Predators (R16)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner8/07/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 107 mins

Enjoyable sort-of sequel that harks back to the original film and delivers a decent amount of old-fashioned fun, though the pacing drags in places and it's never as thrilling as it ought to be.

What's it all about?
Directed by Nimrod Antal (Vacancy, Armoured) and produced by Robert Rodriguez (whose unproduced 1994 script was the basis for the project), Predators opens with mercenary Royce (Adrien Brody) waking up in freefall as he hurtles towards an unidentified jungle below. Activating his parachute at the last minute, he's soon joined by a sniper (Alice Braga), a convict (Walton Goggins), a Yakuza assassin (Louis Ozawa Changchien), a drug cartel enforcer (Danny Trejo – typecast again), an African death squad member (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), a Russian soldier (Oleg Taktarov) and a doctor (Topher Grace) and they all get something of a shock when they discover that they're actually on an alien planet and are being hunted for sport by a new breed of kill-happy Predators.

The Good
The performances are pretty good, particularly Alice Braga and Walton Goggins, though Brody is slightly miscast and seems to be trying too hard to convince as a result, culminating in a laughable scene towards the end where he strips off to reveal a comically muscle-bound physique that fools no one.

The script features several fan-pleasing call-backs to the original film (including an update on Schwarzenegger's character that is crying out for someone to do a Schwarzy impression) and Antal orchestrates some pretty decent set-pieces, the highlight of which is a samurai sword-fight between Changchien's character and a blade-wielding Predator.

The Bad
The main problem is that the film takes ages to get going and the pacing flags considerably at times, slowing to a crawl when it should be kicking into high gear. Similarly, it's impossible to tell the various Predators apart - the credits list Classic, Falconer, Tracker and Berserker but you'd need a Predator Spotter's Guide to tell which is which.

In addition, the dialogue varies wildly between decent genre lines (“Does this look like a team-oriented group of individuals to you?”) and lines that are either laughably bad or fall painfully, embarrassingly flat, such as when Goggins's character starts waxing lyrical about “bitch-raping time”.

Worth seeing?
Predators is reasonably entertaining, thanks to some enjoyable set-pieces and mostly decent performances, but it's never as thrilling as it ought to be.

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Predators (R16)
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Content updated: 21/11/2019 14:38

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