We have an official third film in the Predator franchise. Even though this film can be labelled as the fifth motion picture made with Predators in it, producer Robert Rodriguez has stated that this film is the true third film. Ignoring the other two movies, which are Alien vs. Predator and Alien vs. Predator Requiem. This movie is directed by Nimrod Antal whose only other movie that I have seen is Vacancy which was made back in 2006 and was a decent film. Can a third film that is made eighteen years after the second one be a good movie?
The story here is pretty cut and dry, you have a group of people that are dropped on a mysterious planet who in turn are hunted by a group of extra terrestrials called Predators. The main character is played by Adrien Brody, who might seem like an odd casting choice but he bulked up for this role and he is a talented enough actor to pull the roll off, which he was able to do. Brody finds others on the planet with him and they quickly come to realize that they are being hunted by something. Armed with some pretty flashy weapons the group sets out to figure out how to get off the alien planet.
The one thing that I liked about the original was that it was filmed in an actual jungle, this movie was filmed partly in Hawaii for that jungle atmosphere and it works. The audience truly gets that feeling of being in the jungle which adds to the movie’s authentic feeling. The building of tension in this movie is also well done for the movie does not throw the audience into the killings right away. Antal does a good job of keeping the audience on their toes and you wonder when the fighting is going to break out. The Predators themselves also look great and the deaths are well shot and will leave the hardcore fans wanting more. The movie knows its target audience and it delivers on its battle scenes. I do like the cast in this as well; along with Brody you have Laurence Fishburne who makes a brief and memorable appearance. You also have Alice Braga who is the only female in the movie but she is very good as well.
The only thing I cannot figure out about this movie is if it is supposed to be a continuation in the series than why does the film insists on borrowing scenes from the original. Fans of the series and those who have seen the previous Predator films will pick up on this right away. I have a problem with this because why borrow anything if you are continuing the franchise. Although I do like the cast in this movie I do not like how the characters are written. The movie provides little to no information about the background of its characters. The movie provides some background on Braga`s character and some on the character played by Topher Grace. Other than those two characters the other ones you never find out why all of them have be chosen to be brought to this planet. I might be getting picky here but if the movie is going to tell its audience that these people are hardened dangerous individuals, than the movie should tell you what makes them so dangerous. The movie also drags quite a bit in the middle, earlier in my review I said I enjoyed the pacing of this movie and for the most part I did but there is this stretch in the middle of the movie where I got bored. I am aware that the movie cannot be non-stop action the entire way through but when it stops to explain things in the middle section it does not even give you enough information to warrant interest.
The movie is an okay sequel and it is leaps and bounds better than the terrible Alien vs. Predator and much better than the awful Alien vs. Predator Requiem. The movie will deliver for the hardcore fans and some newcomers might like it as well. However, if the writing would have been better for the supporting roles and the movie did borrow as many scenes as it did for the original I would have giving it a much higher rating. Unfortunately it did not so I am going to give this movie 3 out of 5 because it does deliver in the areas of action and thrills.