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The Warsaw Voice » World of Movies » August 2, 2010
Film review
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Predators
August 2, 2010   
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Since The Warsaw Voice has become a monthly, there will only be 12 film reviews this year and so there’s less competition for our Worst Movie of the Year award. Leading the pack is Predators by Nimród Antal, and it’s hard to imagine any other contender knocking it off the uncoveted top spot.

Hungarian director Antal made it to Hollywood unexpectedly after the success of his Control (2003), a grotesque movie set in a Budapest subway populated by a team of eccentric ticket inspectors. Antal has so far made two movies in the States, Vacancy (2007) and Armored (2009), neither of which were particularly successful. Probably only the producers themselves know why they chose Antal to direct the latest installment of a sci-fi thriller series about the Predators, humanoid creatures from space that kill humans for sport.

The plot is set on an unknown planet, in a jungle that at times appears to be an Amazon rain forest, and at others a forest in Europe, for instance. One day, a group of people fall to the ground quite literally out of the blue. Their parachutes open at the last moment—if they are lucky. The eight main characters are Royce (Adrien Brody—The Pianist, The Village), a mysterious mercenary, Isabella (Alice Braga—City of God, I am Legend), an Israeli sniper carrying a gun that’s about twice her size, Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov—15 Minutes, Righteous Kill), a Russian Spetsnaz soldier, and Cuchillo (Danny Trejo—Heat, Desperado), an assassin working for a Mexican drug cartel. Then, there are Hanzo, a Japanese yakuza mobster pacing the jungle barefooted, but in an expensive suit, Stans, a San Quentin death row convict, and Mombasa, a killer from a death squad in Sierra Leone. There’s also a medic, Edwin (Topher Grace—Traffic, SpiderMan 3).

Most of the newcomers are armed to the teeth, but nobody remembers how they ended up flying through the air with a parachute on their back or who sent them to the jungle and on what mission. They soon realize they were all delivered as entertainment for the Predators. The hunt begins.

Since the original Predator directed by John MacTiernan in 1987, the killer humanoids have so far appeared in a failed sequel and two moderately successful movies in which the Predators clash with Aliens, another legendary sci-fi species. For all their faults, none of these movies were packed with so many absurdities, ludicrous plot holes and nonsense. None featured an oddly miscast actor either. Brody spends most of the movie looking like a hapless college student who got lost at a survival camp. The actor must have spent hours pumping iron so as to be able to show off some muscle, but that’s as far as he goes to make his character credible. The only entertainment value to be had in Predators is playing the somewhat surrealistic game of comparing the team leader with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played the main character in the 1987 movie. Sadly, Predators is as far from parody as you get. It takes itself too seriously, the actors resort to self-important facial expressions and the dialogue is pompous.

There are no prizes for guessing which characters survive. Though you could perhaps bet on the order in which the others die. In the final scene, the survivors watch parachutes descending from the sky with new kill for the Predators, and try to figure out a way to get off the unfriendly (they put it slightly more strongly) planet. Now here the panic sets in—the likely sequel is about the scariest thing that could happen to moviegoers in 2011.
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