This 2010 sci-fi sequel follows another band of humans (including Adrien Brody, Mahershala Ali and Topher Grace) who find themselves hunted by Predators, like an inverted version of the episode of That ’70s Show when Eric catches butterflies.
After an exciting opening where Brody wakes up mid parachute jump, the film takes the time getting to know our characters and doesn’t show the titular creatures until about 40 minutes in. By way of contrast, last year’s instalment waited a full minute before revealing the Predator. Unlike the Shane Black film, the plot is as straightforward as the franchise requires. It’s basically a slasher movie about Eric Forman.
Thanks to this simplicity and the nicely developed, internationally diverse characters, the movie doesn’t need to constantly make jokes that undermine the action as happened in The Predator. True to the original film, the humour is saved for Brody’s cheesy kiss-off lines. It’s not clear why he’s in this film but he does a good job, while Laurence Fishburne is entertaining as a mad survivor and lends a Vietnam air to proceedings (the actor was in Apocalypse Now, back when he was Larry Fishburne).
While it can’t compete with Predator any more than Brody can measure up to Arnie, Predators achieves a comparable balance of humour, action and suspense. It successfully expands upon the original without messing with the formula, and avoids excessive callbacks (although it’s pleasing to hear Little Richard’s Long Tall Sally over the end credits). Essentially a Most Dangerous Game–style morality tale, this is the last good Predator movie. Probably ever.