I was introduced to Predator in 1987 at the age of 17. My buddies and I saw the trailer for this strange military film that had cool infrared effects, so we decided to go see it, with no idea that it involved an alien hunter who used advanced technology to hunt the most deadly species on the planet, which were humans with automatic weapons! The first film blew me away with its premise, and it replaced the Terminator as my favorite action movie of all time at that point in my life.
Predators, which is the third film in the Predator franchise, but the fifth when you include the Alien vs. Predators movies is a solid addition to the Predator movie franchise mythos. It pretty much follows the formula of the original Predator film except this time the action takes place in an alien jungle locale. There is plenty of shooting, slicing, dicing and mayhem galore in this film as the Predators stalk the most ruthless humans that mother Earth could provide for their hunting pleasure.
Predators deliver everything that one could expect from a Predator style film, but there are some flaws that exist with the characters, and film, which were just too hard too ignore. All of the human characters that were being hunted were ruthless individuals that would have been despised back on Earth, and none of them knew each other until they landed in the jungle, but they bonded, so quickly in the film and made sacrifices for each other so soon, that it was hard for me to believe it. Many of the characters in the original film made their characters memorable in the brief time they were on screen, but the characters in this film were forgettable personality wise. Secondly, although the film developed very creative battle scenes and interactions between the Predators and the humans, it was pretty much a formulaic redo of the original Predator concept. Not that I am complaining, but some scenes that worked in the original Predator didn’t really work in this film. For example, in the original Predator, there is a scene where one of the humans sacrifices himself by facing the Predator in one on one combat with a machete, so his buddies can escape. The guy dies badly at the hands of the Predator, but the scene worked because he had worked with his unit for years and you knew he cared about them. In the new film, a man who is a member of the Yakuza makes the same sacrifice for people he doesn’t even know or really care about. It is the exact same scene, but it makes no sense, although I will admit that his fight scene was much better than the original. I liked the idea of bringing the meanest baddest dudes on Earth to face the Predators, but then they should act like it when they interact with each other.
Despite some flaws with character and action scenes, Predators delivers what people want to see, which is guns and laser cannons blazing, cloaked aliens slicing up humans with alien swords, and everything going KABOOM! The good out weighs the bad in this film, and Lawrence Fishburn has a great cameo role, which I loved.