BLU-RAY REVIEW: Predators
The greatest hunters in the galaxy just opened their own game reserve...
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In 1987, director John McTiernan introduced fans to the greatest hunter in the galaxy in his sci-fi epic Predator. Since then, the most notorious trophy collector the universe over has faced off against both man and aliens in various films, including 1990's Predator 2, 2004's AVP: Alien vs. Predator, and 2007's AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem. Now, over 20 years after the original, fandom continues to enjoy watching the biggest game hunter in the galaxy stalk and slay the most lethal prey of all.
Now, thanks to producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimrod Antal, fans can now enjoy a re-introduction to the Predator (and, in doing so, ignore some of the previous, less than stellar entries in this film saga) in this year's Predators. Set in a disturbing new locale which offers new obstacles and opportunities for the humans put in the crosshair, Predators both begins anew as well as expands the decades' old story.
Predators boasts a cool new cast of human characters (aka - "prey"), including mercenary Royce (Adrien Brody), CIA sniper Isabelle (Alice Braga), drug enforcer Cuchillo (Danny Trejo), commando Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov), death row inmate Stan (Walton Groggins), African killer Mombasa (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), Yakuza Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien) and "Doctor," Edwin (Topher Grace). So what do these characters have in common? They’re all stuck in a jungle with no idea how they got there, what they're supposed to do, or why they are even there! And a doctor? Really? How’d he get here? Something not quite right here...as we soon find out.
Enter three unique Predators of a new breed with impressive new weapons, trinkets and tricks (including some beastly pets which make that prizefighting pitbull down the block seem like a gerbil!) and you've got yourself a cool new movie designed to make even fans who swore off the series (following the less than stellar AVP films) want to line up for more. While the plot is fairly straight forward (and not-surprisingly similar to the original Predator), the meaning behind the story of Predators is anything but simple. After all, it’s not accidental the story was written with 8 of the earth’s deadliest "predators" in a jungle being hunted by 3 of the galaxy’s deadliest Predators.
Through suspenseful stalking, super-fast chasing, and intense fighting, the viewers gain insight into each of the character's personalities as well as why they were chosen and what they plan to do about their current situation. With varying attitudes, weapons, looks and backgrounds, each of the chosen human "prey" finds not only must face off against the Predators, but one another from time to time as well. All of this combines to create an awesome storyline, interesting characters, beautifully-shot action sequences, and a lot of fun. And let's not forget a cool cameo from one of Hollywood’s coolest cats (Larry Fishburne). Simply put, Predators does an excellent job of not only expanding on the film series, but also re-introducing both old and new fans alike to the action-oriented, intense nature of the original.
The Predators blu-ray includes a beautiful video transfer which fans will appreciate. The vibrant, lush colors of the jungle are gorgeous and the character’s clothing and skin all come to life. Likewise, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track delivers plenty of awesome power; be it quite dialogue or sounds of the jungle or roaring machinegun fire and explosions.
The Predators blu-ray also includes a number of special features fans will enjoy, including a audio commentary with producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimrod Antal, multiple motion comics which reveal the stories behind a number of the film’s human and non-human characters, a 40+ minute, multi-part making-of featurette entitled “Evolution of the Species: Predators Reborn” which reveals a generous amount of information about the production of the film, the actor’s experiences, the director’s experience, and more. Other special features include a short featurette, “The Chosen,” which reveals additional information regarding the human characters; the “Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making a Scene” featurette, which reveals information behind one of the film’s scenes; nine deleted scenes, and a theatrical trailer.
Considering this new addition to the Predator franchise is one of the best, Predators is well worth checking out, especially if you’re a sci-fi fan or a fan of action films. For diehard Predator fans, I don’t know why you’re reading this…heck, you probably already own it and have seen it multiple times. Personally, I actually enjoyed this film just as much as the original Predator. While it may not have the same characters as the original, its pace, mood, design, and writing is a direct reflection of what fans loved about the first film, which has become one of the hallmarks of sci-fi action.
Predators is available now on Blu-ray and DVD wherever fine home video is sold.
Don't forget to enter to win the Predators DVD Giveaway!
- Jess C. Horsley
Re: BLU-RAY REVIEW: Predators
Anyone else pick up the Wal-mart exclusive edition with both Blu-ray, DVD and Digital copy?