Robert Rodriguez presents Predators, a bold new chapter in the Predator universe. Adrien Brody stars as Royce, a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors mysteriously brought together on a jungle planet. But when these cold-blooded human “predators” find themselves in all-out war against a new breed of alien Predators, it’s the ultimate showdown between hunter and prey.
Executive producer Robert Rodriguez (Grindhouse, Spy Kids) is the driving force behind this energetic reboot of the popular Predator films, which pits the dreadlocked alien hunters against a rogues' gallery of human antiheroes, led by a bulked-up Adrien Brody. The Oscar winner acquits himself nicely in the role of a gritty mercenary who finds himself stranded on a jungle planet with a host of criminals and professional killers (among them such scene-stealers as Walton Goggins and Danny Trejo), as well as a seemingly innocent doctor, well played by Topher Grace. They've been deposited there to serve as living targets for a horde of Predators--whose looks, designed by Gregory Nicotero and Howard Berger, are impressively varied and sleek--that use the planet as their private hunting grounds. Laurence Fishburne is also on hand as a soldier who has managed to survive for years in the jungle; he, Brody, and Grace do much to make the pulpy dialogue by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch (adapting a premise penned by Rodriguez in the mid-'90s) palatable. Likewise, Hungarian director Nimrod Antal (Vacancy) lends a great deal of atmosphere and Rodriguez-style momentum to the picture--perhaps more than necessary, since the end result is, like the 1987 original with Arnold Schwarzenegger, a fun B-movie and nothing more, designed entirely to give moviegoers a slick, unchallenging roller-coaster ride. Having said that, it's a vast improvement over the 1990 sequel and the dreadful tie-ins with the Alien franchise, and should provide movie monster aficionados with an afternoon's worth of thrills. --Paul Gaita