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Saturday July 10, 2010
Hide From The Predators
My brother Randy and I ducked out to see Predators Friday morning. Randy pointed at the great Rotten Tomatoes rating the movie was garnering and insisted that we could not possibly go wrong.
As it turns out, we went wrong.
Predators was not nearly as much fun as we hoped. It wasn't awful, but it fell pretty far short of what it could have been. I wanted surprising strategies, brilliant plot twists, and thrilling dialog to go along with my carnage, and I got a couple of good one-liners and a decent reveal. I did get lots of carnage, though. Lots and lots.
You may think that I'm asking a lot of an action/horror/SF movie. I am, but I think you'll understand if I give you an example. Sadly, the best one I can offer is from the end of the film.
I'm going to do something I rarely do in a review. I'm going to provide full-on spoilers in order to make a point. Read no further if you don't want the end of the film ruined for you.
(Well... ruined WORSE. Or maybe fixed, depending on whether or not you've seen it.)
Our surviving heroes, who were dropped into this alien jungle by parachute at the beginning of the film, have just survived the night and killed the last of the Predators hunting them. They look up into the sky of this strange planet, and POP, POP, POP! New victims teleport into the sky, their chutes deploy, and they begin to descend. The cycle of hunting is about to repeat.
The last line of the film, uttered at this moment by Adrien Brody, is something along the lines of "Let's find a way off this effing planet."
The last line SHOULD have been "Cool. Reinforcements."
Or, with proper set-up during the film, the last line could have been "Maybe one of THESE jarheads has coffee."
One of the catch-phrases of show-business is "leave 'em wanting more." My "reinforcements" line would leave audiences wanting more Predators, while the existing bit of dialog rings hollow and leaves us wanting to go home.
This film comes in at #15 for the year for me. I didn't expect it to break into the top 10, and I suppose I should be glad it wasn't as tragic (no, CRIMINAL) as The Last Airbender or as insufferably abominable is Legion, but it sure would be nice to be stunned by another runaway hit movie.