Year: 2010 | Starring: Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga | Directed By: Nimrod Antal | Length: 106 min.
How many different ways can characters in a film ask: “What is going on?” In director Nimrod Antal’s (Vacancy, Armored) third American film, Predators, we get a good idea. The film has a very Lost-like opening, with a close-up of the protagonists’ (Adrien Brody) unconscious face. Quickly, we learn that a group of good, but bad, but kind of good, mostly nameless guys are in a scenario similar to “The Most Dangerous Game” where they are being hunted by, you guessed it, Predators.
The characters in the film are cookie-cutter for an action film. There’s the tough woman (Alice Braga), the foreigner (Oleg Taktarov), the Japanese guy who inexplicably knows how to use a sword (Louis Ozawa Changchien), the black guy (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), the out place nerd (Topher Grace), and the psycho (Walton Goggins). The group follows their leader, who I originally thought was a miscast for an action film.
Though I felt Brody was a miscast, I was also excited he was part of this project. I’ve always enjoyed Brody’s work, and I thought playing an action star would be an interesting challenge for a very good actor. In Darjeeling Limited, Brody showed hints of coldness that I thought could be highlighted in a film like Predators. However, Brody seemed to take Christian Bale’s example of how to be an action star… simply talk lower and in a tough guy voice. Brody really added nothing to the film. Granted, he wasn’t John Cena, but he also didn’t do anything special, which disappointed me.
The film has its mini-climaxes and intense moments, which should not disappoint fans of the Predator franchise. There’s even a pretty clever allusion to the original Predator film. However, where I think the film fails is in the sci-fi. Nothing is explained, and nothing complicated is expounded on. There seems to be a very cool world set-up, but we know very little about it, and I’m not sure why not.
Overall, Predators is a fun date-night action flick, but not much else. You will likely be left wanting more. I think it was a wasted opportunity to tell a great story, with a great actor.