The Hunter or the Hunted? Pt 9 (Predators, 2010)
After the second film, the Predator series went dormant. The alien hunters only saw the screen in the “team up” Alien vs Predator films. It was not until about 2009 Predator was announced as getting it’s own new film. It was spearheaded by Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, From Dusk Til Dawn, Sin City) and was referred to often as a reboot. The problem with the tendency to treat every film as a remake or reboot is that it is not always clear what a particular entry is. These days, people tend to refer to a new film in a franchise as a reboot, even when it is in continuity. Admittedly, it is a little unclear here. Nothing discounts the previous two films, but they are not really acknowledge in reference (# 2 made reference to the first film).
It does however feature the original Predator design along with a much bigger and more aggressive version.
Anyways, whether this is a new start or simply a new installment is not that important. What we have is a group of people who find themselves falling from the sky. They apparently had not planned this themselves. As things unfold, we find that the most common trait the group has is they are mercenaries, soldiers, mob enforcers and so on. There is one odd man out named Edwin who is a doctor. He seems meek (but very smart). He is played by Topher Grace, so, you know something is up with him. Adrien Brody plays mercenary Royce. Royce takes on the role of defacto leader, convincing everyone they need to work together.
After encounters with strange animals, they start to try and find safety, only to realize they are not on earth. Unlike the previous films, the people being hunted have been dropped onto a planet that functions as a big game hunting preserve.
This does make for an interesting idea, though it is basically a jungle like the first film. The new Predator design is good, building off the previous design in a way that is sleeker and more threatening. While the film strives to have lots of surprises, in the end, there is not much new here. The humans are picked off by the predators in violent and bloody fights. But it is pretty straight forward action, and pretty predictable. Frankly, it feels like the franchise may have hit a wall, and truthfully, I don’t know that people will care all that much about it. The second two films are not strong enough to pretend this is a trilogy. It is just a decent action film followed by two okay sequels.