Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins
Directed by Nimród Antal
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
To say that the Predator franchise has been ailing is pretty much an understatement. The last time we saw everyone’s favorite intergalactic hunters was in the ever so flaccid AVP films, and now that I think about it, we barely saw the Predator in AVP:R. Hell, we barely saw anything at all for that matter. Either way, someone really needed to step up to the plate and knock one out of the park for fans. Enter producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimród Antal.
Predators starts off with our main characters, a ruthless bunch of mercs and more from all over the globe, free-falling to the ground of a jungle-laden planet that is soon discovered to be an interstellar game preserve used as a hunting ground for Pussy-faces all over the galaxy. Yes, if you’re a Predator, this is where you become a man of sorts. You must prove yourself as a hunter by laying waste to the prey, the only problem being that in this case said prey are mostly heavily armed commandos or assassins led by a surprisingly buff Adrien Brody, who more than fits the bill. In terms of storyline that’s just about it, but honestly it doesn’t need to be any more than that.
At times the flick almost feels to be too much of an homage to the first films. There are lines, sound cues, and even music lifted directly from the first two movies. There’s just one thing that didn’t make the cut … the toughness of the Predators themselves. In the original Predator one of these bad boys leveled a whole jungle. In Predator 2 another nearly topples the entire city of Los Angeles. But in this flick? A well placed blade can take them out of the game via stabbing or slicing. Couple that with the the fact that we’re light on gore and Predator action, and you really have to wonder just what the hell went wrong here. Still, for all its shortcomings Predators does a hell of a lot more right than it does wrong, and you just can’t help but appreciate the display of carnage going on when stuff is actually happening.
In terms of the Blu-ray the 2.35:1, 1080p High Definition transfer is a sight to behold. The detail is at times amazing, and you’ll be left with your mouth hanging open at the amount of detail in the lush environment and even the creatures themselves. It’s just totally bitchin’, and the English DTS HD 5.1 master lossless audio track really brings this world to life by giving your home theatre setup a thumping good work-out. The DVD holds its own in terms of standard def, but it’s impossible to compare the two in terms of quality.
When it comes to the supplemental material the Blu-ray once again tosses its 480p cousin a beating in terms of how much stuff is included here. Things kick off with an engaging commentary by Rodriguez and director Antal, who together talk of crafting a love letter to this franchise. It’s obvious that the duo actually cares, but you can’t help but wonder why some of the things that troubled this production went wrong. Next up we have a ten-minute motion comic entitled Moments of Extraction, which focuses on just how our heroes ended up where they did and even how one of the movie’s Predators found itself being crucified. It’s always cool to get some backstory, and these comics certainly do a fine job of filling in the blanks.
Evolution of a Species – Predators Reborn is a series of several segments of documentary footage detailing the key making-of points of the production, The Chosen featurette is another bit of promo material detailing each of the film’s characters, and finally there’s a horde of deleted scenes that feature a lot more time spent with Danny Trejo’s character, who met a fairly quick death in theatres. All in all this is a stellar package for fans that packs a lot of punch!
Predators may not be the ultimate event we were all hoping for, but it does signal one hell of a step in the right direction for the franchise as a whole. It’s no home run, but it’s a solid triple.
Blu-ray Special Features
— Noland Intro (part 1)
— Noland Ending (part 2)
– De-cloaking the Invisible: Alien Terrain
– Intelligent Design: The Hunting Camp
– Predators as Prey
– Yuatja Transformed
– Rite of Passage
– Dead Man’s Parachute
– Cuchillo and Isabelle
– Team “Orientated” Group
– Third Most Wanted
– Cuchillo Unleashes
– “Why Are You Here?”
– “They’re Smarter Than That”
– Stans and Isabelle Naked
– “They’re Still Coming”
– Exclusive PREDATORS Features
– Live Lookup – Powered by IMDB
DVD Special Features
3 1/2 out of 5
4 1/2 out of 5
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