Predators (2010): 99.9% Fan Service
Fans have never shied away from wanting more Predator movies, especially since the Predator crossed over with the Alien franchise with Alien vs. Predator. Although Alien vs. Predator: Requiem was a big letdown for both franchises, the Predator franchise still managed to get another Predator sequel greenlit, only without any other Aliens and all Predators.
Some of the most dangerous people on planet Earth have literally been dropped into the middle of nowhere, only they aren’t nowhere, they are on a different planet. People like Royce (played by Adrien Brody) and Isabelle (played by Alice Braga) are soldiers, along with cartel enforcers and death row inmates amongst others. They soon realize they are not alone on this planet, as they are being picked off one-by-one by Super Predators. Now these individuals must work together if they are going to survive a Predator’s Hunt.
To get this out of the way, there is no story other than “survive the hunt”, although that is not the biggest issue for the film. The weakest link has to be the one-note characters within Predators. Don’t get me wrong, having some of the most dangerous people on the planet going up against Predators is a great concept, but the film would have benefited as to what makes them the most dangerous people rather than throwing them onto a different planet and saying they are “dangerous.” It also would have made an unnecessary and slightly ridiculous betrayal sink in and feel more natural later on in the film. If you have seen the film, you know which one I am talking about.
What the film lacks in story and characters, they more than make up for with great action scenes and fan service. There are quite a few callbacks to the original Predator throughout Predators, particularly tactics used by Dutch when going up against the original Predator like covering himself in mud to hide his heat signature. Other sequences such as the first Predator ambush is quite memorable, but my one of my favorite sequences is one of the quieter fights between the Falconer Predator and Yakuza enforcer Hanzo (played by Louis Ozawa Changchien). As the fight unfolds, it turns quickly into a samurai fight with the Predator and it is heart-pounding to watch. Another particular moment of fanservice happens when Walter Goggins’s Sans decides to try and stab the Berserker Predator in the back but Sans ends up getting his spine and skull ripped out in all of its gory glory.
Continuing with the fan service and fight sequences the one that fans will always remember the most is when we had Predator-on-Predator action, between the Classic Predator and the Berserker Predator. It is pretty difficult to see how one sided a Predator vs. Predator fight can be, but here we are, seeing the Berserker ultimately tear the Classic to shreds and it feels glorious, yet also sells the uphill battle Royce and the remaining survivors are up against when the climax comes around.
Predators is the exact movie you watch “for the plot!” And if you can’t tell, I am being sarcastic. You will have a lot of fun watching Predators, as long as you expect not to get too attached to any characters. This film is filled to the brim with fan service and stunning action, as we see some Predator vs. Predator fights and Mortal Kombat style kills that leave your jaw on the floor. But again, the story and characters lack any sort of depth, making the film suffer. If you go in with no expectations and a good attitude, you are going to have a hell of a time enjoying Predators.