Thursday, July 28, 2011
In this latest film in the Predator series -- the original film starred Arnold Schwarzenegger -- a group of men and one woman wake up to find themselves falling with parachutes from an unknown aircraft. It also turns out to be an unknown world they're on. The kidnapped humans all seem to have one thing in common: good guy or bad they are tough characters [or "predators"] who are used to killing, and now they find themselves hunted by the same alien species that bedeviled Schwarzenegger and crew in an Earth jungle in the first film. Predeators has superior scenic design, photography and effects work and moves at a fast, suspenseful pace, but it is especially bolstered by the acting and incisive characterizations. Adrien Brody is better than you would expect as the nominal hero, Royce, a mercenary with no sentimental streak, but then Brody seems to be one of those actors who can play just about anything. Alice Braga is fine as Isabelle, a tough soldier who is not without compassion, and Topher Grace scores as the doctor, Edwin, who at first seems out of place with the rest of the group. The supporting cast is also good. Laurence Fishburne plays such an interesting character that it's a shame he gets killed off so quickly. This is slick filmmaking; the only problem is that it all seems a little over-familiar and somewhat predictable.
Verdict: Mostly for Predators fans, who should enjoy. **1/2.