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Film / Predators

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Fear is reborn...

"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 is the third installment in the Predator franchise, ignoring the Alien vs. Predator films.

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, Mahershala 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.
  • African Terrorists: One member of the assortment of killers and mercenaries trapped on the alien planet is Mombasa, an RUF member and death squad officer from Sierra Leone.
  • Alien Abduction: All of the human characters were kidnapped offscreen by the Predators and taken to their game reserve planet to be hunted for sport.
  • Alien Sky: A very impressive one. They all look like they're about to crack open and spill into space as massive clouds of broken rock and dust. Beautiful. Even Royce, who so far has been calm and unfazed despite all the weird stuff going on, has no idea what to do.
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  • 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 - Special Forces types on highly-dangerous classified missions, 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... It's also shown that the Predators that are hunting the group are a separate group from the standard Predators we usually see (who are known for their focus on honor and nobility) and have far fewer morals than the others.
  • All There in the Manual: The movie relies on concise dialogue and action for the vast majority of its characterization. The predators' extensive biographies are pulled from other sources, and a great deal of the individuals' backstories come from the comics and special features. Even the majority of the characters' names are found only in the script.
  • All There in the Script: Only Royce, Isabelle, Nikolai and Noland give their names on-screen.
  • 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.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: As Royce tries to convince Isabelle to leave a wounded Edwin behind, she asks if survival at any cost is worth it.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Edwin identifies a plant as Archaefructus liaoningensis. Not only does it not resemble liaoningensis at all, but the entire Archaefructus genus has been extinct for millions of years. note  He also identifies it as incredibly poisonous, but no current findings suggest that.
    • The Tracker Predator's Hell Hounds would make for terrible hunting animals in densely vegetated terrain thanks to their spikes. Sure, their spines look cool, but in a closed-in environment with thick undergrowth like a jungle, the Hell Hounds would end up snagging on underbrush or tree trunks and wouldn't be able to move efficiently at all.
  • Asshole Victim: Since ALL of the humans are pretty unpleasant people, this comes up a lot. It's an invoked example, since the Predators only hunt people who are dangerous enough to provide a challenge; criminals and crazed soldiers are the perfect choices.
    • Stans is the most obvious. At first you think he's evil, then you think he's not that bad when he calls out Royce on his dog shooting... and then you are reminded that he's a death row con. Ultimately his behaviour is based on prison etiquette, which boils down to "You don't shit on your friends".
    • If you know anything about the RUF, you'll realize that Mombasa is probably the worst person out of the entire group. However, given the RUF's recruitment strategies, it's still possible that he wasn't given a choice about joining.
    • 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.
    • However, downplayed at least a little. Bad people though they undeniably are, the captives (with a small exception for Royce and a much larger exception for Noland and Edwin) clearly try to watch out for each other, if for no other reason than pragmatism.
  • The Atoner: Several members of the group 'atone' in some way for their crimes. Turns out the reason Isabelle acts so tenderhearted is survivor's guilt. Of course, when Royce hears the story, he all but shrugs and says "You do what you have to do to survive."
  • Audible Sharpness:
    • The katana Hanzo finds makes a noise as it is unsheathed, and then another when he moves it slowly through the air.
    • Even Edwin's scalpel produces a slight noise as he pulls it from its case.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses - Several, usually with Royce, Isabelle, and a third person.
  • Bald of Awesome/Bald of Evil: Hanzo.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The Final Battle. Justified, since it messes with the Predators' sensors.
  • Battle Strip: Hanzo and Royce both remove their shirts for their respective final battles.
  • Being Watched: Mombasa is visibly more alert than the other group members. When investigating the corpse of a previous victim, he is the only one to notice that something is very wrong, and watches the nearby trees where an invisible Predator is sitting. He does this later again in the Predator camp; when Royce seems to have disappeared and left them, he quickly realises that Royce is still there, watching them. His ability to detect when he's being watched seems reminiscent of Billy's in the first movie.
  • 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 Dog. He gets respect from the guys with guns after this. If you note the line in which they travel, Stans ends up third in line, right behind Isabelle. Later on he stabs at the big black predator with just a knife.
    "Die, you space faggot!" STAB STAB STAB STAB STAB STAB.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Isabelle demonstrates this belief. Twice.
  • 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 admits he was on Death Row. In California. Deleted scenes establish that he killed 38 people because he wanted to.
    • Noland also seems rather cooperative at first, filling in the group on how the game preserve works. He later tries to kill them by smoke inhalation, in order to get their supplies. His imaginary friend implies he's done it before.
  • BFG: Nikolai's minigun. Even referred to as such by Stans:
    "Come on, Russian, you got a big fucking gun!"
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • 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: Isabelle 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.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Subverted, he dies second. The Mexican dude dies first.
    • Not to mention the white Special Forces guy they find already dead and the white guy whose chute doesn't open.
    • Zigzagged with Noland. He's been the Sole Survivor, lasting ten seasons, but then is the next one to die after joining the main group.
  • 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."
  • Bond Villain Stupidity:
    • When Noland turns on the group, he tries to choke them with smoke in a closed space. Makes sense... except he could just have turned invisible and killed them all with his futuristic weapons.
    • All three Predators qualify, except when they don't feel like it.
  • Booby Trap: After he tries to kill Royce, serial killer Edwin is left as one-he's laid down with a bunch of grenades rigged beneath him that go off when a Predator pulls him up.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Isabelle on one of the alien dogs, to save Edwin.
  • 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 MP5Ks 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, which is of a pretty, naked girl... who Edwin then learns is Stans' sister.
  • Butt-Monkey: Downplayed but still there. While the other characters get smooth intros that showcase their badassery, Edwin is first seen hanging upside down in a tree hollering for help, before being unceremoniously dumped in the pond below. From then on he's just an Action Survivor, and his one big contribution to the team involves playing bait.
  • Chekhov's Gun
    • The neurotoxin-filled plant that the doctor saves Nikolai from, and not used until the very end.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Closer to Earth: Lone woman Isabelle 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.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Swear words are used as if they were punctuation. Stans is possibly the standout.
  • 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.
    • The fact the game reserve has other species being hunted besides humans calls back to the second movie where the trophy room was filled with other extraterrestrials.
    • Despite the supposed Canon Discontinuity, the Berserker Predator's jawbone decoration is actually a Xenomorph's and the Tracker Predator bears acid blood burns on his mask.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: A Yakuza Enforcer with a katana dueling with a Predator.
  • 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". 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.
  • Cultured Badass: Royce quotes Hemingway when describing his mercenary work — he likes the feeling of killing other men.
  • Dark Is Evil: The "modern" predators have black gear and a red tint to their skin, in contrast to the steely-gray armor and yellowish-brown skintone of the somewhat more honorable "classic" predator.
  • Death by Pragmatism: Noland.
  • 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. However, by that time the group has already been through two action sequences (the traps and the dogs) and had one of their members killed and used as bait.
  • 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.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • 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.
  • Duel to the Death: Between Hanzo and the Falconer Predator. The result is a draw.
  • Due to the Dead: After discovering the body of the Special Forces member, Cuchillo and Hanzo pay their respect to the man before leaving.
  • Dwindling Party: In effect throughout the entire film.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Nikolai, Stans, and Hanzo.
  • Earth All Along: The characters assume they're on Earth until they realize that the sun hasn't moved in the several hours they've been there.
  • Enemy Civil War: Noland reveals there's a blood feud between two Predator Clans. Unsurprisingly, this becomes a plot point.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Someone eventually gets the idea of exploiting the Enemy Civil War to their advantage.
    • Lampshaded in a moment from a trailer and a deleted scene when Isabelle says that everyone needs to work together, Cuchillo 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.
    • According to the film crew, the Berserker and his clan are criminals by Predator standards.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The benevolent doctor is thoroughly disgusted by Stans's "rapin' bitches" comment. He's later revealed to be a serial killer himself, so either he's faking his outrage or rape is beyond even his standards.
  • 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?
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Including a Hungry Jungle, the Predators, their dogs, the other "prey" animals, and your fellow man.
  • 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.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner:
  • Failed a Spot Check: The group somehow fails to see the huge planets/moons in the sky for the first twenty-five minutes of the movie.
  • Fantastic Racism: There's an ongoing blood feud between the "classic" predators and the bigger, nastier "black" predators. Though according to Word of God, it's less they're different clans and more the black predators are criminals by their own kind's standards.
  • Fingore: Hanzo had two of his fingers chopped off by his bosses because he talked too much.
  • Foreshadowing: There are a lot of hints at Edwin's true nature leading up to his revelation:
    • He denies having something to cut himself free, yet in the very next scene produces a razor-sharp, scalpel-like pen knife.
    • There's a close-up shot of Edwin's poison-covered knife, and then he stares fixedly at Isabelle.
    • Even for a doctor, Edwin's ability to identify exotic poisons and assess corpse decomposition is remarkably proficient. These aren't things most types of doctors would encounter very often.
    • Edwin is the first to walk away when Royce suggests that they leave a fallen team member behind, in spite of being in the profession of saving lives.
    • Edwin pulls out a photo of Nikolai's kids when begging for his life.
  • Friendly Sniper: Isabelle, who is noticeably the most compassionate.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Noland went this route a long time ago.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: Royce, after the waterfall.
    Royce: Whatever it is, wherever they're from, we're going to kill them all.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Everyone chosen to be "hunted," with the exception of the doctor, are war criminals, terrorists, gangsters, and all-around hardass 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 AA-12 automatic shotgun and "elcan" on Isabelle's scope, enjoy the sheen of Hanzo's pearl-gripped Beretta, Royce's ivory-gripped 1911...etc.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • After being freed by Royce, a Predator from an opposing clan sides with him (a good deed for a good deed, after all).
    • Meta-example: Stans shows remorse at Mombasa's death, even though he was fighting with him and had tried to kill him earlier.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Nikolai blows himself up in order to both take out the Predator he's facing down and save his group.
    • Also, Stans playing dead to jump on a Predator's back and stab the hell out of it giving his teammates time to escape, and Hanzo, pulling a You Shall Not Pass! moment and taking another one down.
  • Homage:
  • Honor Before Reason: The Predators always try to fight fair when possible, and play with their prey before killing it, much to their detriment. 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. It's also demonstrated in the fight with the Berserker against the Classic, in what starts out as a one-on-one hand-to-hand fight, the instant the Classic manages to gain an advantage, the Berserker does away with fighting on equal terms and starts blasting away with his plasma weapon. Simply put, the Black Predators are much more willing to fight dirty than their cousins.
  • 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.
  • Humans Are Warriors: Well, these guys are. Edwin is a noted exception.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The entire plot, only unlike the other Predator movies, this time the game is sent to a reserve dedicated to their hobby.
  • Husky Russkie: Nikolai has the stockiest build of the group.
  • 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.
  • I Owe You My Life: Never said, but rather obviously how Nikolai and Edwin became friends and how Stans and Mombasa stopped trying to off the other.
  • I Have a Family: Edwin tries this, even though he doesn't.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: As expected from a movie where the title characters brandish huge, extensible, spears. Mombasa is the standout case.
  • Infernal Retaliation: In conjunction with hiding from infrared using mud, Royce hides from the Predator by surrounding himself with fire.
  • Innocent Bystander: While the other abducted humans are military, Yakuza, criminals, or the like, Edwin is just some poor shmuck doctor snatched on his way to work. In fact, there is no reason at all for him to be on the planet, and he isn't a serial killing sociopath or anything like that.
  • Internal Homage:
    • Numerous to the earlier Predator films, from the entire plots itself, the Marine who set traps and the discovery of a dead US Special Forces soldier 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 Enemy of my Enemy... is NOT my friend.
      • Also, Predators hunt in threes.
      • Not the first time a human and a Predator make a deal to team up and take out a much larger threat.
    • "You're one... ugly... motherfucker." (In Russian, 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.
    • When Royce frees the Classic Predator from the totem and it does its neck grab on him it turns his head to one side much the same way the Jungle Hunter did with Dutch Schaeffer.
    • Just like in the original Predator:
      • A character stares intensely into the trees, and doesn't respond when a teammate asks what's up.
      • A blade-wielding character suddenly stops fleeing in order to face the pursuing Predator, mano-a-mano.
      • Characters fall uncontrollably down a hill and right into a river.
      • A subtle one: A giant bug is impaled on a knife.
      • A character unloads with a giant minigun into the forest. Later, every gun-toting character unloads into the trees.
      • A character's weapon is blown in two by the Predator's weapon.
      • Moments before death, a character's arm is severed. It was Dillon's in the first film, and the last Predator's in this film.
    • Nikolai and Cuchillo are likely nods to the Starter Villains of the first and second films.
      • Nikolai is a member of the Russian military, who served while under Soviet rule as advisors to the guerrillas before falling victim to Dutch's team in the first film.
      • Cuchillo is a member of a Hispanic cartel, which references to the Columbian cartel battling the police in the second film's Action Prologue, Cuchillo even references the Columbian cartel's enforcer El Scorpio, down to relying on submachine Guns Akimbo, while interestingly and retroactively, El Scorpio coincidentally resembles Machete from the film of the same name which was directed by Robert Rodriguez, the producer of this film, and features Danny Trejo, who plays Cuchillo, in the title role.
    • "Long Tall Sally" plays over the closing credits, the very same song that Dutch Schaeffer and his team had blasting in their choppa.
  • Incest Subtext: Implied with Stans toward his sister. Sure, having a picture of your sister is one thing, but having a nude woman tattoo on your body dedicated to her is another.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • When Edwin is injured, Royce wants to leave him behind, but Isabelle 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 Noland, Royce asks him, "What the fuck are you?" and Noland answers, "I'm alive." Noland 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."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Royce for sure. Like your typical mercenary, he doesn't seem to care for the group in any real way. But of course, he has a change of heart by the end.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Stans looks kind of weedy and all he's got is a knife. He's kind of funny, too. You start feeling like maybe he's not such a bad guy; after all, they're all killers there. You're starting to feel kind of sympathetic for him, even. Then he makes his "raping bitches" comment, then about his sister, and you realise that he's no better than any of the others.
  • Karmic Death:
    • 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 was left only with his prison shiv, but it's likely that he's better with that than a gun. When he presses his knife to Mombasa's throat, he moves like a cobra, so fast that you wonder why he's even asking for one.
  • Large Ham: Noland. Laurence Fishburne went well above and beyond the call of duty for this one.
  • Laughably Evil: Stans may be a sociopath, but most of his lines are pure gold. Take, for example, his rant against the rest of the group after brandishing his shiv:
    Stans: You know what? This is bullshit! I want a fucking gun! [to Cuchillo] Come on man, give me a gun! You got two fucking guns! [Looks at Royce and Isabelle, seems to think better of it, turns to Nikolai] Come on Russian, you got a big fucking gun!
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Hanzo makes his last stand and draws out katana inviting the pursuing predator to a sword duel. The Predator accepts, pulls out his wristblade and awesomeness ensues.
  • Ludicrous Gibs:
  • 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 Isabelle'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 Isabelle together, but their circumstances and his personality leave the coupling in question.
  • Mercy Kill: Isabelle tries to do this for Cuchillo, only to have him call out for help again after being shot through the heart, implying his cries were actually a recording played by the Predators.
  • 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.
  • Mood Whiplash: Halfway through the film, Stans says that he's going to do so much cocaine when they escape — and then says he's going to rape some bitches. It then swerves back into funny when Edwin unenthusiastically agrees.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Nikolai is the heavy weapons expert of the group.
  • Mr. Exposition: Noland's role is essentially to show up and clue the other characters (and audience) in.
  • Multicultural Alien Planet: The Predators have different tribes who have been at war with one another. We see at least two. They also come from are apparently two different subspecies, given their similar but distinct appearances.
  • Multinational Team: American (including the poor Army sod at the beginning), Mexican, Sierra Leonean, Russian, Japanese and Israeli.
  • Mutual Kill: Hanzo and the Falconer Predator, Nikolai and the first Predator.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • 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.
  • Neutral Female: Ultimately subverted, although it's a close call. Also justified: it's hard to leap into the fray when you've been paralyzed by a potent neurotoxin, after all...
  • 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 and Stans' name is on his jumpsuit. Isabelle and Royce introduce themselves in the penultimate scene, while the rest are named only in the script.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Royce does not subscribe to this, always prompting others to move on with "He's done." The first time, Isabelle 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:
      "You do it for your country so you don't have to admit you like it."
    • Also, the humans are Not So Different from the Predators, being murderers motivated by the sport of it. Edwin actually seems to embrace this, identifying himself as an outcast and a "Freak", which Word of God claims the Black Predators are as well.
  • Obvious Trap: The Predators set one with the cartel member. The team doesn’t fall for it.
  • Obvious Villain, Secret Villain: The main group of soldiers are whittled down by a Predator team led by the Berserker, who serves as the Final Boss for Royce, Isabel and Edwin. As Royce teams with an older Predator to outmaneuver the Berserker, Isabel is ambushed by Edwin, who reveals that his cover as a meek doctor is a ruse: he's actually a Serial Killer, and overjoyed to be on a planet filled with monsters like him.
  • 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).
    • EVERYONE, once they finally get a good look at the sky.
  • 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.
  • Parachute in a Tree: This is how the other characters encounter Edwin.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • '"FUCK! All of you!"'
    • So I can find out who threw me out of a fuckin airplane.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Nikolai gets one. In Russian, naturally: "You're one ugly motherfucker."
  • 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.
  • Rare Guns: The Atchisson Assault Shotgun (AA-12) makes its second appearance on the big screen.
  • Rated M for Manly: An entire cast of badasses. And Topher Grace.
  • Reality Ensues: With the guns, at any rate.
    • 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.
    • Awesome weapons and firing stances like BFGs and Dual Wielding have very bad aim. All the shots from the hip burn through ammo with very few bullets actually hitting.
    • Edwin is able to take down Isabelle with a potent neurotoxin and the element of surprise. But after Royce deduces what he is, and sees him coming, he destroys him pretty handily. Someone with no combat training just can't stand up to a seasoned ex-commando without some kind of edge.
  • 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!
    • There is another one later when it turns out Edwin is actually a dangerous Serial Killer, and he turns on Royce and Isabelle.
  • 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. Nikolai's actual on-screen suffering isn't nearly as bad as any of the others, but since he has a family back home, he 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....
  • Serial Killer:
    • Stans is revealed to have killed 38 people in a Deleted Scene.
    • Edwin, the doctor, is revealed to have actually been a serial murderer back on Earth and finds himself quite at home on a world dominated by alien predators.
  • Serial Rapist: Stans is implied to be one, bragging about how when he gets home he's going to "snort so much cocaine, and rape some fine bitches." It's Played for Laughs in this case, and we never find out if he'd actually follow through.
  • Sherlock Scan: Royce identifies the various groups within an hour.
  • Shout-Out: See also Internal Homage, above.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: The fight between Hanzo and the Predator.
  • The Smart Guy: Edwin, the otherwise hapless medical doctor, is able to identify plants and their various effects. Clever 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.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Half the cast are soldiers, but only Mombasa is part of a militant group known to have openly participated in atrocities and war crimes and he admits as much. Royce also hints that he's a merc because he likes killing. Averted with Nikolai, who's a fairly stand-up guy with two children he obviously loves, and was selected by the Preds because he was on some top-secret mission in Chechnya with Spetznaz Alpha Group.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: An upbeat Little Richard song plays over the end credits. See Shout-Out above.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The alien hunting dogs have more tusks, horns, and antlers than anything ought to, but it sure makes them look wicked awesome.
  • Spiteful Spit: Nikolai spits at a Predator's face.
  • Stupid Evil: While on the run from the title alien hunters, Edwin steps on a Bear Trap, so Isabelle helps him walk. Out of nowhere, he stabs her in the back and reveals he's a Serial Killer who has decided to make her his next victim. Fortunately, Royce shows up before he can finish her off, and he is killed when he tries to stab him in the back.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: After Stans jumps on the Predator's back, he shouts at the others to run... even though some of them still have functioning weapons that would have been enough to kill the distracted, unarmored Predator.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Royce attracts the Predators with an explosion.
  • Surveillance Drone: One of the Predators has a mobile scout that flies around and attaches to his shoulder. He's even called the Falconer.
  • Survivor Guilt: It's Isabelle's main motivation; it's also notably lacking in Royce and the others.
  • Taking You with Me: How one unfortunate merc takes care of a Predator.
  • That's What I Would Do:
    • Royce says this word for word when describing how the attack by the alien dogs is evidence that they're being hunted as prey.
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • Subverted in the case of Edwin. As Royce describes to Isabelle that every one of them are seasoned killers, he notes that the meek Edwin's presence doesn't even make sense. The doctor eventually reveals himself as the most psychotic member of the entire group, since he's a Serial Killer whose only motive to kill innocent people is because he likes it and feels at home on the predator death world.
  • 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, the Black Predators weren't any more likely to see him as less of an ant than the others and as for the classical Predators his method of hunting resembles theirs not at all.
  • The Unfettered: Royce is seemingly this trope personified. He's called on it by Isabelle and Stans.
  • The World's Expert on Getting Killed: Noland. Interestingly, while the Predators have a "sporting" attitude about the killing for most of the movie, the one that finds Noland kills him immediately with his shoulder cannon at maximum power, so maybe they were simply that pissed off at him.
  • Unflinching Walk: A Predator walks away casually without even looking at his own ship he's just detonated.
  • We Have Reserves: Royce uses the rest of the team to set off a trap, disappearing to observe how the Predators operate. Needless to say, Isabelle's pissed at him in the aftermath.
  • Wham Line: After Isabelle shows Royce that compasses don't work properly, Royce points out an even bigger indication that there's something very wrong with their situation.
    Royce: Between that and the sun, I'd say we have a real problem.
    Isabelle: What about the sun?
    Royce: It hasn't moved since we got here.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Isabelle calls out Royce constantly, mostly because he's a large fan of doing what he 'has to' to survive. Isabelle asks him if survival at any cost is worth it.
    • Stans does it too, calling Royce out on getting Mombasa (who had saved Stans' life) killed.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Where the whole planet is "the dark". Mostly, they pass the test, though a couple characters prove they're too selfish or crazy.
  • 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.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Notably defied, as the Black Predators are exiled criminals who don't play by the rules. Noland has managed to kill at least two Predators, but unlike past media, he's still being hunted rather than being allowed to go home and Tracker doesn't even try to be sporting with him. Also, despite managing to kill Berserker, the cast are treated the same as Noland was and left for the next hunt.
    • Played straight with Falconer and Hanzo, as Falconer has enough respect to give him a fair fight.
  • 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. Word of God implies that the game preserve is also where Predators criminals are banished to.
  • Yakuza: Hanzo's an enforcer for them.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: The vessel going back to Earth is self-destructed after the Black Predator kills the Classic Predator.
  • Yubitsume: Hanzo turns out to have two fingers sliced off because he "talked too much", in his words.


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