Predators (Nimród Antal, 2010)

With the back-to-back box office failures of two Alien(s) vs Predator movies, it is time for the movie producers to go back to the drawing board, surely the main agenda in their brainstorming sessions is how to revive the ailing scifi/horror franchises. While Ridley Scott is helming Alien prequel soon, Predator series gets another sequel treatment, mooted by Robert Rodriguez (of Mexico Trilogy and Spy Kids Trilogy) who wrote the early draft in the 1990s. Predators is a follow-up to Arnold Schwarzenegger's Predator (McTiernan, 1987) and Predator 2 (Hopkins, 1990) with a total disregards to the AvP series storyline.

This movie opens with a group of people parachuted to a rainforest look-alike in another planet. They had no idea how they got to that place and neither they know each other. Later we will find out they were chosen from military, triad, druglord, convicted mass murderer, doctor background. The similarity between them was, they were all capable of ending another human life like swatting a fly. Their weapons were still attached with them but what they did not know is, they are right in a game hunting preserve. Stalked by the invisible cloaking, mandibles face, dreadlocks alien hunters, the predators observed them, studied their behaviour pattern and hunted them down as trophies.
The casting of Adrien Brody as the lead role is a brave decision by the moviemaker, not a typical action movie star, but he pull it off with some solid performance. Alice Braga provides the only female character, while Rodriguez's regular, tough guy Danny Trejo is a member of Mexican drug cartel. Lawrence Fishburne made a surprise cameo here but he looks like someone who forgets to renew his gym membership rather than trying to survive in an alien planet.
What makes the Governor Arnold-starred original version a breakout hit was, it was a fun testosterone-filled, a typical action flick made in the 80s. I still remember being terrified by the invisible force and wonder how the commandos are going to defeat the fearsome creature. Now, we already knew the predator is an alien hunter species, extremely difficult to be killed, abide by the code of honour, equipped with advanced weaponary, hunting human as trophies. Despite the introduction of a new powerful Predator species in this movie, this supposedly sequel does not expand the universe of the creature, unlike the xenomorph in sequel Aliens (Cameron, 1986).
To pay homage to the original movie is one thing, but the similarity between them is too much for my liking. For example the battle between Adrien Brody's character with the predator is a re-construction blueprint from Arnold vs the creature at the final battle. Then there is this sequence where the Yakuza gangster stay back and use his katana to go mano-a-mano with the predator while his friends break away, reminds me of the Native American bloke near the end of Predator 1, though we only heard his scream as he met his demise. I maybe picky, but how about the resemblance of the scene where mini-gun at full blasting only to find missing its target?
The movie producers from Troublemaker Studio must be expecting a pat on their head from the Predator series fans, thinking: "Hey look, no remake but a brand new predator movie!" I have to say sorry, Robert Rodriguez, it is close but clearly no sight of cigar. You should know the sequel should not take away the terror and intensity out of the repackage product.

1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List