Synopsis: A group of elite warriors are hunted by members of a merciless alien race known as Predators.
Director: Nimród Antal
Writers: Alex Litvak (written by), Michael Finch (written by), Jim Thomas (characters), and John Thomas (characters)
Stars: Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne and Topher Grace
Serious Jest: (Rental) This is the best Predator sequel yet (including AVP: Alien vs. Predator). It did two very important things that sequels are supposed to do: (1) improved characters (more interesting because of their diverse backgrounds, as well as the intrigue surrounding their mysterious backgrounds); (2) and added plot elements (not only are the protagonists trying to survive the Predators, of which there are now different kinds, as well as the unique and dangerous setting, but they’re also trying to find out where they are, how they got there, why they’re there, whom they’re fighting alongside, and how to get back home). For bonus points, the film also included a healthy dose of well-done homages to the original, but done differently enough so that they weren’t just easy rips.
Another mark of a successful sequel is a beefed-up cast. I gotta call it a tie here. As pure thespians, there’s no question that the actors in Predators are better. Fishburne (even though he looks out-of-shape for his role), Brody (who obviously busted his ass to get in shape for this role), Danny Trejo, Alice Braga, and Grace are recognized and accomplished names, and they performed at or above expectations; the rest of the cast was also very solid, executing their well-written roles just as well as some of the bigger names. But as pure action stars, the trio of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse Ventura was awesome, and the rest of the original cast was just as solid in their performances.
Finally, the one area in which Predators fell short of the original film was in the action, but not my much. In fact, one scene involving a sword in Predators was almost as exciting as Weathers’s last stand in Predator…almost.