It's been a while since I've written a Defending My Movie and I hope no one was waiting on pins and needles for the next. It's been a busy end of the year but I'm jumping back in with my next installment. Now this is a first in a series of Defending my movies to come where I won't exactly be defending a movie that was poorly received but a movie that I think just doesn't get the attention I feel it deserves or it's just a film I really enjoy talking about. I hope you enjoy.
I've said it before but the Predator franchise is one of my favorite Sci-Fi film series of all time. I must have watched Predator 1 and 2 over a hundred times each since I was a kid. I read the novels and comic books and played the video games. If it was Predator branded I was all over it. So when I heard that there would finally be a third movie in the franchise it was impossible for me to not be excited. I followed all of the news I could for an entire year and then I finally went and saw the movie on opening night. I found it to be an amazing experience and loved the movie. I thought it was a worth sequel to the first two films and expanded even more of the Predator fiction. Now while the movie made money and was pretty well received among the fan base I've always felt that some people just overlook the quality of the movie or were just turned off by the idea of such a late sequel. I thought I would just take some time and talk about why I think this movie is a well made sequel and a worthy addition to the franchise.
One thing I thought Predators did very well was invoke the feeling of the first film. Robert Rodriguez said in the beginning that they planned on ignoring every one of the other movies except the first (even though the second one easily fits in with this one as well) and the movie plays very well as a direct sequel to the first. The movie wastes no time jumping into the character introductions as we open with someone falling through the air with a parachute attached to them and then we then quickly meet the rest of the cast. The film sets the tone amazingly by having us follow the characters through the jungle trying to figure out why they were dropped there only to discover they are on an alien planet! However one thing I will say the film could have done better was introduce the Predator. The first time we actually get to see one I didn't really feel like it was the grand reveal that it should have been, but given the story explanation it manages to make sense in context.
The characters really make this movie interesting. While with the previous movies all of the main cast have been macho good guys or military, these people are all killers from different background all thrown into one place and forced into trusting each other. I will say one downside with the film is I would have liked to have seen a little more character development and that Laurence Fishburne needed a larger role but overall I thought the cast well well selected and really helped set the tone for the film. A lot of people were skeptical about Adrien Brody playing the lead character who is supposed to be this bad ass mercenary but I think for a guy his size he pulled of the role very well and was believable as a clever killer more so than an overpowering one, which is something that could be said for a few other members of the cast.
One thing Predators does fantastically is the action. I would say this movie is up to par with either of the movies that came before it. There is plenty of gore and lots of intense moments. I remember shouting in excitement multiple times in the theater when someone was brutally murdered by a Predator in the film. I mean a Predator just punches through a mans back and rips out his spine and skill. It doesn't get more masterful than that! What's more impressive is how well the humans manage to hold their own against these alien hunters. Watching a Japanese Yakuza go tow to tow with a Predator in a sword fight was pretty amazing and comes to a satisfying conclusion that doesn't feel too exaggerated. With numerous references to the first movie by mimicking some of the action scenes feels like great nostalgia and not just a cheap ploy or lazy writing.
While Predators may not be a masterpiece by any means it does provide a highly entertaining sequel to a very beloved franchise and was placed in good hands with Robert Rodriguez. I would watch any sequel coming from this production team and I will continue to watch Predators many times in the future. The Predator franchise has always been one of my favorite Sci-Fi series and this is a sequel that has earned it's place among its peers.