The first truly decent sequel in 20th Century Fox's "Predator" franchise, is still somewhat inconsistent as a movie. Adrien Brody suits up as a fierce mercenary leading a pack of equally fierce killers from different parts of the Earth, in a battle for survival on an alien planet designed to function as hunting grounds for the infamous creatures. More after the jump.
Average entertainment and modest execution of the most earnest fanboy intentions from Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antal, "Predators" comes up feeling pretty pointless by the end. The action will probably satisfy fans of the franchise, while leaving fans of the genre slightly disappointed. Obviously Rodriguez and Antal intended for this movie to be the "Aliens" of the series (hence the deliberate plural in the title instead of the more cliched numerical appendage), but while James Cameron's sequel was such an epic expansion to Ridley Scott's masterpiece, this one feels flat even when compared to the 1987 "Predator". It's not a particularly exciting motion picture and it struggles so hard to emulate the feeling of the original, that it forgets to draw us into the story.
Brody is convincing enough as a touch merc, but he still feels like an akward casting choice at times. Laurence Fishburne, on the other hand, is particularly fun in a short unhinged appearance that I will not spoil for those of you that have not yet seen the movie. The rest of the cast is adequate, but most of them won't be in it for long, appropriately, since this is first and foremost a creature feature, so people tend to start dying. Visually there's plenty to enjoy with decent visual effects and beautiful cinematography, but the action is lacking, and there are times when you sort of long for the adrenaline fueled loud explosions of the Schwarzenegger version.
There are no big mistakes to be spoken of, and that's maybe part of the problem. While not making any major mistakes, the film-makers also don't take any chances, check-listing every one of the franchise's key elements, right up to the predictable final brawl between the uber-creature and the mud-soaked hero.