Everything old is new again, as we all know. And while most Hollywood reboots deliver diminishing returns, Predators is one that finally gets it right, by sticking to what made the original great: intense jungle action against a mysterious and deadly enemy. Where the new movie improves on the original is the variety of the human prey – although Arnold, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura and the rest of their roided-out crew were fun, the new truly multitalented cast of eight survivors in the new movie is what brings it over the top.
The movie opens big – the eight humans are parachuted onto a bizarre, lushly vegetated planet. They include Adrien Brody as a tough as nails soldier, Walton Goggins (from The Shield) as a psychotic convict, Danny Trejo as a Mexican druglord, Alice Braga as a sniper, and Topher Grace as a doctor turned serial killer. They’ve all been brought here for a reason: they are very good at taking lives. And now the Predators want to see how good they are at keeping theirs.
And so the hunt is on, and although the movie doesn’t pack many surprises in its taut running time, it delivers exactly what I wanted from the franchise: intense violence, balls-out action and a frantic climax that sometimes veers into the absurd but kept me glued to the screen. Predators isn’t about thinking your way through an inescapable situation (despite the presence of Laurence Fishburne‘s character, a demented survivor who has managed to elude – but not overcome – his alien pursuers), but about aggressing your way through it. It’s a worth successor to the name and gives me hope for more.