For the last decade the Predators have been suffering a bit of acid indigestion due to the two pretty poor Alien Vs Predators movies. A film series that was inspired by a scene at the end of Preator 2 when Danny Glover gets on the predator ship and in the trophy cabinet is an alien skull.  This produced a comic book series and then the two aforementioned films. Now Predator is going back where it belongs, in the jungle! 

  The man behind this return is Robert Rodriguez, who wrote a script back in 1994 for a proposed sequel which never materialised. Now with his Hollywood power level risen he has dusted off that script and put his producers hat on to get it on the big screen, and put director Nimrod Antal (Armoured, Vacancy) in charge. The script originally had Arnie’s Dutch returning for man-o-alien action but due to his new role as the Governator, that wasn’t gonna happen. So now following in Arnie’s and Danny Glovers footsteps we have the ultimate action hero Adrien Brody?!  Yes the Oscar winning star of the Pianist, though to be fair he was in King Kong as well.

    He plays Royce who literally falls out of the sky and finds himself in an unknown jungle. Pretty soon he’s not alone as a variable rag tag of specialists fall around him, all of whom have no idea of where they are and why they are there.  It becomes clear that they have all been chosen for their various skills and that they aren’t there to sight see.   Pretty soon they find themselves being attacked by what appear to be dogs and realise that they are the prey on a game reserve on another planet and together they need to survive and find a way to ‘Get To The Choppa!’ or spaceship.

  This film is seen as a proper sequel to the original film, avoiding the LA set sequel and going back to the jungle setting.  This is great idea as it takes you right back with that same tense atmosphere and the franchises calling card of heat vision. The music is a nod back to the original with Alan Silvestri’s score resurfacing again. For a film only shot for $30m the effects are pretty damn good, the light bending looks better than ever and the Predators look great all with their own identity.  The backgrounds and sky are also way above their budget.

  Obviously the film rest on the cast put into jeopardy, and Rodriguez and Antal have put together an interesting mix. Brody’s mercenary is a solid lead as a man who is looking after his own ass, Alice Braga follows on from the first film as another the Latin lovely but this one has a sniper rifle and knows how to use and also knows more than she says. Spider-man 3’s Topher Grace is the doctor who seems to be the one person way out of place in this group. The rest of the group are the standard soldier, freedom fighter etc, but it wouldn’t be a Rodriguez film without the appearance of  Danny Trejo who plays a Machete like character.  The cast work really well and play of each other pretty well though we know they won’t last. Laurence Fishburne has a brief cameo as a slightly unhinged survivor of previous hunts, who has mastered the aliens equipment.

  As mentioned there are a lot of nods to the first, from the music, to the use of mud, and one I won’t spoil, and despite these nods it was never gonna match up to John McTiernans’ classic.  It does though provide a very entertaining evenings viewing, with all the thrills and blood spills fans will be hoping for, and the ending is reasonably open for more films, though personally I would like the end to be the end. Not that I don’t want to see more but it was a nice ambiguous one.

  Overall if you liked the first film, I think you will enjoy this return to the jungle.

Rating 7/10

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