Film Review: Predators

This long-awaited sequel functions as a passable action feature, but one that does not excel to the level of the 1987 original.

A random group of soldiers, hitmen and killers, as well as a doctor, land in a mysterious jungle. It isn’t long before they realise that all is not what it seems, and the hunters become the hunted…

Predators distinguishes itself as a sequel to the first two Predator films, and not a remake. There is scant mention of the goings on of the first two films, however, and the narrative takes place on an alien planet – immediately differentiating itself from the earlier films.

One of the highlights of 1987’s Predator was the way the story was built. The reveal was gradual, and it was a significant way into the film before the creature was actually exposed. This sequel does not follow in the original’s footsteps, thus it lacks the tension and accession of pace that works so well in the 1987 film. Although it could be argued that the audience knows what the predators look like so there is no need for this suspense, the characters in this film don’t, so more could have been made of their first encounter.

The action scenes in Predators function well, and the special effects appear realistic. Nonetheless, the lack of a real plot hampers the film throughout. The climax of the film dwindles, rather than going out with a bang.

Adrien Brody is convincing enough in his role, but there is little character development in this film. Topher Grace’s character is somewhat interesting, but is let down by half-baked exposition towards the end. Elsewhere, Laurence Fishburne makes a memorable entrance, but a pitiful exit.

The action scenes in Predators are solid on the whole, and the film is certainly watchable. Nonetheless, it brings nothing new or interesting to the franchise. If you are looking for a well-executed action sci-fi film, you’re best bet is to stick with the far superior original.

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