Predators (2010)

Directed by Nimrod Antal. Written by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch. Starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Maharshala Ali, Danny Trejo, Louis Ozawa Changchien and Laurence Fishburne.

Plot: a group of interesting strangers appear in an unidentified jungle with several predators hunting them.

This sequel starts with Royce (Brody), a former U.S. Special Ops vet turned mercenary, falling out of the sky and landing in a dense jungle. There he meets several other people with the same “falling from the sky” experience and they all just happen to have guns. The others are Isabella (Braga), a sniper from Israeli Forces, Stans (Goggins), a death row inmate from San Quentin, Nikolai (Taktarov), a Russian commando, Mombasa (Ali), a death squad soldier from Sierra Leone, Cuchillo (Trejo), the enforcer of a Mexican drug cartel, Hanzo (Changchien), a Yakuza enforcer and Edwin (Grace), a seemingly out-of-place doctor who’s actually harboring a nasty secret.

After a few minutes of not completely introducing themselves and who they really are, they begin to scour this strange jungle. They run across traps that they narrowly avoid, find some dead bodies that give them pause and then they discover that they are no longer on Earth when they see unknown planets in the sky. And of course, it’s at this time that they start being hunted by several Predators.

Eventually, members of the group start getting killed, so when they meet Ronald Noland (Fishburne), a former U.S. soldier, who is wearing a Predator suit for camouflage, has been there for “ten seasons” already, knows a lot about the Predators and has a place to hideout, they willingly go with him even though he’s a bit loud and a lot crazy. That night, shit really hits the fan and the action starts to go really fast. There’s more bodies, more explosions, a sprinkle of deception and a dash of comeuppances. And it’s all worth it.

We really liked that the technical protagonists were generally not the best kinds of people because it made the Predators motive that much better. We loved the entire cast who played some anti-hero types beautifully. The effects were amazing, the opening was solid and DJ, more so than even myself, really loved the multiple kinds of Predator. The bad thing about the movie is that, while the opening is strong and the last half hour or so is killer, there are about 40 minutes in the middle there where nothing good happens. There’s just a series of arguments and poor decisions which make the movie a little uneven and a little boring at times. Still, we both ended up really liking it and really wanting to watch it again. So now we own it.

My score: 67. DJ’s score: 73.

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