Friday, July 9, 2010

Eat, Prey, Love-Predators is worth a thermal scan

As shocking as this may be, I've never seen the original Predator. Not all the way through.  For some reason my folks didn't raise me on those.  I was brought up on more of a Conan the Barbarian, Willow, Big Trouble in Little China diet.  Most of my friends have seen it and I've certainly seen snippets, but in no way would I call myself a fan of the series, so be warned, this review is strictly an outsider's opinion. And that opinion is that this feels like an old school action movie.

The major gist of the movie you can grab plainly enough from the trailers, but if you haven't checked those out yet, consider this your spoiler warning.  It opens with the surprisingly buff Adrien Brody (yes, the Best Actor winner for The Pianist, Adrien Brody) free-falling from the sky into the jungle.  Pretty soon there are 7 other people who have been dropped into the jungle, all from suspiciously similar backgrounds.  This rag-tag band are soon wandering away from the jungle to discover they're not only in a foreign land, but also on a foreign planet which, by the way, just happens to be a game preserve where THEY'RE the game.   Hilarity ensues.

See what I did right there, I fooled you, if you were trying to sneak read this without heeding my spoiler alert.

No, what really ensues is a kind of return to form for the Predator franchise, from what I've gathered from my snippets and discussions with people who have seen the multiple Predator films.  It brings it back to the jungle and, despite the formulaic dispensing of bodies, the suspense is built up nicely.  Laurence Fishburne makes an engaging appearance, and I have to say, the film caught me slightly off-guard sometimes.  I discovered it's nice to not know every single thing that's going to happen.  Visually there's nothing stunning but there's also nothing that sticks out as horrible either.  It's a straight-forward action flick with big guns (both kinds of guns-seriously, I'm not certain what kind of bicep exercises Brody and female star Alice Braga did, but they worked) and enjoyable fight scenes.  I actually thought there was a kind of quiet beauty to the samurai scene.  Once you've seen it, let me know if you agree.  Robert Rodriguez knows how to produce an action flick, there's no question about that, and although the script here is minimal, it's not necessarily bad.  I certainly liked this a lot more than I expected to and it's an enjoyable addition to the summer flicks list.

Overall, 4 out of 5 crazy alien dreadlocks

Little Known Fact:  Predators was the original name for the Twilight series, until it tested poorly with the under 14 audience who thought it didn't sound glittery enough.

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