred each deal a death blow at the same time and they both go down and lay bleeding out next to one another. *sigh*

At this point, the remaining characters are Royce, the chick sniper and the doctor, who so far has been useless. In fact, now the doctor is injured from a trap (I love how he exclaims how lucky he is that the trap missed some major artery by an inch as a 1 foot long bear trap is attempting to shear his foot off) so now he’s a complete inconvenience. Royce decides to ditch the loser, but sniper chick being a sensitive woman decides to stay with the doctor (hee hee) and help him walk in the general direction of Royce. Royce actually has a cool plan… he’s going to free the P1 Predator in exchange for it’s help flying the alien space ship back to Earth! BRILLIANT! Fast forward a bit and the P1 Predator is freed and programs the ship from his wrist computer to fly to earth and he fires up the engines… I did have a tear in my eye when the P1 is free and he picks up his battered bio helmet and places it over his face and resumes his complete kick-assedness. Royce is about to kiss him when the last Predator shows up and it severely pissed off. Royce books it for the ship and the P1 takes on the Super Black Predator, and now I am REALLY in to it… GO P1 PRED GO! KICK HIS ASS (I am yelling this in the theater by the way).

While this is happening, the doc and sniper chick have fallen in to a pit of some kind, and this is where the movie takes a wrong turn in to WTFville again. While she is turned around, the doctor pulls out his little pocket knife that he dipped in to the neurotoxic plant I told you about earlier and nicks sniper chick with it. Down she goes like a wet noodle and the doctor starts ranting about how he fooled them, he’s not a doctor he’s a killer, he feels at home with the Predators, he’s one of them blah blah blah. Once again I was scratching my head wondering what the hell this was all about. This cuts out to a scene where Royce is smiling and looking up at the ship that is waiting for him… then it cuts back just in time to see Super Black Predator slice the P1’s head off. I instantly start booing the shit out of the screen. Then Super Black looks up to see his ship flying away, presumably with Royce in it. He looks on for a second or two then casually opens his wrist computer, pushes a button and BOOM goes the ship. I laughed my ass off and then sat back and waited for the scene to switch back to the ranting doc about to do whatever to sniper chick and then see Royce save her at the last second because he decided to go back for them.

Surprise surprise, we go back to the rambling doc who is inches away from sniper chick with his half-inch pocket knife and OMG TWIST OF THE YEAR Royce shows up at the top of the pit and says he guys, wassup? *groan* The doc plays innocent, saying that the Predator did something to the girl and Royce hauls thm out of the pit. Royce has his back to the doc as he’s prattling on about how they got in the pit and Royce’s attention is totally focused on the dazed sniper chick. As he’s talking, he once again pulls out the poison tainted knife and moves in to stab Royce with it, but Royce suddenly tuns, grabs the docs hand and drives the knife through his neck upwards in to his face and delivers a cool line that made me chuckle. With the doc down (but not out), he focuses his attention on killing the Predator.. he uses the doc as bait and dumps a ring of gun powder or some other similar substance (a bag of whatever this is happened to be nearby, possibly from a movie previously shot on this set) and when the Predator moves in to finish the doc, the Super Black takes 10 grenades to the FACE! This doesn’t leave a SCRATCH on the Predator somehow through, despite a shank from the death row guy doing damage to one of the other Predators no problem. Royce then lights up the gunpowder ring on fire and this totally screws up his thermal vision. The Predator appears totally confused by Royce’s tactics (who is covered in mud a la P1 movie again) as he darts in and out with some kind of club and smashed the Predator in the head about 50 times. Right, so let me get this straight… the Predator is a high-tech killing machine and uses these hunts against the best of the best to hone it’s killing and hunting skills, yet is rendered helpless by a ring of fire?! Are you kidding me?!

The Predator finally manages to show a sign of life by firing a plasma bolt towards something he sees with his vision that is caused by Royce’s beating heart. Royce is dazed but luckily sniper chick has regained enough of her motor skills to use her sniper rifle and blows a hole through the chest of the Predator. The Predator turns around and fires his gauntlet blade in to sniper chick and Royce loses his mind. He grabs the same axe that Super Black used to behead the P1 Predator and proceeds to beat the living hell out him with it… we get to see the face of the Super Black for a few more seconds (total unmasked time was roughly 5 seconds) and then Royce beheads him too.

Everything calms down and somehow sniper chick is no worse for wear after taking a two foot Predator blade to the body when they look up to see more prey strapped to parachutes fluttering down and Royce announces it’s time to once again find a way to get off the planet. He doesn’t care that more human psychos and caged beasts from other planets are seconds away from touching down (oh I forgot to mention, at one point in the movie they find broken cages from other kinds of aliens that have been dumped on the planet for hunting purposes).

What was good

Honestly, I have a hard time picking out anything I thought was particularly good about the movie. I liked the music, does that count? I thought some of the lines were funny too, I liked Royce’s character. I am sitting here staring at the monitor trying to think up some other stuff that I thought was cool but nothing is hitting me… let me move along to what I though was bad and maybe some additional good stuff will hit me.

Edit – Just though of another good point! Unlike the two previous AvP movies, this film wasn’t drowned in darkness… you could see pretty much everything that was going on.

Edit #2 – I should also mention I liked the Preds armor and gear from what little I saw, specifically the biomask designs. The Berserker bio with the lower jawbone was pretty damn cool.

What was bad

I’m sorry guys, I just through this movie was terrible… in fact, I enjoyed AvP Requiem infinitely more because at least the Wolf Predator was AWESOME! I know the movie sucked ass, but at least we had a cool, badass Predator! We don’t even get THAT in this movie. So aside from my comments in the movie rundown above, here’s what I didn’t like.

– WAAAAAAY too much human time, not even close to enough Predator time. We spent way too much screen-time with humans.. I was there to see Predators, and the total 10 minutes of Predator screen time was not even close to enough. We saw almost nothing of the Predators, no weapons but the basics we saw in the first film, no personality, barely any action, barely any time to understand their skill sets etc. We got to know most of the humans right down to the names of their kids (literally), but we didn’t learn a damn thing about the Predators aside from what the humans talked about.

– Once again we have 3 Predators that appear fairly useless and 2 die within minutes of appearing on screen and minutes within each other.

– The story is old, tired and boring. I wish movie makers would stop recycling the short story “The Most Dangerous Game” over and over again… the story was boring back when I had to read it in junior high, and it’s boring now, even with Predators added in!

– The jungle setting was stupid… there was nothing alien about it and there were absolutely no creatures in it of any kind. The hunting camp set felt cheap and indoors.

– We were all happy about barely using CGI and sticking to practical effects… little did we know this had nothing to do with getting back to basics as it did with lets spend as little money as possible. The CGI for the dogs was fine, but looked hockey elsewhere, especially for flames/explosions. They needed CGI to add alien plants/trees and indigenous planet critters for the jungle at the very minimum… Call it what you will, the film felt cheap.

– Stop trying to pay homage to P1 so hard… I liked the occasional nod, but I lost it when I saw Brody shirtless and covered in mud in the firelight like a bad Arnie impression, it was hilarious. Like a before and after Steroid ad or something.

– I can’t STAND IT when companies use scenes in a trailer that is not actually in the movie, in fact I think it should be illegal to do that. At least 4 scenes shown in the trailer don’t exist in the movie.

Conclusion

It is with a heavy heart that I admit that I thought this movie stunk… I disliked the story, the Predators, the sets, everything… I was totally disappointed in every way and didn’t get NEARLY enough Predator action as I had hoped. The plot holes and circumstances were big enough to drive 18-wheelers through them and there was simply no fear, suspense, surprise or interest felt at all. We got no cool Predators with cool gizmos, no mind blowing scenes or effects and quite frankly if this was a fresh new movie and we had never seen or heard of Predators before, I would have thought this was complete garbage.

I know people worked really hard on this film, in fact I know some of the folks that worked on the suits and props etc and I know they are extremely talented, the best in the business. I love you guys and what you do, but I feel the people at the helm of this movie just didn’t deliver anything of quality in this story. The bottom line is that I feel this was just as bad, if not worse than the AvP movies.

What do you think guys, you agree or did you enjoy the movie? Please click the comment button below and share your thoughts!

Take care,
Dan

Post a Comment!

 

58 Responses to “ Predatorstuff Reviews the new Predators Movie! ”

  1. Emilio L. Says:

    I have to agree with everything except that avpr is better than this movie. You are kidding me. Avpr is a black abyss of darkness. If you are complaining about not be able to see predators, you never really get to see wolf in avpr. The lighting was horrible. I think over time predators will rank as the second best predator movie out there. I like dont love it like the orginal.

    Thanks
    E. Lopez

  2. Graham Says:

    Come on guys really !
    The movie stank but was the better of the 3 I have to say, that does not mean that it was worth the $$s spent to see it,
    So they bought in old fat morpheus to boost the ratings but seriously nothing made sense in the movie at all,

    What this movie should have been was colonial marines, predators and aliens on one planet, how they got their (who cares) and just slugging it out, would have made more sense and a tribute to Stan Winston who is probably spinning faster than a dodgy satellite in his grave right now.

    Come on a return to LV426 then a kick ass tag team challenge – watch the movie and then go home and play the game 🙂

  3. Jason Says:

    Well, I went to see the movie again tonight. I gotta say that I was happy with it the first time, and it was even better the second time. I just find it increasingly hard to believe that Predator fans don’t like this movie. But to each his own.

    As I was watching it, I was thinking about some of the complaints about the movie. The story didn’t make sense, sloppy effects, plot holes, aspects of the movie that weren’t realistic. So I started thinking about all of the things about the first one that would fit into that category that no one finds any fault with.

    1. The Predator destroys himself at the end of the movie with a nuclear device. It levels seemingly acres of jungle, but Dutch survives despite only being about 50 yards, or less, from the explosion.

    2. The Predator shoots Blain with the plasma cannon and blows a basketball-sized hole in his chest and completely cauterizes the wound. When he shoots Dutch with it in the shoulder at end of the movie, it does almost no damage.

    3. When Dutch slips and slides down the mountainside and over the cliff, water can be seen blowing off of his body even though he hasn’t been in the water yet.

    4. Dutch swims to the bank of the lagoon, pulls himself a bit out of the water and then lays one side of his face down into the mud. When he crawls into the tree root cover, somehow his entire face is covered in mud.

    5. The Predator’s wrist blades are made out of some unearthly metal that is many times stronger than anything humans have. That would make them extremely rigid. Yet when the Predator pins Dutch’s head against the log, they are somehow able to bend outward and then at a 45 degree angle to accommodate the width of a head.

    6. When Dutch activates the dead-fall he set up for the Predator, the rope attached to the tree trunk flies upward across the screen. It is a horrible post production effect. I know that special effects weren’t what they are today, but honestly, they couldn’t use a real rope? Or do a better job with the SFX? They managed to do that with the plasma bolts and the thermal vision.

    7. Water interferes with the Predator’s technology, yet he jumps in the water to follow Dutch and appears surprised when his cloak fails. Surely since he is an intergalactic hunter, he has encountered water before.

    I’m not complaining, it’s still one of my favorite movies and still holds up really well even today. But movies are kind of like traffic stops. A cop could find something wrong with every person he pulls over. The same could be said for a person watching a movie.

  4. Heavy Metal Spike Says:

    SDCC 10: Rodriguez Confirms Predators 2

    http://movies.ign.com/articles/110/1108015p1.html

    (* thanks to Nothingface35 on the HIVE for the heads-up *)

    .

  5. Exile688 Says:

    I agree with the 65% score. It was a good action movie, but did very little to add onto the franchise. Over all, it was alot less mind numbing than anyting Michael Bay can produc. If anyone doesn’t take anything from that, then I enjoyed this action/scify movie more than alot of more sucessful ones.

  6. Furniture handle Says:

    That’s big help for me. You are tops.Great! You have done a terrific job communicating your message. I totally agree with your opinion. Thanks!

  7. Mr. Loco Says:

    Finally somebody who feels similar to me about this movie.. Now the only difference is I don’t hate it, cuz honestly I can’t hate any movie that has a predator movie as long as it ain’t some kinda disney predator or some crazy shit like that.. Anyway, what you said about AVP-R is totally how I feel, that movie gave the predator fans what we wanted. This movie has what they call “Super Predators”, but what I don’t get is what the hell is so super about ’em? I mean Wolf would’ve single handed be able to kick all 3 of the super predators in one round.. And also yeah they did the same thing in AVP, 2 Preds got killed off real fast, I mean come on, if they’re so super, how the hell did that happen? The good thing about this movie was the cast, the idea they had and the little bit of action that’s in it.. AVP-R had a sucky cast, but not as bad as some of the haters say, at least they did their jobs. The Action in AVP-R, the screen time the predator got in AVP-R, the cool weapons and tech and everything else about AVP-R was better then Predators.. I’m not gonna lie here though, Predators is in my top list of movies from 2010, but in my Predator list, it’s number 4… Here’s what my list looks like:
    1. Predator (10/10)
    2. Predator 2 (10/10)
    3. AVP-R (8/10)
    4. Predators (7.5/10)
    5. AVP Unrated Directors Cut (7/10)

    Anyway, good review bro, good to see that there’s somebody else out there who ain’t all up on Rodriguez’s nuts like most people out there who say this should be the real sequel to the first Predator, man screw that!

  8. Aldo Mollohan Says:

    you’ve got a fantastic weblog right here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

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