Monday, July 12, 2010
PREDATORS: MY REVIEW
In 1987 when the original Predator came out I thought it was cool. I wasn't in love with it or married to it the way others were, I just thought it was an awesome action movie. So when the sequels and Aliens VS Predators movies came out I wasn't as insulted as everybody else. Sure they were steaming piles of maggot rich shit but I didn't think the original was so wonderful that the follow ups deserved so much attention. I say this because I wanted people to understand how low my expectations were for the Robert Rodriguez produced Predators.
As low as they were the movie was still a let down, not so much because it sucked so badly but because it was chock full of amazing ideas that the filmmakers squandered for no apparent reason. The entire movie felt as if they started with a budget of 100 million and were told a month before shooting started they actually only had 12. Things that really needed to be explored are wasted here and that's what makes the movie so disappointing.
First of all I don't understand why filmmakers don't just sink us into the action immediately. When Adrian Brody and the other heavy hitter killers are dropped on the Predators "Game Preserve" planet they should start fighting right away. It should be an opening action sequence that kicks us in the balls and never lets up. Instead it's a drawn out introduction section and then endless walking around saying "what's going on?"
Director Nimrod Antel and his writers could have eliminated that by cutting down the number of killers in the group who are so cliche that you can pick out what will happen to who within two seconds of meeting them. Cutting it down to Adrian Brody, Danny Trejo, Louis Changchien and Mahershalalhashbaz Ali would have done wonders for the movie.
First it would've eliminated the horrible acting of Alice Braga and the horribly forced boy/girl thing between her and Adrian Brody. It would have also allowed for four individual characters who could be fleshed out instead of the eight one dimensional characters we're stuck with.
The three biggest wastes of the film start with Laurence Fishburne who appears and then is gone. He's literally in the movie for fifteen minutes rendering him unnecessary other than a plot point. In the film his character has survived on the planet for ten years and he talks to himself. This is character you hold onto and use not eliminate just so he can tell the others "There's a space ship".
At one point Fishburne's character tries to kill the group and argues with himself while doing it. Imagine if his split personality went through the whole movie, at one point he tries to kill them at another he saves them. We'd be totally off balance and the thrills would never stop.
The second issue are these no-name creatures that get dropped onto the planet with the group. They are big, ugly and mean and remain for only one scene. So much is made about them in the beginning that it's a huge White Elephant how fast they are forgotten. Use these creatures, force the Predators to hunt them, team with them, fight them as well, that's pure awesome action.
The final waste is the Blood Feud between the Predators and Super Predators. Fishburne drops on the group that the smaller Predators (the ones that look like the original) and the Super Predators (bigger, meaner, stronger) have been in a blood feud for years. Then the entire idea is dropped. WHAT? How much more awesome could tossing a blood feud into the movie have made it. One group of Predators is about to kill the group but they get killed by the other Predators for the glory. The possibilities are endless.
Instead Predators plods along with every scene only driving us to an end that is ridiculous. There's a twist that sucks and an act by Adrian Brody that goes against everything his character has been since the opening credits. I don't know if Rodriguez helped edit this movie but it feels like his poor pacing skills.
Ultimately Predators is a wasted opportunity. Wasted characters, wasted possibilities, wasted action, just wasted. Within the confines of this slow, largely boring and devoid of action "action movie" is a brilliant film that could have set the world on fire. I didn't hate Predators I just didn't care and it proved to me that Robert Rodriguez is just as bad at producing as he is at writing, directing and editing.