The path that this film series has taken lately has been rather dismal. With the horrible Alien vs. Predator films coming out it really has taken the Predator series down several notches. While this one is no Scorsese it isn't half bad. What I mean by that is that the first half of the film is decent and then it becomes a predictable mess in the second half.
A group of humans are parachuted into the middle of a jungle. The mysterious and sullen leader (Adrian Brody – Splice, The Pianist), a young doctor (Topher Grace – from television's That 70's Show), a rebel soldier (Alice Braga – I Am Legend, City of God), a soldier in the middle of a war (Oleg Taktarov – The Life and Death of Bobby Z, Miami Vice – 2006), an inmate on death row (Walton Goggins – from television's The Shield), a member of the Japanese Yakuza (Louis Ozawa Changchein – Fair Game), a Mexican gang member (Danny Trejo – Spy Kids, The Replacement Killers), and a member of the Sierra Leone death squad (Mahersalalhashbaz Ali – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) all stumble upon one another. After first fighting a little bit amongst themselves they soon realize that they are being hunted by something. These top level hunters of different varieties begin to see what it is like to be the hunted and they don't like it one bit.
The tone of the film harkens back to the original and that is a good thing. Director Nimrod Antal (Armored, Vacancy) remembers what worked about the original. He keeps the alien predators off the screen for the first half of the film. The tension is amped up that way even though we know what they look like it still is intimidating when they finally make their appearance. Using a jungle setting with its darkness and thick foliage keeps the viewer guessing what is hiding out there.
At first I was a little sceptical of Oscar winner Adrian Brody being in this film, but that doubt went away fairly quickly. He is quite believable as the mercenary soldier. Brody looks fit enough and brings the right amount of rawness to his character. I stand corrected.
The plot is a fairly basic one. And sometimes silly in parts. Like how are the humans getting to this new planet? Who delivers them? Why do they keep coming even after all the alien predator creatures have been killed? I guess we are not supposed to ask questions in a film of this type. But surprisingly it attempts to bring the moral dilemma of what it means to be a soldier into the mix. In combat soldiers sometimes can find themselves in sticky moral situations. The issue of saving yourself at the peril of others is brought up. The film is trying to bring some substance to the usual Predator schlock. Admirable.