It has been 23 years since Arnold and company marched into the jungle to make a stand against the creepy aliens in Predator. Predator was one of the defining action franchises of the 1980’s and the film spawned a sequel and two spin offs. Now the reboot has arrived, touching down covered in cliches and not very original. Predators gives us a chance to revisit this classic 1980’s action franchise, but is it really worth the watch?
An intriguing premise no doubt, Predators tells the story of eight strangers who awake in a jungle. As the film starts, we are introduced to our rag tag group of characters. We meet Royce (Adrien Brody), Cuchillo (Danny Trejo), Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov), Isabelle (Alice Braga), Mombasa (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), Stans (Walton Goggins), Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien) and Edwin (Topher Grace). It’s a colorful cast of characters but if there’s one thing they have in common it’s the fact that most of them know how to kill. Amongst the group there’s an Israeli sniper, a Russian soldier, a death row inmate, a drug cartel enforcer etc.
As everyone comes to their senses, they start to explore. Royce takes on the role of self-appointed leader and as they descend into the jungle they try to figure out just what the heck is going on. Royce eventually realizes he’s not in Kansas anymore and he comes to a conclusion as he tells the group “we’re gonna need a new plan.” The group realizes that they’re not even on Earth anymore, rather they’re on some type of alien planet. As they dig a bit deeper, they figure out just what is going on. Royce realizes it first as he says “This whole planet is a game preserve — and we’re the game.” Now they must band together to figure out how to get off the planet before they become trophies for the Predators that are hunting them.
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The film has transferred over fairly well, with both the audio and video coming out strong. The film was shot digitally and it comes off as clean and polished, with all the effects and make-up looking superb. The jungle foliage is defined nicely and all scenes shot at night are, for the most part easy to see with black levels adjusted appropriately. Skin tones are fine in most scenes and facial expressions carry a lot of detail.
Audio wise, the film holds its ground. The action scenes pounce out of your speakers as gunshots rip through the air and explosions rumble through the ground. Atmospheric sounds like insects in the jungle, fire crackling etc, all sound clear and crisp. The surround channels are used aggressively and dialogue never gets lost in gunfire. Overall, if you have the right sound system, this is going to be a treat.
In terms of special features, aside from a nice commentary by Antal and Rodriguez, the only other worthwhile feature is an interesting 40 minute documentary which efficiently covers all aspects of production. It’s pretty in depth and well worth a watch.
Overall, Predators is a flawed yet entertaining film, with a great presentation and some sufficient special features. If you enjoyed the film in theatres you won’t be upset with the Blu-Ray. If you haven’t yet seen it, or weren’t thrilled by it in theatres, maybe you should give it a rent instead. Either way, despite the flaws, it’s hard not to be entertained, especially with the beautiful transfer.
Overall, Predators is a flawed yet entertaining film, with a great presentation and some sufficient special features. If you enjoyed the film in theatres you won't be upset with the Blu-Ray.