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We need to talk about Predators

August 8, 2010

My awesome cousin Clare and I went to see Predators on Wednesday night. Interesting fact: We would have seen it on Friday or a weekend (or at any time not at 10:15pm) but it was so fast on its way out of theaters that it wasn’t even *in* houston theatres for this weekend. So, 10:15. Wednesday night. Predators.

Let me describe to you the kind of people in Houston who go see Predators on a Wednesday night at 10:15 besides ourselves:


Two guys who seemed to be on some kind of man-date. If only we had been able to take a picture of the sartorial wonders one of them was displaying: tan baseball cap (with American flag, natch), tan t-shirt tucked into (belted) camoflage pants with cowboy boots. Now, I am not sure that I can verbally do justice to these last two items of clothing. The camoflage pants were actually kind of shiny, as though they were formal camo, for special occasions. They seemed to taper down* and end at the cowboy boots, which were brown and also shiny. It was really clear that this outfit had been put together with great care, as though he was going hunting in a really fancy game preserve that also housed a movie theater which was showing Predators.

The movie itself was pretty awesome. When it was over we actually had to stop ourselves from thinking that hard about it, so flimsy was the plot and so numerous the holes therein. For example, if Laurence Fishburne’s character had been on the planet for ten seasons, how long is a season? We’re given to believe that a season is actually quite long, but at the end (spoiler alert! YOU KNOW YOU CARE ABOUT THE ENDING OF PREDATORS) when Adrien Brody and the chick are walking away they see more crates (and, presumably, people) being parachuted on to the planet. Does that mean that a season is only, like, three days long or however long it takes the batch of prey to die?

It’s questions like this that keep me awake at night, people. Anyway, the plot (as it is) in a nutshell: Adrien Brody and a bunch of other people (including Machete and Topher Grace) wake up mid-air over a TERRIFYING JUNGLE. Once they land they realize that they’re not on earth, that they’re all lethal badasses of various provenance, and that they’re in Very Big Trouble. After removing the various ethnic characters using alien dogs and a cleverly disguised booby-trap (No. Seriously. Machete lasts literally twenty minutes into this movie, and the African dude about thirty. It’s sad.) they find a strung-up predator that looks like the Predator from the first movie and Laurence Fishburne, who has gone crazy from being on the game preserve planet and tries to kill them. Another question posed by this movie: if Laurence Fishburne has survived by running and hiding and scavenging, why did he look like he’d spent the last ten years on the sofa, eating In-N-Out burgers? It was hard to suspend my disbelief to accept that this guy a) was once a badass, in-shape warrior and b) had survived on his own on a prison planet when he c) looks kind of like a paunchier, more African-American Mickey Rourke.

Anyway. So yadda yadda yadda, the Predators are coming, suddenly there are two kind of predators (WTF?!@?) and then EVERYONE DIES. Everyone, that is, except Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, and Isabela, the Hot Chick of Unspecified Origin. (Oh wait, Guatemala, because she told them all about the Predator in a handy bit of exposition.) Now, from the beginning Topher Grace is like “Waaah, I’m a nerdy doctor, I shouldn’t BEEE here.” And of course you know this is no tragic mistake, this dude is probably going to turn out to be a dyed-in-the-wool crazy person. And you’d be right! At the end he’s all ready to kill Isabela in some unspecified cruel way and he’s like “I LOVE THIS PLANET. CLEARLY THIS IS A PLANET FOR ME SINCE I LOVE TO KILL PEOPLE.” And when Adrien Brody comes and saves them (blah blah, he was going to steal the alien craft but had a crisis of conscience, they’ve fallen down a hole, blah) the following exchange takes place:

Topher Grace Is A Serial Killer to Adrien Brody: You’re a good man.

He gets ready to shoot Adrien Brody. Adrien Brody uses his whippet-quick killer reflexes and stabs Topher Grace in the jaw with his own, presumably-poisoned knife. (long story.)

Adrien Brody: I’m not good. I’m just fast.

Topher Grace: *gargle*

Later, he asks one of the Predators to help him because he’s “One of you!”

Now, asinine dialogue and ludicrous characters aside, this movie was pretty fun. There was lots of shooting, lots of running, lots of people getting injured and or slaughtered in their attempt to escape the Predators. I didn’t really understand why it needed to be a jungle (again); I mean, if the Predators’ cloaking mechanism can bend ambient light so that they can be invisible to the human eye, why not be in the desert? Why not be in the mountains? We’re fighting TWO WARS in the desert right now and that is a pretty tailor-made premise for a Predators flick RIGHT THERE. My only complaint would be that it took the actual Predators too long to show up, and when they did, I was deprived of the multiplicity of Predators that I felt I was promised. io9 does a very good rundown of this problem here.

Anyway, I loved it overall, and I’m probably going to buy it on DVD. Only so I can experience Adrien Brody doing his deep-register I’m A Badass voice in the privacy of my own home.

*They looked kind of like these. Only, you know, SHINY. But not, like, disco-shiny. Just shiny shiny.


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