Reviews: Predators

A mixed bag.

I am a fan of the original Predator movies, I thought the original movie (and its sequel, though less so) had a genius match between action, charismatic characters, horror, special effects and comedy. Then there's the big sequel, Predators, my opinion about it is broken. To elaborate:

  • The writing is good, unlike the mindless action movies you sometimes see, the movie takes time to build an atmosphere of horror and danger, which allows immersion in the story.
  • The Action delivers what it promised: Some good Predators-hunting-humans action.
  • The potential for sequels involving the predator world is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

  • For a movie that promised to expand on Predator universe, it really didn't. There's a feud between Predators but no one elaborates why, nor why they brought criminals to a planet to have a competition while they're having a war. Ultimately, the movie expanded nothing in the predator universe.
  • The plot is embarassing. In the original movies, one Predator could take out elite fighters alone. Here, the effect is lost and their competency goes on a downwards spiral. Although they are now dozens, have a planet, animals and vehicles at their disposal, the Predators not only fail to catch them, they start to die one by one.
  • It fails at what made the original movie interesting: Charisma. They had interesting personalities. Here? The movie is so focused on showing Royce as a Jerkass we stop caring about him, he's just a unlikeable asshole, why should I care about this? Isabella is just a bland Morality Pet with no function other than serving as a Token Good Teammate. Mombassa and Cuchilla have zero characterization other than "Ethnic Criminals", you don't care about their survival. Hanzo had potential, but he's so underused, the only scene we root for him is the (epic) clash with the Predator. Exceptions are Nikolai, Stans and Edwin. Nikolai is a charismatic character for being so civil and gentle while retaining badassery and his charm. Stans is darkly funny, which brings a nice light to the movie. Edwin is boring, but he was a welcome twist to the movie.

Overall, it's a mixed bag of wasted potential and goodness, with wasted potential coming slightly on top. Hopefully the sequel can be good. 6/10.