Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ten Statements About....PREDATORS (2010)

It's an Oscar winner--with GUNS!!!!
1) The reason this reboot/sequel (it ties directly into the first film and does not acknowledge anything after that) works is because it goes back to the reason why the first one works--a group of warriors are hunted by something that sees them as prey in an exotic locale. What few additions to the mythos are done very lightly so that the core of the action never gets stopped.

2) Similarly, I like how the title of the film has a double meaning.

3) Just like with the first film, the script by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch takes its time to put in some little character beats for all of the seven protaganists. Not a lot, mind you--even main hero Royce (Adrien Brody) gets sketchy background info, but it's enough for you to get a sense of who he is and where he's coming from.

Machete does not get hunted by ugly monsters...no, wait....
4) Well...if you're going to kill someone from your cast to prove what a bad-ass your aliens are, you can't go far wrong with Danny Trejo--especially after you see him kicking everyone's ass in the trailer for Machete preceeding the movie.

5) Count Nimrod Atal (who I thought was a pseudonym for Robert Rodriguez until I learned he directed Armored and Vacancy) as a director who knows how to shoot action effectively. Hell, there are a handful of action beats--including an incredible fight between a blade-gloved Predator and a katana-wielding Louis Ozawa Changchien in the middle of a field in a downpour--which elicited applause from the audience.

6) Is the sudden appearance of Laurence Fishburne a surprise? Yes. Is the whole sequence involving his character necessary to the plot? No. It's perhaps the one bit of fat that could've been trimmed from the film's running time.

7) Damn if Alice Braga isn't a near-spitting-image of her aunt, Sonia Braga....

8) There's a massive plot twist that doesn't work because the entropic nature of the character it involves is telegraphed miles away.....

9) The production takes full advantage of its Texas and Hawaii locations to create the alien landscape that is the film's setting.

"Daylight...see the dew on the sunflower...."

10) Thankfully, except for the jokey use of a Little Richard tune at one point, the score is subtle, never interfering with the film proper.

In short...a blueprint on how to do a reboot if you absolutely have to.

Incidentally, amongst the six trailers were ones for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (which might give me the same sugar-buzz happiness that Speed Racer gave me, plus Elizabeth Mary Winstead in pink hair.....) and, more importantly, the official feature film trailer for Machete, which not only gives us the joy of Danny Trejo kicking ass and Cheech Marin as a shotgun-toting priest, but the surprising additions to the cast--Steven Segal? Jessica Alba?  Robert deNiro?

Oh...and the Crazy Babysitter Twins in matching white dresses and heels shooting machine guns. Gotta love that.

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