I haven’t a lot to say about Predators except that on the whole, I enjoyed it. I think it was smart to go back to basics, as it were, and this film is as straightforward as it gets following some overly complicated entries in the series.
Of course, it’s difficult to go too wrong with a Ten Little Indians premise involving a bunch of bad assess in the jungle, and for the record, I think it would be difficult for anybody to claim that Predators ever really goes wrong. At worst, the filmmakers deliver just enough with the set-up that it passes muster without really exceeding expectations. Predators is exactly the movie one would expect it to be–nothing more and nothing less.
That said, I was tempted to rate this one a half a star higher based purely upon the performance of Laurence Fishburne, but given that he only sticks around for a short time, I won’t. Fishburne is, in any event, hilarious, and his scenes are easily the most compulsively watchable of any in the entire film. In a way, I might have preferred to watch a film that followed this guy around throughout the ten seasons he claimed to be hunting on the game preserve planet. In fact, I wish somebody would write that comic book, chronicling his descent into madness.
[Note to Darkhorse, or whoever holds the Predator license these days: I’ll write that comic for you for next to nothing.]
The remainder of the dramatis personae are generally unremarkable, though I feel obligated to say a word about Adrien Brody. Brody is just about the last actor one would expect to play the lead in an installment of the Predator series, let alone the lead role of a grizzled mercenary. And yet, apart from looking slightly ridiculous wielding the seemingly anime-inspired huge-ass gun with which the movie saddles him, he does the part justice. Granted, it doesn’t require a classically trained actor to play grizzled, but then again, a week ago, I watched Splice–in which Brody played a spineless hipster scientist–and the difference between that character and this one is remarkable.
As action heroes go, he’s no Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course, but he’s more than serviceable, with extra points for playing so far against type.