Animadversion: Predators – Review by Kamran Jawaid

Below is the unedited review published in iMAGES on the 1st of August 2010

Predators

Aliens on a Predator World

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Sometimes an “s” makes all the difference. “Predators” (with an ‘s’) opens with a free-falling Adrian Brody named Royce, who lands, hard, in the thick of a dense jungle somewhere. Where? We learn this later when he and his band of eight random shotguns – all free-falling seconds after him – find themselves on a steep mountain-cliff that shows us three moons the size of Jupiter on the horizon. The atmosphere may be breathable, but they’re definitely not in Kansas. Or on Earth.

The very Earth like alien planet is a game reserve deduces Royce – who is a cold, self-preserving mercenary. The others aren’t better: a Samurai Yakuza enforcer (Louis Ozawa Changchien), a Russian commando (Oleg Taktarov), a death row inmate (Walton Goggins), a death squad soldier from Seirra Leone (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali) and a Mexican drug cartel enforcer (Robert Rodriguez favorite Danny Trejo). Five who have very few relevant dialogues in the screenplay by Michael Finch and Alex Litvak. On the more human side, with still with a single-minded approach is Topher Grace, a doctor (cliché ahead if you logicalize the setup), and Alice Braga, the obligatory soft-hearted female sporting a sniper rifle.

As an official second-entry in the Predator cannon (it fits after the 1987 “Predator” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger), “Predators” is a back-to-basics project. Its suspense, preponderant in the first-act, is terra-bound to a jungle. Its villain, or villains (there are two types of Predators in the movie), are hidden under optic-camouflage 60-percent of the movie. The characters are sharp professionals. Adrian Brody is impressively toned-up (he tears his suit-off for the final climax, like Mr. Schwarzenegger). Even effects are, mostly, physical; well, until the last act that introduces a misplaced Laurence Fishburn and the blow-everything-up climax. Even then, the film falters little. Its pace is consistent. So is the idea. What more do you want from an alien-kill-em-up movie? Mr. Brody trying for an Oscar?! Well, at least he’s sincere enough.

Produced by Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), Directed by Nimrod Antal (Vacancy), “Predators” is Rated PG-13. In the movie wild alien boars and crab-faced predators are mutilated with very little gore every fifteen minutes.

The published version can be found at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/in-paper-magazine/images/predators-alert-180

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1 thought on “Animadversion: Predators – Review by Kamran Jawaid”

  1. I read this just some minutes ago and thought I’d pass it along despite the fact that it’s not seriously that relevant. What’s your favorite true story that you enjoy sharing with other people?

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