Predators

Monday, August 09, 2010


Here’s a question for you. How does a man get transported to an alien planet where he’s hunted for sport and still manage to put on weight? It seems to me that being a human fox in a place that has a total absence of Popeyes and Wendy’s would be a recipe for weight loss, not weight gain. But then I guess I hadn’t figured on the gluttony of Laurence Fishburne. Apparently nothing will get in the way of him and his stomach.

Fishburne plays an Air Cavalry veteran who was kidnapped by the Predators and now hides in an abandoned spacecraft. He’s been stuck there for years and has lost his mind. Well, as you would if you were being hunted daily by giant aliens with dreadlocks and you faced the dire future of never visiting Tops Diner again for their wonderful Top of the World Burger. But Fishburne’s madness isn’t exactly subtle. He has crazy eyes and talks to himself. Presumably he spends all day trying to order a Double Down with no success.

Considering the fame of the actor and his prominence in the marketing campaign, I thought that Fishburne was going to be a main character, but no sooner does he turn up than he gets killed. However, there is an amusing scene where he tries to kill the humans that he’s harbouring in his spacecraft. He says to himself that he can’t feed all these mouths (yes, there is nothing a fat bloater fears more than the prospect of precious food entering a skinny fuck’s undeserving gut) and then tries to smoke them to death. Yeah, you heard me right. He tries to smoke them to death. No burning. No bashing. No blasting. I guess he’s trying to cook them. After all, if you’re in space with no Baconaise or Donut Burgers, what better treat than some human flesh? It must make a welcome change after eating nothing but bits of spacecraft and your own poo.

On the other hand, there are Predator Dogs that he could eat. But these creatures don’t look especially tasty. They’re full of giant tusks that would gouge your eyes out and rip your nose off if you decided to be overly zealous and ate one without having a hacksaw handy. Hell, now that I think about it, how the fuck do the Predator Dogs eat their prey? How are you supposed to get something’s flesh in your mouth when you have a giant tusk blocking your gob? Complete design nonsense.

Not that the action scene featuring the Predator Dogs is anything to write home about. A bunch of these poorly rendered beasts chase the antagonists (a motley assortment of the world’s best killers) and then get killed by machine gun fire. But what makes the scene laughable is in the way that the dogs get killed. There’s a bit where a Russian with a mini-gun shoots at one of the animals for like five seconds and doesn’t even hit a dog running straight at him. These guys are worse shots than the A-Team.

To be honest, none of the action is particularly spectacular. It ranges from ho-hum gun battles to ponderous Predator fisticuffs to silly sword fights. Yep, there’s one scene where a Yakuza fights a Predator with a katana. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds and it even takes place in a field of barley. Or should that be, Predator barley? Regardless, the scene is preposterous and not at all exciting. And it also seems to me that the Predators have become significantly easier to kill, as the Yakuza guy manages to slay his bigger, stronger foe in one-on-one combat. Fair enough, the Yakuza guy also dies, but the Predators no longer seem to be so fearsome.

Hell, even Adrien Brody manages to decapitate one of the dreadlocked aliens. Although having said this, Brody is no longer the skinny bastard he once was. He has now become uber diesel. It’s quite a sight to behold once we see him without his shirt on. He stands there caked in mud, doing his best Arnie impression, and then proceeds to beat the living shit out of a Predator before eventually decapitating it. It actually ends up being quite awesome, especially as this is an Oscar winning character actor. What next, Paul Giamatti in the next Alien film, slaying xenomorphs with a GShG-7.62 machine gun?

But I don’t know why the film is so coy to show us Brody’s muscles. He obviously worked pretty hard to get them. So why deny us the modern equivalent of the awesome, muscle-bulging Dillon/Dutch handshake? Or the totally over the top but necessary gratuitous jungle-trap-building-scene where the cast ripped their shirts off so that we could have close-ups of bulging muscles as they sweated under the sun? That shit was dope! – as my friend King D would say.

But no, this is a modern film and avoids homoeroticism like the plague (bastards!). So we have a film that is pretty much played straight down the middle. There are no glorious puns, no over the top violence and not a hint of gayness. As such the film is pretty charmless. True, I wasn’t trying to gouge my eyes out like I did when I tried to watch the Aliens vs. Predator films, but it’s nowhere near as fun as the original movie. And it’s probably not even as fun as the second one. Fuck, that film had Gary Busey in it! What does this film have? Topher Grace? And Topher Grace as a serial killer. The less said about that, the better...

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