|Directed by:||Nimrod Antel|
|Written by:||Robert Rodriguez|
|Cast:||Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Danny Trejo, Walton Goggins, Derek Mears|
|Genre:||Action, Horror, Thriller|
Going back and watching this movie again for the first time since in the theatre and I noticed a few new things, some good and some bad.
Overall my stance on the film is pretty much the same, there were actually some things I liked more this time and some things I disliked more this time, which was odd.
Some of the good things I noticed this go around were the special effects. On first watch I actually thought some of them were a bit lacking, especially the explosion scene in the ship/building/machine thing, but this time around I thought it actually looked pretty cool, and not as bad as I remember. The action was real fun just as it was the first go around and I once again dug the performances, for the most part - and really liked Fishburne's performance this time around more.
On second watch I did notice some things I didn't like as much as the first time, including some weird lines of dialog. You know, I didn't and don't have a problem with some of the obvious lines like 'I guess his 'chute didn't open' really - I don't have a huge problem with that, sure it could've been applied in a better way, but it wasn't that big of a deal. However there were some other lines throughout that just felt very weak, almost thrown in. A lot of the jokes were cool, and there were some interesting conversations, but the whole 'this is what they're doing... I KNOW BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I USED TO DO ON EARTH TO OTHER PEOPLE BEFORE I CAME HERE' got a bit old. I still felt that while the action was pretty well done for the most part (especially the end battle) that some of the death scenes were a bit lame/underdone, especially *spoiler* the deaths of Fishburne's character and Trejo's as well--and I almost forgot, the scene with the Yakuza having the swordfight, I was extremely disappointed with the execution and eventual finale of that one... it had a lot of potential but capitalized on barely any of it. This one is an exception, as the death scene was cool, but I felt the character and his lines were weak, the character of 'Stans' played by Walton Goggins. At first watch I didn't really have a problem with it, and his jokes are good throughout the movie, but a lot of his other lines are just awkward. Maybe it's because he's so good in Justified that I looked on his performance and character here differently this time around.
I really feel that this is to Predator what Aliens was to Alien, the movies are very different in style (though granted Aliens to Alien was a bit more dramatically different that way) and while I'm not saying this movie is as good as Predator (or Aliens) it's a very solid entry that really deserves to be watched. I would've liked to have seen a few things done differently, but for what it was it was a fun ride. There are still flaws to it yes, unfortunately more than a few are quite obvious as well (like *spoiler* why would the Preds capture a serial killer/murderer? That just makes them look retarded. Yeah, he's a 'predator' and yeah it was a great fun twist for the movie, but it doesn't make all that much sense when you step back and think about it). One little thing that bugged me about this movie, and others out there with 'alien planets' in them was the planet itself. Yes there were some very cool alien features to it... but at the same time it looked WAY too much like Earth. Alright, I get it, it's an 'earth-like' planet and maybe they will say it's that way so that the humans can breathe... but really? We see a bunch of different types of aliens in this movie and they all apparently breathe oxygen (as the humans do, seeing as they're surviving and breathing normally) and there are some pretty crazy looking aliens... you can't tell me they all come from planets that look THIS much like earth. Alright well you can, but c'mon! Be a little more creative!
Thankfully Adrien Brody pulls this movie off and carries it, surprisingly, as a great new action hero--a very nice surprise on that behalf. This is also another great example of a BIG movie on a pretty low budget, so props for that as well. All in all it's a refreshing return to a great creature, and I sure hope we see a sequel.