Meh. That's how I feel about Predators. I'm a huge fan of the first two films, and I'm a fan of the predator itself. It's my second favorite Stan Winston design behind the titular demon in Pumpkinhead. This film, a direct sequel to the 1987 original (why Predator 2 was ignored is anyone's best guess; it's underrated, in my opinion), has a lot going for it. I wanted to love it, but a couple of impediments mucked up my viewing experience.

Whenever I review a mediocre movie, I try to start with the things I liked about it. What can I say? I'm a nice guy. But not today! Director Nimrod Antal (his first name should have been a warning) didn't make the most of his gaffer. Was there even a lighting rig on set? I couldn't see anything during the nighttime sequences, so basically, I couldn't see half of the fucking film. From what I could tell, the fight between one of the predators and the yakuza assassin looked badass, but I could barely make out what was happening. I didn't know that the Japanese guy was wounded until he fell over! What an impactful death. Oh, well. His character wasn't developed anyway.

The script for this film was written in 1994. I wish it was made then because I would have been able to watch it without squinting. It seemed as though the cameras were immersed in oil before each shot. I also didn't care for the ending. Since the bad guy's voice was heavily distorted, I couldn't understand what he was saying. I did read spoilers beforehand, but I was still confused by the twist ending. Bear in mind, I could hardly see anything, so the predator-on-predator altercation was lost on me. I couldn't tell who was winning and who was losing. There is supposed to be a blood feud between alien tribes. Apparently, some predators are larger than others, but they were basically the same size. That didn't help.

It sounds like I hated this flick, but I only hated certain aspects of it. Adrien Brody is believable as the duplicitous Royce and I dug Alice Braga as the lone filly who knows a thing or two about the aliens. The cinematography is clean, the pace is sturdy, and the plot is unique. I like the idea of taking this series to a different planet. I can't say that I was ever bored. Predators is decent, but it could have been so much better. I don't feel like my expectations were unfair either. I didn't need this to be a sci-fi/horror epic; I just needed it to be a cool, violent creature feature. I must say, I prefer Predator 2.

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