Friday, July 9, 2010
Predators (Movie Review)
I love monster movies. And I don't mean that in the sense of old cheesy black and white flicks with guys in foam suits. I mean well done, seriously scary, modern creature features from the 1980's forward. The Alien movies, John Carpenter's The Thing, The Terminator, Jeepers Creepers and of course... Predator.
I love the first film, dig the second film and also really enjoyed the first "Alien Vs. Predator". (The less said about the second AVP, the better.)
Predator is a modern movie monster that has been long overdue for a third installment of his own. So "Predators" was a welcome presence in my local theater, and it should be in yours too.
This is a great movie. Monster movies often fail to have interesting characters supporting the creature featured. This sometimes works fine on the creature's first outing into film, though not well afterward. And the best creature movies also have interesting characters running down all those darkened hallways.
Although there was nothing especially unique about any of the actor performances, the characters in this movie kept me interested until the very end, feeding me bite size bits of information about them throughout the movie until near the very end some crucial details are revealed. The script did a great job of keeping me guessing over who would make it through the movie and who wouldn't.
The title creatures look better than ever and modern special effects give a fresh coat of paint to the familiar cloaking devices and energy weapons of the deadly hunters.
The movie also gives us a deeper look into the culture of the Predators. The plot features a group of humans who have been abducted by the Predators to be hunted on a game preserve world. Laurence Fishburne plays a man who has been surviving for quite awhile on the planet, and he provides some interesting exposition about how the Predators hunt.
If I have to be critical (and it's a review, so I do) I'd say that the movie falls short of a higher quality score because of some CGI creatures that still look like CGI and a slightly underwhelming performance by the Predators.
In previous Predator appearances, we've seen more cool gadgets and hunting techniques than in this movie. Only one new gadget is revealed in this movie (that I can recall) and it serves as a strategic aid rather than an actual weapon. And several of the weapons in previous movies are absent here. Pretty much all you'll see for predator weapons are the gauntlet blades and energy weapons, plus the cloaking device. And although the story and atmosphere are great, you see less of the title creatures than you might be expecting to, given that there are more than one of them.
In terms of worthwhile philosophical discussion you'll need to work really hard to start something up after this one. It's just a fun creature feature with an interesting story.
Rated R for strong creature violence and gore and pervasive language.