What He said:


Long story short, this movie switches things up from previous installments. Instead of one of the Predators coming to our planet to hunt humans, they abduct a bunch of them and bring them to an alien planet where they are hunted like animals.  Special Ops soldiers, a death row inmate, drug cartel members, and many more are amongst the group who were captured. They’re a bunch of individuals, but must work together if they are to survive this encounter with the hunters known as the Predators.

Geeks, nerds and fanboys were foaming at the mouth for this movie. Many, being dissatisfied with the two AVP movies wanted a stand-alone Predator movie that brought the series back to its roots. Producer Robert Rodriguez promised just that. He said that he was bringing respectability back to the Predator franchise.

A lot of people did not like the two AVP movies. I kind of did, but recognize their flaws as films. I just find them fun in a way. When this movie first came out, I think people were quick to latch onto it. Dissatisfied with the AVP movies, they wanted to like this movie, and at first they did. But the further we get from its release, and more opinions I see, I think some of those warm and fuzzy feelings have dissipated. 
The suspense simply wasn’t there, but I can’t hold that too much against it. You are not going to duplicate what people saw on the in 1987. The original is an action classic, but it is also a surprisingly well-crafted suspense film too. We didn’t actually know what a Predator was at that point. The audience is sitting there thinking “What the hell is this thing?” as it picks off one victim after another. That kind of mystery and suspense is never going to be duplicated. Ever.


That was not this movie’s biggest flaw though. This movie committed a major no-no. *Spoiler alert* It basically took one of the baddest movie monsters of all time and made it the whipping boy of another "bigger, stronger, and meaner" type of Predator; one that we just happened to have never seen in 4 previous movies. You don’t disrespect the franchise's mythology like that. The AVP movies, for all their faults, never did that. To me, this movie takes a big hit for doing that. One of the classic sequel mistakes i. s to think more/bigger equals better. If it didn’t do that, I would have been ok with it, despite the fact it wasn’t the most exciting thing in the world.

I did like some of the other stuff they did to add depth to this universe. For example, showing the Predators hunt species other than humans was kind of cool. You have to think these hunters are out there stalking all kinds of alien species, and not just humans. However, you only see an alien corpse. It doesn’t actually do anything at all.

The acting was a mixed bag between acceptable and out of left field. Danny Terjo is also tragically underused. He deserved better. He has a history with producer Rodriguez and I would have expected a more important role. You don’t bring in a known face like that and dismiss him so easily. Alice Braga was good enough and Lawrence Fishburne started out ok, but got so bad the more you found out about his character. Adrien Brody did ok, but seemed a little miscast. Some people really hated the choice of him for the lead role. I didn’t, but he wouldn’t have been my first (or even 10th) choice.

Rating: Thumbs down.

This review was completed on July 30, 2010. It was revised on November 26, 2012.