Monday, August 9, 2010

Predators - 1/2*

The most interesting part of the Predators trailer was the shot of Adrian Brody stopping in his tracks to look down at his torso as a dozen or so predators have their laser targets on him. Unfortunately this isn't the way it plays in the film; instead it is just one predator targeting him, much less thrilling than a dozen. That's pretty much the way the rest of the film is: a lot less thrilling than it should be, failing to deliver the action and excitement that it promises, giving the audience no evidence that it even needs to exist at all.

The original Predator got down to business pretty quickly... there was a little expository sequence, and then a bunch of guys get thrown into the jungle and start shooting up the place. Predators begins more like an episode of the Twilight Zone, where six or seven random people wake up while parachuting down to a strange planet and have to figure out how and why they got there. Of course, we know why they're there, but for some reason director Nimrod Antal decided to amp up the suspense aspect of the story rather than the action, of which there is very little. I bring up the original film not to argue that a re-make has to be exactly like the original, but because it seems odd that what made the original great is left out, and because we know exactly where the film is going before it even starts, the pleasure of discovery is removed, making the attempted suspense irrelevant. So we're left waiting and waiting for something that never comes.

Though there are more predators this time around, as the title suggests, Antal for some reason decided to focus more on his boring human characters, a group of the world's greatest mercenaries and killers. They're given a unique assortment of weapons, which they barely use, to very little effect, both on the predators and on the audience. The writing is awful, the direction is flat, and the acting is pretty dry, which makes for a very, very boring film. But something tells me that's not going to stop someone from making the inevitable spin-off, Aliens vs. Predators.

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