Forest Moon of Predator

The Predator franchise has been given an awesome update with the new film Predators. This movie is going to be an instant cult classic, beloved by all who love their action movies with heapings of extra cheese. Predators takes itself entirely seriously; and though the lines could have been cut from just about every jungle warfare movie ever made, it never turns into an unwitting parody of itself, it actually succeeds at being srs bsns.

Predators takes us to the forest moon of… somewhere, with the classic too many moons in the sky, complete with the one that looks pretty much exactly like Jupiter. In other words, Predators is set on Pandora, just without the “holy fuck everything is glowing, how awesome is this LSD” effect.

All of your favourite Predator moments have been lovingly preserved, but with all new special effects that are seamless and stunning. The heat/infra-vision is still dodgy as you remember, but it looks all kinds of awesome whilst being as dodgy as sin. The invisible shimmer and predator growl are perfect, and the glowing green blood and blue energy weapons are exactly as I remember them (apparently I remember them in higher definition than I watched them). Even the bad science has been kept intact.

Skeletal systems DO NOT WORK THAT WAY.

Thank you, Morbo.


The predators themselves, however, have been given an utterly rocking appearance upgrade (but to find out how they explain that one away, you’ll have to see the movie). You know, I was idly wondering how anything with the peripheral vision of a sea cucumber became such an ultimate hunter; but, technology, you know? Also: is it just me, or do the predators look kinda like lictors now?

As a bonus for those of you that missed the original Predator movie (or it was somewhat before your time and no one’s edumacated you yet), there’s a handy synopsis of Dutch’s adventures in the Central American jungle. That gave me a bit of a giggle.

CAUTION! Spoilers abound from this point forward, proceed with care (or just skip to the bit that says I’m done spoiling, if you want to read my summing up).

Possibly the best moment in the whole movie, for me, was when one of the predators took off his helmet to reveal Laurence Fishburne. Hells yes, I almost squee’d myself. And I was worried he might have been getting soft doing CSI these days. It just gets better as he reveals himself as the batshit insane bad arse survivor, I was so sad to see him exploded into pinkish goo so quickly. I think it says a lot about me that my first assumption was that the predators were trying to flush them out, not that Noland was trying to kill them.

For all the cheesy, stilted dialogue (that was at least delivered with some skill, kudos to the actors on that one) that I can forgive in an action movie, I was very disappointed at the “character twist” for Topher Grace’s character (the so-called doctor, Edwin). It was quite tacky, and rather unconvincing. I suppose I wouldn’t put it past a predator’s sense of humour to throw a serial killer into the party to sow some chaos, but that just makes his character severely under utilised.

The old magic mud makes a reappearance; you know, mud that somehow dissipates body heat even after its had the chance to dry on your body and normalise to your temperature. However, this is quickly repaired with a much smarter solution. Though, for a supposedly brilliant hunter that is as quick as a whip, I think it took way too long to even try the different vision modes. And while we’re on different vision modes, what was that? Vampire vision??

The ending fell a little flat, with a strong sense of “well, now what?” that was never resolved. It is clearly open for a sequel, but I’ll be very surprised if they try to make another (but not as surprised as I’ll be if they do make a sequel and it isn’t just a rehash of the movie we just watched). And the use of Long Tall Sally over the credits (is that a reference to the original(s) that I’ve missed/forgotten?) kinda crashed me out of the movie-watching mindset before they even got to the name-over-title actors.

OKAY! Spoilers over, just my final summing up to go now.

Don’t go see this movie if you have a low tolerance for boring and/or predictable dialogue, or pseudoscience that doesn’t even make sense on a layman’s level. Do go see this movie if you loved the original.


~ by ghostwolfe on July 8, 2010.

One Response to “Forest Moon of Predator”

  1. Much kudos to my good friend who pointed out that Long Tall Sally is from the original Predator movie. Cheers!


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