Predators (2010)

Rating: D+

Dir: Nimród Antal
Star: Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Topher Grace, Laurence Fishburne

In which we discover that Adrien Brody < Arnold Schwarzenegger and Alice Brave < Jesse Ventura. I suspect neither of the leads here will become US Governors any time soon, either. I do like the concept here: a varied band of soldiers of fortune (Brody), soldiers (Braga), thugs and tough guys, as well as, for no apparent reason, a doctor (Grace), find themselves abducted and dropped, literally, into the middle of a jungle. It’s not long before they find out that they aren’t on Earth any more, and are now the targets of a number of Predators – who, it turns out, fall into more than one species, which do not hold much love for each other.

That, in itself would be fine, but they then stumble across Noland (Fishburne), a veteran of a previous drop, who has somehow survived on the planet for years, alone – think of him as a large, black Newt. No, not the amphibious creature, the character from Aliens. Though “survived” applies rather better to his body than his mind, and the Predators may not be the worst threat the new batch faces. With all due respect to Adrien Brody, if the best ultimate bad-ass Earth has to offer is the star of The Pianist, then we’re in trouble. It was credible to imagine Arnie facing down and defeating a heavily-armed alien in possession of superior technology; “Adrie”, not so much. [Danny Trejo, who has a supporting role as a Mexican drug cartel enforcer, would have been more convincing].

The diversion around Noland is also unwelcome, since it seems pointless to go all the way across the galaxy, only to find a burbling loony is your biggest concern. With its jungle setting, it’s clearly trying to evoke the spirit of the original, along with a large dash of Aliens‘ one-upmanship of its predecessor, by going from one to many and adding an “s” to the title. But add the obvious CGI for most of the Predators, and it comes over less as a tribute than a pale imitation. the best thing you can say about this is, it’s better than either A vs. P movie. Which isn’t saying a great deal at all.