I’ll give it to you straight. If you love the original Predator, you will definitely enjoy this film.
Writer/Producer Robert “I thought he was directing this” Rodriguez and Nimród “Who?” Antal finally deliver the sequel that Predator fans never got, a true follow-up to John McTiernan’s 1987 classic that pitted The Terminator, Apollo Creed, and The Body against one of the most iconic alien creatures of American cinema.
Rodriguez kept his promise of taking it back to the roots of the original and throws you into the jungle, right alongside the characters. It looks the same, it feels the same, and it even sounds the same. And none of that is a bad thing.
I have to start with score, only because it was my absolute favorite part. Once upon a time, composer Alan Silvestri created a score for Predator. And it was amazing. Drums, orchestra, and what I refer to as the “Scratch Scratch” made it one of his most memorable fils scores. Jump ahead to 2010. John Debney steps up to score Predators. Knowing a good thing when he hears it, Debney almost completely transplants Silvestri’s original score into this new film. And I couldn’t be happier. It’s a key element of familiarity that helps to establish this movie as a true continuation of the Predator story. While the majority of the score is Silvestri’s work, Debney throws in his own original material and even takes Silvestri’s main theme one step further with an arrangement that can only be described as the Predator theme with Iron Man guitar behind it. (Debney also provided the score to this year’s Iron Man 2) I’m very sad I have to wait until August 10th to hear that track again. But in the meantime, I have the score to the original Predator to tide me over.
In addition to sounding the way it should, Predators looks and feels the way it should. We’re back in the jungle, although this time it’s on a different planet. This takes the feeling of isolation that surrounds the stranded commandos in Predator and increases it tenfold. But this time, the team of humans is a motley crew of killers from all over the globe who must develop some semblance of trust if they wish to survive. For you gamers out there, it may feel like a one-sided round of Team Fortress 2. The group consists of such colorful characters as a Russian with a minigun, a talented sniper, a drug cartel enforcer, and a member of the Yakuza. And of course, as the film progresses, this group gets picked off one by one by our favorite dreadlocked hunters. But I’ll let you place the bets on who goes in what order.
Now I know what many of you might be thinking. Adrien Brody? The guy from The Pianist? Yes, that Adrien Brody. But trust me, he will surprise you. He doesn’t try to be Arnold, but he does a good job of filling that role as the assertive, yet mysterious Royce. Topher Grace even does a good job as the twitchy Edwin, the guy who just doesn’t seem to belong among Earth’s deadliest. But regardless of the presuppositions you may have about many of the actors in this film, the greatest treat is the performance put forth by Laurence Fishburne. I won’t spoil it because it’s just too good. You have to see it for yourself.
I strongly recommend a viewing of this worthy addition to the Predator lexicon. Once again, if you are a fan of the original, you will thoroughly enjoy Predators.