Forgive me father for I have sinned, and it has been ages since my last confession. Where to begin now? That’s the hard part. I think my greatest sin is my opinion to like certain movies that according to the opinion of the general public are deemed bad if not awful. Though Transformers 2 and Indiana Jones 4 are not really great, they were quite enjoyable. Well at least I found them to be. The same goes for Rocky 3 and 4. Rocky was great but 3 and 4 were pure entertainment and if I have to choose what to watch with friends I’d pick Rocky 4 over the original any day.
The reason I’m confessing here is because I have to get something of my chest. Even though both Alien vs Predator movies didn’t really live up to the hype surrounding them they were somewhat entertaining, but I really dug Predator 2. There, I said it father. I thought it was cool to pit a non superhuman-character against a Predator since we saw how Arnold demonstrated they were defeatable. Yes, it had some stupid futuristic guns and Bill Paxton was annoying as always but I found it to be very enjoying, and a good example of how to do a sequel without being just a simple carbon copy of the original movie. The movie was pretty enjoyable and the Alien head at the end was a nice touch and I simply don’t understand why this movie has been mangled so much over the years.
It seems Father, that the Predator has become somewhat of an icon, and I must admit it truly is an alien with a cool design, character and back story. But the first movie has also gotten somewhat of an untouchable status. It’s not hard to see why, the movie finds a great balance between action and sci-fi. It has a great sense of mystery surrounding the first half when the killer is still unknown to the public and the victims and shows us an Arnold Schwarzenegger that is superhuman as always but also as mortal as anybody else in the movie. This sequel, simply called Predators, directly references the first movie but ignores every other movie after it.
It really does what a sequel is supposed to do compared to the original, unlike Predator 2 did. This movie is really a lot closer to the first one and follows the bigger is better formula regularly seen in sequels. Like the original a group of highly trained people are being hunted in a jungle by Predators. yes, there are multiple this time father, just like the sequel-formula demands.
The movie opens like a couple of other movies that also corporates the where-are-we-plot-mechanism. You know, people wake up and find themselves in some kind of strange environment and have to work together to find a way out. Cube is a good example of a movie that uses the same plot-device, and I guess this goes for the story of Adam and Eve also. You see Father, they used biblical themes here. Always nice when they do that.
This bunch of highly trained people come from various places on the world, so now you have Danny Trejo (Machete) as a Mexican Cartel enforcer, and a Warlord from Sierra Leone, A Russian Army dude… well you get my drift. One guy doesn’t seem to fit in; a doctor. I’m guessing the Predators wanted him there so there prey would be able to fix themselves up after an injury or something. Did I mention there is an actual Ninja in this group as well? He has a katana, you know a sword like Leonardo from The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You probably don’t know them either.
So these people are being dropped in a hostile environment and after finding out that they’re not enemies of each other they team up to find a way of this planet. And by this planet I mean an alien planet in a galaxy far far away. You know it would have been cool if they kept that secret until the last minute of the movie or so, but it is already mentioned in the trailer. I recognize a wasted opportunity when I see one Father.
And from that point on they basically rehash the original Predator. People get killed one by one, Adrien Brody covers himself in mud etc. There are some new addition but nothing extraordinary. We get a couple of different Predators and a couple of new tools. Fanboys geek over these tools you know. Me I don’t think they’re all that different from the stuff we use ourselves. These Predators have some sort of mechanic bird that spies on the prey in the jungle, like Laserbeak from the Transformers. This too will probably mean nothing to you.
I could go on, but that would probably spoil all the fun and I don’t mean to do that Father, but what I do want you to know is that I kinda liked this movie. Of course it is way better than the Alien vs Predator movies that have been gracing the screen a couple of times now, but to me it is on par with Predator 2 at best. It is sweet little action movie, but not an improvement over the original and it just is too similar to enjoy it on its own. It’s sequel making by the number: reuse what everybody thought was cool from the first one, improve on what could be done better and make everything bigger. Add some new elements, like their equivalent of hunting dogs, and the people will be pleased. But it felt as if they just went for a quick buck. Impressive since this is the first official sequel in 20 years, so they had plenty of time to come of with something really awesome. As an action film it’s pretty good, but it doesn’t outdo the original. I’m wondering if in a couple of years I will be standing on my own with my opinion like I do with Predator 2. You just can’t argue about taste now can you? Well I guess you can actually.
Well Father, how do I redeem myself?