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Friday, July 16, 2010

To Catch a Predator

Dir. Nimrod Antol
* *

The first 20 minutes or so of Predators is action film bliss: this is how they used to make 'em. And the film is definitely going for that vibe as Antal fills the film with a basket load of Easter eggs hearkening back to the first film. Basically the set up is that the Predators have decided to make their own game of Deadliest Warrior, abducting 8 of earth's best warriors and placing them on a game preserve/moon. The film goes by the book in terms of how the characters are introduced, but the situation is mercifully figured out rather quickly by the humans.

But the moment when Laurence Fishbourne shows up you might as well leave the theater because it only goes down hill from there to the point of being absurd. From that point on the film paints its characters with troubling ethnic broadstrokes and introduces an unnecessarily complicated development in regards to the predators.

The film is pretty sparse for this sort of film, there are only 3 predators and CGI is pretty limited. Brody is a strong and viable lead, and is able to be an unlikable yet rootable protagonist, but the movie lags throughout the middle and ends with a lot of flames, twists, and ideas that seem so tangentially connected to the initial set up that one feels like they're watching a line-by line checklist of studio notes of what "we" wanted to see.

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