Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Half Arsed Review : Predators

You're not technically a man, until you've seen Predator. That's not a lie, that's a fact. The first question a potential father-in-law should ask to his daughters chosen mate should be "Have you seen Predator". If the answer is no, that means his daughter is either a Lesbian, or this man has no balls.

It's not too late for all you guys who haven't seen it. So get onto Amazon, or wherever it is you kids do your shopping these days, and pick up a copy. Hell, even if you're a woman, you should see this film, as it's based on a true story about an invisible alien.

Predator is a seminal classic, which even on re-watching through rose tinted glasses, still holds up and doesn't have to rely on CGI to shoot it's adrenaline and machoistic thrills straight through your eyeballs and out of your scrotum!

I wouldn't say it to his face, because me and Arnie don't see eye to eye ever since that winter in Aspen, but Arnie was never an amazing actor. However in Predator, he does a grand job. He plays Dutch, a bad ass squad leader, and is believable in every second he's on the camera.

The dialogue in Predator is straight to as macho as you can get and amusing at points. One of my favourite lines is in this movie. One soldier is cut, his friend turns to him and says "Hey, you're bleeding"... the soldier, pulls out a grenade, blows up a machine gun nest and then quips "I ain't got time to bleed"

I want THAT put on my gravestone, not the whole quote, just that last bit "I ain't got time to bleed" because anyone walking through a graveyard, would think twice about pissing on that guys grave!

Anyway, the film is true 80's brilliance, check it out.

After the success of the first film, they decided to make a sequel, and some bright spark thought that it'd be a good idea to put the Predator in a different kind of jungle... a concrete jungle! He also thought that Danny Glover would kick ass like he did in the Lethal Weapon franchise!

He was wrong. Unlike Lethal Weapon 2 which rocks, Predator 2 sucks. This time it's about a cop whose after the alien crab-face, and it's just cheesy. Avoid this, like you would the 2nd and 3rd matrix films.

Next the Predators resurfaced in the Alien Vs Predator films, which I didn't think were terrible, but the Predators themselves weren't anywhere near as threatening as they were in the original movies they were borrowed from, or maybe that was because they were up against the truly terrifying Aliens? It'd be pretty hard for anyone to look bad-ass against the Aliens unless your name is Ellen Ripley.

Then I heard Predators was coming out, and that it was returning the dreadlocked deadlies to their natural habitat. The Jungle. Plus, it had Adrian Brody playing the titular role, which was an odd choice making me think, this film was trying something different yet staying true to the original films brilliance.

The film starts off with a bunch of random people falling into a jungle, mistrusting each other due to not knowing how they got there and all thinking that someone in their group knew more than they were telling. The fact that all these people were killers of some variety was obvious from the offset, and the play on the title that these people were predators of a kind was spoon fed to the audience which disappointed me.

The film started off great, even borrowing heavily from the music out of the original movie and a hint of the Alien soundtrack appeared at one point raising a fan boy smile from me, but when the CGI Preda-dogs turned up, my heart sank. They looked fake and really weren't needed.

The only interesting characters in the film was Adrian Brody's character "Royce" and the lady, who I can't be bothered to google to find out her name, so she shall be known as "the lady" from this point forth. The others were all stereotypes, you had Danny Trejo playing a Mexican enforcer, some Asian dude playing a yakuza, a Russian playing a thick Russian brute, Shane from The Shield playing a convict, a black dude playing a member of an African death squad and the guy who played Venom and ruined Spider Man 3 for everyone was playing a "Doctor"

You have to be pretty stupid when Royce is detailing that all of them are killers except for the doctor, not to guess that Venom is lying about who he really is. The pay-off for his character is disappointing to say the least.
Lawrence Fishburn turns up half way through as a deranged bastard, and his character's screen time is a bit cheesy but helps move the plot on. One thing he does say, makes no sense whatsoever. He explains that the predators come down to hunt, and if they lose they adapt their tactics and learn from their mistakes.

Which is bull shit. These Predators are using the same heat-vision that Arnie managed to dupe back in the jungle. Surely with all their technology they would have made a decent vision mode that couldn't be fooled by mud?

There were some cool moments, like the nod to the first predator film when someone talks about Arnie's character's encounter, Danny Trejo's final scene, the free fall at the start and the score as a whole was pretty good.

Anyway, apart from some gaping plot holes here and there and some predictable twists, the film isn't half bad. It's a lot better in my opinion to Predator 2, but still not quite using the Predator as well as he was in the first film. Maybe the obligatory Predators 2 which I'm sure will come out, will be able to learn from past mistakes?

We shall see...

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