Robert Rodriguez presents Predators, a bold new chapter in the Predator universe. Adrien Brody stars as Royce, a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors mysteriously brought together on a jungle planet. But when these cold-blooded human “predators” find themselves in all-out war against a new breed of alien Predators, it’s the ultimate showdown between hunter and prey.
Executive producer Robert Rodriguez (Grindhouse
, Spy Kids
) is the driving force behind this energetic reboot of the popular Predator
films, which pits the dreadlocked alien hunters against a rogues' gallery of human antiheroes, led by a bulked-up Adrien Brody. The Oscar winner acquits himself nicely in the role of a gritty mercenary who finds himself stranded on a jungle planet with a host of criminals and professional killers (among them such scene-stealers as Walton Goggins and Danny Trejo), as well as a seemingly innocent doctor, well played by Topher Grace. They've been deposited there to serve as living targets for a horde of Predators--whose looks, designed by Gregory Nicotero and Howard Berger, are impressively varied and sleek--that use the planet as their private hunting grounds. Laurence Fishburne is also on hand as a soldier who has managed to survive for years in the jungle; he, Brody, and Grace do much to make the pulpy dialogue by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch (adapting a premise penned by Rodriguez in the mid-'90s) palatable. Likewise, Hungarian director Nimrod Antal (Vacancy
) lends a great deal of atmosphere and Rodriguez-style momentum to the picture--perhaps more than necessary, since the end result is, like the 1987 original with Arnold Schwarzenegger, a fun B-movie and nothing more, designed entirely to give moviegoers a slick, unchallenging roller-coaster ride. Having said that, it's a vast improvement over the 1990 sequel and the dreadful tie-ins with the Alien
franchise, and should provide movie monster aficionados with an afternoon's worth of thrills. --Paul Gaita