Running Time: 106 minutes
Release Date: 9 July 2010
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This science fiction horror film is the sequel to Predator (1987) and Predator 2 (1990) and is trying hard to distance itself from the third in the line up, Aliens vs Predators. In this return to the style of the original film, Mercenary Royce (Adrien Brody) terrifyingly wakes up mid free fall and manages to engage his parachute just in time and land safely into unknown territory. Not knowing how he mysteriously was sent parachuting he soon crosses path with Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov) a Russian commando and Isabelle (Alice Braga) an SAD black ops sniper all experiencing a similar abduction type scenario. Along the way they find four other survivors Cuchillo (Danny Trejo) a Mexican drug cartel enforcer, Mombasa (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali) Sierra Leone death squad officer, Stans (Walter Goggins) death row inmate, Yakuza hitman Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien) and disgraced physician Edwin (Topher Grace) amongst the carnage of those who did not survive the jump. Facing an unknown hostile enemy they are forced to band together under Royce’s reluctant command.
The initial build up is crafted superbly in creating that tension as the unseen threat is poses sheer terror until the enemy and its deathly purpose are gradually revealed. However when faced with the actual predators the suspense is lost and it seems to lose its way as the characters aren’t developed enough to sustain care in their fate. Even the appearance of Laurence Fishburne as US air cavalryman, Noland, fails to ignite any interest except the fact that he is looking considerably larger. After losing some baggage on the way the film manages to lift with some half surprising developments which should wake you from your mid movie slumber. Typically the ending leaves the way open for further sequels. Directed by Nimrod Antal (Vacancy) the visual effects are not that especially gory, which is good news for the squeamish and with good set design. All the actors put in a solid performance with what they are given by the screenwriters Michael Finch and Alex Litvak. The themes of moral decay and ethical dilemmas and some humorous elements bring a nice touch of pace which helps elevateit above the usual schlock despite the misgivings on characterisation. Academy Award winning actor Adrien Brody (The Pianist) who initially seemed like an unusual casting choice as the action hero is surprisingly good though atypical in that he is more the quiet guarded almost antihero which is actually in keeping with his character’s mercenary background. He piled on the muscle bulk and looks absolutely cut and get to showoff his craftsmanship with the obligatory shirt off scene with Topher Grace’s so called helpless character provides a nice balance to all the machismo.
If you loved the first two Predator movies you are bound to enjoy this.