"It wants us to run. That's how it hunts. This is its jungle, its game, its rules."
Predators is an action film released in 2010. It was intended to serve as a Spiritual Successor to Predator, a task which it succeeds at in many ways.An American mercenary, Royce, wakes to find himself free falling toward a jungle below, with no clue why he's hurtling towards the ground at an alarming rate, or why there's a parachute on him that deploys automatically. Soon after landing, he encounters others who have arrived the exact same way. All they have in common is that each is a deadly killer and they band together for strength in numbers. Soon they realize that not only are they not in Kansas anymore, they're on a gigantic game reserve....Robert Rodriguez had put together a script for the film way back in 1994 before Fox finally greenlit the project 16 years later. Directed by Nimród Antal, it stars Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Laurence Fishburne, Walton Goggins, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Oleg Taktarov & Danny Trejo. It was co-produced out of 20th Century Fox by Robert Rodriguez, who is frequently misidentified as the director.
This film provides examples of:
Absurdly Sharp Blade: All the edged weapons in this movie seem to dismember and decapitate with one blow. Justified in most instances because they're blades made by Predators, who even make their metal nets mono-molecular. Royce apparently sharpens his machete like crazy, too, since he decapitates a hunting dog in one hit.
Aliens Are Bastards: Played with, in the case of the Predators, who abduct humans and take them to a "hunting preserve" on a different world. However, they deliberately take humans that no one will miss and will put up a good fight - serial rapists and murderers with plenty of knowledge about hunting, soldiers who've committed war crimes, gangsters, cold-blooded mercenaries, Sociopathic Soldiers and disgraces, terrorists, et cetera...
Always Save the Girl: It must be a spinal reflex for Royce. When he has time to think about it, he'll leave Isabelle without a second glance; but when under fire, he invariably dives back into the fray to save her.
Amazon Chaser: Isabelle's tough as nails, and the guys explicitly find her attractive for it.
Asshole Victim: Since ALL of the humans are pretty unpleasant people, this comes up a lot.
Stans is the most obvious. The movie even plays with this trope a bit — at first you think he's obviously evil, then you think he's not that bad when he calls out Royce on his dog shooting... and then he makes his "rapin' bitches" comment.
If you know anything about the RUF, you'll realize that Mombasa is probably one of the worst person out of the entire group.
One of the first things Cuchillo talks about once they figure out what's going on is to casually mention that he kidnaps and burns people alive for crime syndicates in Mexico.
Badass: Every single character except for the doctor can be considered one, to greater or lesser extents. Special mention goes to Hanzo, who is the only character to fight an unweakened Predator in a one-on-one battle and get a draw. With a katana, no less.
Battle Strip: Hanzo and Royce both remove their shirts for their respective final battles.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: Royce and Isabelle start out hating each other, but it quickly turns into a complicated and slightly sociopathic mating dance.
The Berserker: Stans goes Knife Nut on the black predator - ironically, the predator's named "Berserker" in the script. This shows why he was chosen, and why he was left with just his knife. He gets respect from the guys with guns after this.
"Die, you space faggot!" STAB STAB STAB STAB STAB STAB.
Beware the Nice Ones: The doctor turns out to be a Serial Killer. Stans doesn't seem too bad, but you work out he's probably a serial rapist and murderer, and he freely admits he was on Death Row. In California.note Death Row in California is extremely hard to get into, as the state is typically anti-execution, and even then, the executions tend to be delayed for years. Stans was set to be executed in days. Getting there would take a very heinous crime.
BFG: Nikolai's minigun. Even referred to as such by Stans:
Nikolai saves Edwin from a Predator, just when it seems he's done for.
Despite Royce swearing up and down that he's a bad, bad man who doesn't care about anyone—and proving it when he trots off without a second look at dead or dying teammates—he doubles back under fire at least twice to rescue a comrade.
Bilingual Bonus: Nikolai's final line, spoken in Russian as he blows himself and the Predator to bits, means "Some face you've got there!", a Mythology Gag reference to Schwarzenegger's famous "ugly motherfucker" line from the original movie.
Bittersweet Ending: Isabella and Royce are the lone survivors, both wounded and out of ammo and with no way home, only for more monsters and humans to get airdropped in, about to repeat the events of the film. This means Predators, which means there's another ship to hijack, and more allies to help them out... Of course, this is an obvious Sequel Hook.
Blood Knight: The Predators themselves are obvious examples. In addition, Royce repeatedly states that the main reason he worked as a mercenary is because he likes the thrill of combat. The subtext suggests that all of the characters are, and furthermore, it's why they were chosen.
Bond One-Liner: "You really are a good man." "No, I'm not... but I'm fast."
Bottomless Magazines: Subverted. Whilst the main character's blasting in the first few scenes might lead one to believe this trope is being played straight, there's the "shell count" scene establishing their limited resources almost halfway through. Immediately before that scene, during the battle Hanzo's Beretta runs dry and he is shown reloading, Cuchillo's dual MP 5 Ks also run dry as he's firing at one of hounds, forcing him to draw and fire his pistol.
Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Stans has two great moments of this. First he talks about doing a whole bunch of cocaine, which Edwin finds funny. Then Stans starts talking about rape, which Edwin finds somewhat less funny. The second is when he shows off his tattoo, leading to...
Brother-Sister Incest: When the gang sees that Stans has a tattoo of a bare-breasted woman on his chest (and even plays with it), another character asks, "Your girlfriend?" Stans says, "No, my sister." Edwin's face is priceless.
The somewhat offhanded mention of Dutch's defeat of the first Predator by covering himself in mud.
Canon Discontinuity: This film ignores the two Alien vs. Predator movies, although Word of God is unclear if it disregarded Predator 2 as well (Isabelle doesn't mention the events of the second movie, for what it's worth, but there are some minor nods to it, and Noland was at one point intended to be Mike Harrigan from Predator 2).
The NECA action figure for Berserker Predator, however, states that he was the youngest ever Predator to kill a Xenomorph, and that Tracker Predator and Falconer Predator are his Young Blood protégée.
Closer to Earth: Lone woman Isabella is the most compassionate character (though several of the men have their moments). Yes, the sniper is the most compassionate, and is thoroughly disgusted at Royce's attempts to leave the group or use them for his own gain.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Predators. Noland describes the two types as "dogs and wolves", with the more honorable "classic" Predators being smaller and with lighter equipment, while the new and more villainous Predators are taller with dark helmets.
Combat Pragmatist: The Berserker demonstrates this during his duel with the Classic Predator. As soon as Classic starts landing a few good hits in the fight, Berserker introduces his plasma caster to it.
Continuity Nod: Isabelle is the only human who knows about the Predators, because she's read the reports detailing events of the original movie.
Covers Always Lie: The cover art for the single-disc DVD seen above would lead you to believe that Laurence Fishburne and Danny Trejo play much larger roles than they actually do.
Crazy Survivalist: Former U.S. Air Cavalryman Noland, with real emphasis on both crazy (he talks to an imaginary friend), and given the planet, survivalist –- having survived ten "seasons," though how long this is is a bit...vague, seeing as a new batch of humans was being dropped in just a few days after the first. He attempts to kill the team to get their gear and because they're dead weight for him, on the suggestion of his imaginary friend, and it's heavily implied he's done it before.
It's possible each "season" features multiple "game drops"...not necessarily that the people/aliens being dropped in at the end means it's a new season.
Cultured Badass: Royce quotes Hemingway when describing his mercenary work - he likes the feeling of killing other men.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Royce makes a number of very smart decisions regarding the plot of the movie. He's the first one to figure out that they are being sent to the planet to be hunted, recognizes a booby-trapped body when he sees one, and uses his team as bait to lure the Predators out of hiding and figure out more about their size, shape, and technology, and his tactics against the aliens later play off of various franchise tropes.
Death Trap: The first action sequence is a result of a huge number of traps set up by a long-dead Special Forces member, in a callback to the first film. One of the characters notes that the Predator bypassed all those traps and ripped him apart.
Death World: The setting of the film is designed to be incredibly hostile to survival.
Debut Queue: The five main characters appear one by one, seconds or a few minutes after each other.
Developing Doomed Characters: The Predators don't make an appearance proper until after the group gets acquainted with each other and where they are.
Does Not Like Shoes: Hanzo takes off his dress shoes to walk in the muddy jungle terrain, as they obviously aren't suited for it.
Double Meaning Title: The title not only refers to the iconic monsters, but also to their prey who were dangerous killers on planet Earth.
The characters spend the first half of the movie just trying to figure out where they are and how they got there, while the audience already knows all that, the identity of the hunters, and a good portion of the Predator's history with humanity to boot.
Royce runs for the ship, unaware that his Predator ally has been defeated by the Black Predator, who then commands the ship to self-destruct. It's doubly ironic, because BP doesn't know Royce isn't on the ship.
As Royce tends to a paralyzed Isabelle, the audience cringes to see the traitor behind him, talking casually, and the desperation in Isabelle's eyes—as she can see and hear, but not speak or move—only adds to the tension.
Dressing as the Enemy: Laurence Fishburne's character uses a helmet from one of the Predators he’s presumably killed to detect other humans' presence.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Noland gets blown up seconds after he runs into a Predator, after having been established as a highly-skilled (if demented) survivor.
To be fair, surviving by hiding and running is very different from surviving when you're actually confronted by a Predator and have nowhere to run.
It could also be another indication of just how long he's been there. Rather than continuing to toy with Noland, the Predator just up and shoots because he's sick of hunting him. There's no longer any sport in it.
Someone eventually gets the idea of exploiting the Enemy Civil War to their advantage.
Lampshaded in a moment from a trailer (apparently removed from the movie) when Isabelle says that everyone needs to work together, another character responds, "Does this look like a team orientated group of individuals to you?"
Even Evil Has Standards: Stans—the convicted, psychotic mass murderer and rapist—yells at Royce for leading them into a trap and getting Mombasa killed.
Royce: I needed to know what we were up against. Now I do. Stans: A man is dead because of that. Royce: This morning you were ready to kill him. Stans: Well it ain't this goddamn morning!
A Deleted Scene has this for Cuchillo, who expresses his disgust at Stans for being a murderer of 38 random people For the Evulz, whereas he kills people for money and therefore has some kind of reason.
Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: In-universe: invoked and discussed right in the first scene, when Cuchillo assumes they are all in Hell, and Nikolai speculates it's a military psyche experiment. But it's immediately pointed out that you don't need a parachute to get there, and why would a military go to great lengths to construct a piecemeal jungle and slam together criminals, mercenaries, and soldiers?
Face Nod Action: The Yakuza assassin simply stops walking in a field while the Predators chase them down. Royce, Edwin and Isabelle stop as well and look at the assassin, who simply looks at Royce and nods at him. Royce nods back and starts walking away again.
When Royce figures out that one of their team members is being used as bait and says to leave him, the others leave in order according to how monstrous and/or noble they prove themselves to be over the course of the movie. Alert viewers will notice the doctor, the one supposedly sworn to SAVING lives, is the first to leave-without so much as looking back or even expressing discomfort or opposition to the suggestion of leaving the wounded behind. Even convicted rapist and murderer Stans seemed to have hesitation in his voice when he was confirming that was the plan.
Especially given that he denied having anything to cut the parachute ropes at the time, yet pulled out a scalpel upon discovering the toxic flower. He didn't want to admit he had that blade with him, because everyone else had his or her favorite killing implement on hand...
This actually serves as a double foreshadow. Even if Edwin is a doctor and that wasn't just a lie made up on the spot, most doctors don't actually walk around with a case of scalpels in the pocket of their casual attire.
Genre Savvy: The entire cast, by and large. The predators themselves get a special mention, though: the remote self-destruct on their ships seems to involve two or three button presses and involves no dramatic countdown or confirmation.
Also Royce, in spades. He easily determines that the dead body of Danny Trejo is a trap. In fact, he figures out what is going on long before any of the others do, and accordingly, adjusts his tactics.
Grey and Gray Morality: Everyone chosen to be "hunted," with the exception of the doctor, are hardened killers, which means that all of them are unsavory one way or another.
And even the doctor turns out to be a serial killer.
Gun Porn: Many of the guns get their own close ups, long and lovingly enough that firearm aficionados can read "Surefire" on the grip of Royce's automatic shotgun and "elcan" on Isabelle's scope, enjoy the sheen of Hanzo's pearl-gripped Beretta...etc.
Hollywood Tactics: For all the talk about how good Predators had been getting at hunting people, they really don't show it.
Honor Before Reason: The Predators always try to fight fair when possible, and play with their prey before killing it, much to their detriment.
Incidentally, the only reason the Black Predators seem to fight fair is because they enjoy the hunt so much, and want to make it last. They don't follow very honorable standards the rest of the time, unlike their jungle cousins. For example, multiple Predators hunting at once instead of only one, taking prey to their own turf, using hunting dog-like creatures to flush out their prey, and using aerial recon droids to track prey who have escaped them.
Humans Are Bastards: Our heroes are not nice people. Predators are bastards to each other, too. The Preds picked Royce and the others because no one would miss them (being soldiers guilty of genocide or terrorism, heartless mercenaries, criminals, et cetera). Though technically neither Isabelle nor Nikolai are shown or mentioned as doing anything "evil", other than just being soldiers.
I Did What I Had to Do: Frequently brought up throughout the movie. The Predators will use any means available to weaken or kill the main characters, which means the humans will have to make some "hard choices" if they want to survive.
When Edwin is injured, Royce wants to leave him behind, but Isabella protests that "He's one of us". Later, Edwin will argue "Please, I'm one of you," in very different circumstances.
Stans mocks Mombasa after the latter dives into the detritus to avoid a deadfall with "Looking good, boss." Later, when Stans is lying on the ground covered in dirt and alien dog blood, Mombasa parrots the line back at him.
A subtle one. When the group first meets Nolan, Royce asks him, "What the fuck are you?" and Nolan answers, "I'm alive." Nolan later shows part of the reason why, he's not above murder when it's for his own benefit. He gets the group to trust him so he can (attempt) to kill them for their weapons, and it's implied he's done it before. Later, when Royce is showing a similar inhuman disregard for the life of Edwin (whose death would benefit him), Isabelle asks him, "What are you?" and Royce replies, "I'm alive."
Numerous to the earlier Predator films, from the entire plots itself, the Marine who set traps and the discovery of dead Special Forces surrounded by ammo casings, the references to the first film's plot, Laurence Fishburne's character, the lighting used in the Predator ship and the flares (it mirrors shots and lighting in Aliens), among numerous others.
The big one's called Sascha. In addition, giant Russian with the minigun (who says aforementioned quote) pals around with the Doctor. May be a coincidence, though...
The lead Predator has an Alien's jaw attached to his helmet as a trophy.
There is a burning Alien's Head strung up in the Predators camp.
Noland tells the others that every season, a new batch of prey is dropped in, "shit you wouldn't believe." He turns and giggles conspiratorially with his Imaginary Friend, but does seem to glance meaningfully at what looks like an acid burn on the wall behind him.
When Noland first approaches the group, his whispers of "Over here, over here," and "Turn around, turn around," are much like Mac's whispers in the first film.
Royce also does a word-for-word repetition of Arnold's "Come on, do it, kill me!" line from the original film during his final battle with the Predator.
Stans, a convicted mass murderer and rapist, dies sacrificing himself for the team to get away, impaled and having his spine and skull torn out. Ironically, he was supposed to be executed in two days before the Predators selected him.
The Doctor, after revealing he's a serial killer wacko type, is impaled, dragged through the mud while he pathetically begs for his life, and used as a grenade Death Trap to injure a Predator.
Mombasa is impaled multiple times from below by a Death Trap, and is left writhing in his dying agony for most of the resulting skirmish, shortly after admitting he'd tortured captives and set them out bleeding as bait for their companions.
Katanas Are Just Better: The Yakuza faces a Predator in single combat and manages a Mutual Kill, while the other humans spend most of the film unable to kill any predators with automatic weapons.
Knife Nut: Stans, in part because none of the others give him a gun, but he certainly seems competent with it. When he presses his knife to Mombasa's throat, he moves like a cobra, so fast that you half-wonder why he's even asking for one.
Large Ham: Nolan Laurence Fishburne went well above and beyond the call of duty for this one.
Nolan:YOU'RE IN MY HOUSE MUTHA FUCKAAAAAAAS!!!
Lowered Monster Difficulty: The Predators had quite the kill count in the last film and survived assaults from higher caliber weapons.
Well, to be fair, none of the Predators here are killed with gunfire anyways. One is blown up by a point blank Claymore, one is cut open with a sword. and the last one survives having a grenade booby trap go off in it's face, multiple hits by a bone axe/club thing, then gets hit with a sniper rifle(likely a .308 Winchester or a .338 Lapua, which are high caliber rounds), and STILL has to be finished off with the axe.
Made of Iron: The last of the Predators. In a short span of time it's stabbed repeatedly by Stans, stabbed and wounded further by the classic Predator, blasted by a multitude of grenades point-blank, suffers multiple blows to the head from a wrench, shot by Isabella's sniper rifle, and torn up when Royce uses an axe on it. In spite of all that, it had enough life left in it to necessitate Royce systematically hacking it apart with that axe.
Male Gaze: The camera follows Stans' line of sight for about fifteen seconds. When Isabelle turns around, he just words it out: "Your ass is awesome." Isabelle knows better than to humour him, or even pay attention to him, and avoids him.
Maybe Ever After: Movie convention would seem to force Royce and Isabella together, but their circumstances and his personality leave the coupling in question.
Mercy Kill: Isabella tries to do this for Cuchillo, only to have him call out for help again after being shot through the heart.
Mexican Standoff: Subverted. Stans presses his shiv to Mombasa's throat and demands a gun. Mombasa calmly but firmly jams a handgun under Stans' chin. Cue Oh Crap expression on Stans' face.
One trailer (and the page image) shows Royce's upper body being covered in the iconic Predator three-dot laser, implying that there's a considerable number of Predators on the planet. In reality, there's only three, four Predators max. In the actual scene, it's only one target.
Noland appears in the same scene, despite being killed soon after being introduced in the actual film.
Night Vision Goggles: Of the false-contrast heat-sensing type that the original movie popularized. The typical method of countering it is inverted, instead of smearing himself with mud, Royce fights off the Berserker by starting a raging fire, which his body heat does not register against.
No Name Given: For ninety-nine percent of the movie, the only one with a name is Nikolai. Isabelle and Royce introduce themselves in the penultimate scene, while the rest are named only in the script.
Stans' name is on his jumpsuit.
No One Gets Left Behind: Royce does not subscribe to this, always prompting others to move on with "He's done." The first time, Isabella listens, but she refuses the second time, citing the risk of He Who Fights Monsters, and that if they give up their humanity to survive they’ve already lost.
Not So Different: Royce says this almost verbatim to Isabelle, then taunts her with
"You do it for your country so you don't have to admit you like it."
Obvious Trap: The Predators set one with the cartel member. The team doesn’t fall for it.
Off with His Head!: Two Predators and Stans get their heads sliced off... or ripped off, in Stans' case.
Oh Crap: "Nice shot!" "...I missed." And they realize that they are so incredibly boned.
Edwin's face, before that (he was used as bait to lure whatever was stalking them out).
Only Sane Man: Edwin comes off as this, especially compared to Cuchillo and Stans. This makes sense since most of the others are a Blood Knight at best, and a Psycho for Hire at worse. Subverted, he's by far the craziest.
Ontological Mystery: Our main characters awaken in mid-drop into a strange jungle, armed with weapons, and no memory of how they got into this situation. Lampshaded when the characters discuss their situation and point out every single most used solution to the mystery: from a military training scenario to gauge stress reactions, to Hell. Later solved when they find out they're on a completely different planet.
Outrun the Fireball: The characters try to escape the derelict ship before the explosion from Nikolai's claymores catches up to them.
Psycho for Hire: Royce and Cuchillo, maybe Mombasa. The other members are either too honorable to be psycho; or are too psycho to be for hire.
The Quiet One: Hanzo, the Yakuza assassin. He lost two fingers on his left hand (and needs to use prosthetics) in the past because he "talked too much." Despite having a mere handful of lines, he has more presence than most of the rest of the cast combined, and one of the best scenes in the film.
Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Everyone knows Stans is a murderer, but Edwin doesn't get discomfited until he starts talking about all the "fine bitches" he's going to rape when he gets home.
Royce's automatic shotgun blows through ammo like a hooker through coke, and Hanzo's Beretta only holds fifteen rounds. Both run out of ammo about when they should, and the characters are forced to improvise. Cuchillo's guns also run dry after one extended burst, forcing him to draw his sidearm.
Isabelle's finely-calibrated—and thus finicky—sniper rifle jams in the midst of a fast-paced gun fight. Highly likely in the dirty, humid jungle environment they were in.
Reality Is Unrealistic: Royce quickly deduces they are on an alien planet. Anyone going through the survival checklist a highly trained soldier would be familiar with would do the same.
The Reveal: The humans are trying to figure out where they've been dropped. Cue the Alien Sky, with a gas giant and multiple moons!
Rousseau Was Right: Despite being remorseless killers and insisting on being bad men, Royce, Stans, Nikolai, and Hanzo all act for the benefit of others at different points throughout the film, and chew each other out for not helping the group from time to time.
Russian Guy Suffers Most: Subverted. His actual on-screen suffering isn't nearly as bad as any of the others, but since he has a family back home, Nikolai certainly has the most to lose.
Sequel Hook: The ending has Royce and Isabelle still stuck on planet as a number of newbies are parachute-dropped in....
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Well, sort of, and thankfully not of the main plot. Nikolai sacrificed himself for Edwin, who turns out to be a serial killer hell-bent on staying, but he did manage to take out one of the Predators and ultimately save Royce and Isabelle.
Sherlock Scan: Royce identifies the various groups within an hour.
The music that plays during the end credits is "Long Tall Sally," the same music Dutch and his team are listening to as they're about to go into the jungle. Also a bit of Soundtrack Dissonance, given the Bittersweet Ending just before it.
The title of the film is a reference to the title of the second film in the Alien franchise, Aliens.
In the final battle, Royce quotes Dutch's "I'm here, kill me, I'm here" line from the first movie almost exactly.
The Smart Guy: Edwin, the otherwise hapless medical doctor, is able to identify plants and their various effects. Genre Savvy as they all are, the others quickly assume he's there in the capacity of The Medic.
Sociopathic Hero: Stans and...well, everyone. Some just hide it better than others.
Royce says this word for word when they are attacked by the alien dogs.
Mombasa takes it one step further, giving a detailed description of a sadistic trap for human prey, then saying, "I know because I have done this."
While they are all mulling over their Ontological Mystery, Tijujana gangster Cuchillo suggests they may have been taken for ransom, and goes on to describe the awful things they do to their victims.
The Cast Show Off: Lewis Ozawa Changchien has practiced kendo since he was five years old, and insisted on using that style in Hanzo's fight.
Title Drop: Isabelle says to Royce that they were chosen for the hunt because "we are predators. Just like them. We're the monsters of our own world."
Token Good Teammate: In a band of mercenaries, gangsters, and killers, many of whom lack a clear conscience, Isabelle is clearly the only one who believes in doing the right thing. It's atonement for deliberately leaving her spotter to die.
Nikolai was also a pretty decent guy. He was a Spetsnaz soldier but there's no mention about him being involved in any war crimes and is more than willing to put his own life on the line to save the others.
Too Shortsighted To Live: Edwin is dangerous in a way, but not to heavily armed soldiers or the even more physically imposing aliens. Even if Royce has left them, Edwin stands a much better chance of survival with Isabelle than wearing her scalp as a hat or whatever he had in mind. However, it's justified by his nature as a serial killer, as such individuals rarely operate on a rational basis. As proof of his skewed perception, he expresses the belief that the Predators will accept him when they see he is a hunter like them; in truth, his method of hunting resembles theirs not at all.
With This Herring: Everyone starts out with whatever they were carrying before, so two of the characters only have knives. Lampshaded by Stans, who demands to be given a gun and nearly kills Mombasa for his, since all he has is a prison shiv.
Worf Had The Flu: When the classic Predator faces the black Predator, it has been tied up for a while and has poorly maintained equipment, which are the main reasons why it loses. Despite this, he puts up a fight.
When the black Predator faces Royce he has been stabbed, had a fistfight with another Predator and had a ring of grenades explode in his face. When Royce stops to catch his breath, the fight goes as well as it normally would.
World of Badass: The deadliest hunters in the galaxy created a game preserve on a Death World by stocking it with the most lethal predators of Earth... and other planets.