Friday 9 July 2010

Predators review

Predators (15, 107 mins)
Director: Nimrod Antal
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

One of the greatest action thrillers of all time gets a belated second sequel that also functions as something of a reboot, with the ‘s’ at the end of the movie’s title a clue that what’s being aimed for here is what Aliens was to Alien – more of the same and plenty of it. So instead of one unstoppable killing machine hunting a group of well armed badasses, we have several, the fundamental change being that it now takes place on the Predator home-world. In a no-nonsense setup this is where a group of people unknown to each other have been dropped with no idea where they are or why. Led by Adrien Brody’s mercenary, they quickly learn it’s a Predator game preserve and they are the sport.

Though light on action during a scene-setting first half, when it does come it’s well staged with minimal use of CGI or flashy editing, and the original pounding score to add nostalgia value. And if it lacks the range of characters or stature of the actors from first time round, constant comparisons to Predator are unfair. On its own terms Predators is admirably restrained, well paced and respectful of the original without being reverential. Throw in some laughs, some unexpected twists and even some thematic resonance and this is as good as anyone could have expected given the travesties that were the Alien Vs Predator entries. All that’s missing is Arnie.

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