Movie Night: Predators

What: Predators
Where: The Zone @ Rosebank

The Zone and Predators are similar animals. Both are set in familiar surroundings, devoid of too many people. And the people that are there are a dozen or so walking cliches. I like The Zone. It has nice lighting that makes you feel like you’re not necessarily in a mall. It’s more like an airport, except, again, there are very few people around. That being said, I may have to punch a Ster Kinekor staff member or two in the mouth next time I go there. Why? Let me elaborate.

Before the movie, my friend and I stopped to order popcorn and drinks. He opted for the large Coke, and I wanted a regular-sized one. No dice. The woman operating the till assured us that there was no way she could serve me in a regular-sized cup because she was out of those. We pointed out that the other tills seemed equipped with regular cups, and she told us that she couldn’t take one of those because each set of cups was, essentially, the property of each cashier. Even though we argued that this made no sense, she wouldn’t budge, urging me to go to another till to get my regular-sized drink while serving my buddy. We took his drink (complete with “her stock” of cup and popcorn) down to another counter, where I asked for a regular-sized slushy that mixed all three flavours together. I should’ve expected another ridiculous rule to crop up, because one did: mixed flavours of slushy can only be provided in a large cup.

I ended up with a regular-sized Creme Soda with no ice in it.

At this point, I felt like maybe stalking the cashiers on their way home and murdering them all with my tri-laser pointer shoulder cannon thingie (no I didn’t), but we had trailers to catch. I remember hearing about “Vampires Suck” and thinking to myself that, like the remainder of the Twilight movies it’s ripping off, I will not pay to see it. I’m not even sure I’ll make the effort to PVR it when it eventually arrives on our TV screens. The continuation of this string of seemingly endless spoof movies has me wondering if any of them were ever funny, or if I just imagined that Hot Shots and Naked Gun were funny as a child. Then again, I remember most of those movies relying on being genuinely silly to remain comedic. All the spoof movies I’ve seen after Scary Movie 2 just seem to be making references to other movies that came out recently, reminding us that they did without actually making fun of them with recreations of scenes and gags pushed past the point of being remotely amusing by bad writing. Unfortunately, this was the only trailer I can recall from the leadup to Predators. Other than that, I just remember the latest in Toyota’s string of ads featuring talking dogs with badly animated mouths and eyes. Whoever pitched those ads, and certainly whoever approved them; those people need to be dropped on their heads (again, I mean) from something high. Or maybe they were high when they concocted that campaign?


Before you watch Predators, ask yourself if you’re a fan of Predator – the original 1987 action movie where Governors Arnie and Ventura, Apollo Creed and a bunch of other macho men took to the jungles of South America and then got owned by the titular alien killing machine. It’s a very important question to ask because, if you aren’t a fan of the original Predator, I’ve a feeling you aren’t a fan of this kind of movie. Not movies about alien killers hunting human killers in killer jungles, no siree, but the atypical 80’s B-grade action flicks that spawned this motherfucker.

Predators is that: a modern day spin on the late 80’s, early 90’s action movie craze. It is unashamedly that, from start to finish, presenting you with scene after scene, line after line, of stuff straight from the cliche handbook. Everything, each and every character, is from something you’ve seen before. The movie’s about a handful of human killers, kidnapped from their day-to-day activities of maiming and murdering, and dropped onto an alien world. This is the Predator homeworld, where they are now the prey in a massive “reserve”. And they all walked straight off the set of other B-grade action flicks: the tough loner, the hard-boiled lady soldier, the warrior with the heart of gold, the out-of-place geek, the crazy prisoner from death row, the silent Japanese killer… these guys now have to live together or die alone (Lost fans know what I’m talking about here). Simple. Easy to follow. Straightforward. Retarded. But bad? No. Not bad. Just what you expected on every testosterone-filled layer. It even has Foreman in it.

Adrien Brody takes a turn (at least as far as I’m concerned) as a tough guy. This is the guy who won an Oscar for playing a down-and-out Jew in WW2, so an action movie sequel is not the first place I expected to find him. He does surprisingly well, as does every other cast member with their own cookie-cutter roles, I suppose. Even though the film itself is sparse on character, the casting director was spot on with every choice, which is a nice change of pace for a modern action flick. No one gets a chance to recite Shakespeare (although, of course, modern action heroes are depicted as poetic at the worst of times), and I found myself mostly nodding knowingly at each line of dialog just as it came out someone’s mouth, but it still somehow doesn’t stop being entertaining. And better yet, it actually leaves things in a nice enough predictable little place at the end to make you contemplate forking out more cash for the sequel when that comes around (in 3D, I’ll bet). Just not at The Zone. Not me, at least.

In a nutshell: Predators is so predictable it should hurt, but somehow, it doesn’t.
See it if You like: Other movies like this, especially the original Predator.
Rating (in erections): A semi.

One Response to “Movie Night: Predators”
  1. Ivan The Burninator says:

    A semi!?

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