Thursday, 15 July 2010

Predators

I went to see #Predators yesterday and I am in two minds as to what I think about it. I came out feeling a little, unimpressed, but maybe I am being unfair. I think, I could argue both ways about this film. I am a huge fan of Predator and I think this is part of the problem, as with many films these days that are either based on or remakes of classic films.

OK, when the film started, I was excited to begin with, especially as they were using the music from the original film, which I really loved and it got you in the mood for something, hopefully, like the first film. It was interspersed with new music to make it a bit unique, which was fine. This was a great touch!

The introduction of the characters by dropping them in from 'somewhere' seemed like a good a way as any to start. The basis that they had been abducted to be dumped in this game reserve for hunting fits in well with the likely lifestyle of a Predator. You can easily imagine this race of hunters, who devote their lives to becoming the best and most feared hunters, doing something like this to hone their skills and train their young. And picking the best of different species of life from around the galaxy would be the greatest way to advance their knowledge and technology.

But, it soon began to annoy me that if this bunch of people we were being introduced to were meant to be representing the best of the best of Mankind in terms of warriors, then I was a little unimpressed. I don't know whether it was the acting or the scripting, but they didn't come across to me as what I imagine the best of the best. They seemed all too the usual Hollywood swaggering, big gun totting, tough guys, rather than the probably quite introverted and skilled people I imagine. (and where was the British SAS guy?)

Anyway, I think it was probably lack of research into what an elite group of people would be like. Hosing down anything that moved with a mini-gun is not what I would expect from a Spetznaz soldier. These people just didn't act or talk or move like I think they should have. 

I just think the casting wasn't great. The lead role guy annoyed me in his demeanour and just didn't come across as the elitist he was supposed to be. A cast of mostly unknowns is never a good sign, sometimes it works, but not this time. 

But anyway, on with the story. As I said, it is a good film on its own, looking into one part of the Predators life. Half of me is trying hard to convince myself of this, the other half is just saying, it was another excuse to put Predators on the screen killing people. Don't get me wrong, I love to see this. I don't know why I am doubting it though.

There were quite a lot of homages to the original Predator, which was fun to spot but also a bit cheesy and dissapointing that they seemed to be relying on this rather than creating its own story and cool bits without the need to basically copy things from the original. Biggest example for me was when the Chinese guy decided to make a last stand whilst the hero, female and injured guy escape (another homage - Dutch, Anne and Poncho in the end). They played the exactly the same music, had him strip his top off and cast it away, then even using the same camera angle at his belt level when he withdrew his sword and then cut his chest and await the Predator. Too much!

Why would a 'good' film need to do this? A second film with different characters in a different situation in a different place should not be somehow playing out the exact same motions as someone else. This to me is just to somehow please fans so they could say, 'oo its just like the original'. But by doing this, to me, it says this film is not good enough on its own.

Some homages were good, such as the voices saying 'over here' and 'turn around'. These were what made the original tense and it worked again for me, but then I alos think...why the same words in the same tone... it just cries 'not good enough to think of something original'.

And what the fuck was Laurence Fishburne's character all about?? That was the most weird and pointless bit of the film to me. That whole sequence could have been left out and it would have absolutely no consequence to the film's storyline. It could have been very good, a previous victim, somehow surviving on his own, learning about the Predators and how to evade them and fight them, but he was just portrayed a raving loony who tried to kill them then just got shot ever so easily by a Predator. After evading them for '10 seasons' he seemed very easily killed. Very disappointing.

Ah the traps in the beginning of the films set up by the dead man they found...again, they were all like they were pulled off the set of Predator. Just unnecessary. And the words spoken about 'a firefight'.... 'they were shooting in all directions' Too much.

The Predators themselves; as with a lot of horror films about monsters, showing too much just tends to spoil the effect. The original films pulled it off. I don't know how but it did. It was gradual, but in the end you saw the whole thing. I think only Kevin Peter Hall can pull off moving like a Predator. Maybe just because he was the original and there is nothing else to compare to that before the first, but he moved so well. The other films that have Predators in them (abominations which shall remain nameless) just don't seem to have the right gate or style. They look clumsy and like they are uncomfortable or something. Not like agile extreme fighting beings.

It was really cool to see a bunch of them, as in reality they would all look different and dress individually, but again, its weird, unless they look like the original Predator, they just don't look right. The main bad Predator, just looked a bit too much like he had rubber mandibles. 

And of course at the end, the guy covered in mud.... sigh, I guess you could argue that yes its the only way to disguise your heat signature from them, but please, he just looked like some nerd playing 'I'm Arnie'. No one will ever look as cool as Arnie did in that film! From start to end, Arnie was my childhood idol in that film.

I seem to not have enjoyed this film. I did and I didn't. I just think nothing will match the effect of the original film. I am sure (hope) that the film makers were huge fans like me and wanted to make something new and cool about Predators, but it just failed to impress me. I really want to love it and anything to do with Predators, but I just think no one can make the right movie that captures the coolness of what the Predators are. 

It as meant to be a sequel to the first, in the same style as the first. I don't see how it a sequel at all. Also its only like the first because they basically copied a lot of the first and in my opinion relied on that too much. 

I just think if a real fan made a film about the Predator, it would be much better. I think to many people have just seen $$$ signs flashing before them when using the name of Predator (and Aliens in exactly the same way).

There really needs to be some law that allows the original creators of something like Predator or Aliens to have a say in whether new films can be made or not as it is potentially going to ruin the reputation of the originals for the sake of a quick buck and then into the bargain basement of some DVD store.

If I am being too harsh please leave a comment, I would love to hear counter-thought and also praise for this film.

On a side note, a nerdy one too, when they broke cover and saw the sky for the first time and realised that they were on an alien planet, it looked like the usual bad science mistake of a moon or small planet that is supposed to look like it has been hit by a meteor or something and broken it up as it appears as a shattered moon with all bits just floating near each other in a suspended state or something... this just wouldn't happen! 

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