The 'Predators' are back, and that means one of two things for filmgoers. It's either a chance to relive a classic sci-fi horror franchise (five movies and counting) or it's a gory mess of bad moviemaking.

This time, a gaggle of A- and B-list movie stars (Adrien Brody, Danny Trejo, Alice Braga, Topher Grace and Laurence Fishburne) play a group of killers who get dropped on an alien world populated by, you guessed it, predators who want to do their thing to the humans. The movie is largely the ensuing fight to the death.

Robert Rodriguez of 'Sin City' fame co-produces and Nimrod Antal ('Kontrol') directs.

Critical reaction? More established reviewers dismiss the film and new-media types see worth in it. A note: 'Predators' is technically the sequel to 1987's 'Predator,' which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, and 1990's 'Predator 2.' An important fact for those, er, alien to the series

Read what the critics have to say. The 'Predators' are back, and that means one of two things for filmgoers. It's either a chance to relive a classic sci-fi horror franchise (five movies and counting) or it's a gory mess of bad moviemaking.

This time, a gaggle of A- and B-list movie stars (Adrien Brody, Danny Trejo, Alice Braga, Topher Grace and Laurence Fishburne) play a group of killers who get dropped on an alien world populated by, you guessed it, predators who want to do their thing to the humans. The movie is largely the ensuing fight to the death.

Robert Rodriguez of 'Sin City' fame co-produces and Nimrod Antal ('Kontrol') directs.

Critical reaction? More established reviewers dismiss the film and new-media types see worth in it. A note: 'Predators' is technically the sequel to 1987's 'Predator,' which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, and 1990's 'Predator 2.' An important fact for those, er, alien to the series.

Rogert Ebert: "The movie is mostly about our nasty heroes being attacked by terrifying antagonists in incomprehensible muddles of lightning-fast special effects. It lacks the quiet suspense of the first 'Predator,' and please don't even mention the 'Alien vs. Predator' pictures, which lacked the subtlety of 'Mothra vs. Godzilla.'"

St. Petersburg Times: "Predators may satisfy the bloodlust of fanboys who haven't had much lately to drool about. It is a shade better than the Alien vs. Predator flicks that should have laid these creatures to rest, but that isn't saying much. One sitting duck (Alice Braga) mentions Schwarzenegger's previous encounter with Predators and the feeling is nearly nostalgic. Where is Ah-nuld - or even an Alien - when you need them?"

Entertainment Weekly: "Think of it as 'Avatar' with more gore, a lot less wit, and Adrien Brody (and his Situation-like abs) as the alpha-male leader of a doomed pack of tough guys, gruffly barking orders as he tries to get inside the mind of you know who."

Boston Globe: "Brody looks a bit like the muscled, vaguely human reptiles hunting him down, except he's all Eastwood, Heston, and Stallone, too -- hilariously, humorlessly macho. It didn't seem like there was an American under 40 in the movie business capable of being persuasively masculine without a twitch of irony or pleading."
'Predators' Trailer


The Hollywood Reporter: "Very much bearing the creative imprint of Robert Rodriguez, but directed by Nimrod Antal, the new edition, in its best moments, is an unabashed B-movie that plays like a jacked-up 'Twilight Zone' with award-winning actors delivering the pulp-infused dialogue. Those moments, unfortunately, are fewer and farther between as the film progresses, giving way to flat-out incoherence."

Slant Magazine: "Antal's Herculean task is to trick his audience in making such a dopey premise compelling. Fight scenes like the one between a yakuza and a predator are a fanboy's wet dream, and thanks to Antal's evocative, meticulous camerawork, especially overhead shots of rippling tall grass, they look a lot better than they have any right to. The film's first two-thirds is the best part of Predators because it's one long setup to the distended and mostly lackluster action-fueled finale."

New York Daily News: "'Predators' tries to spice up the hunt-or-be-hunted thesis, but from the get-go, director Nimrod Antal's movie has nowhere to run. The assembled, confused characters forced to play the most dangerous game even make a veiled 'Lost' joke, which isn't nearly as self-referential as the opening shot of star Adrien Brody in free fall."

CATEGORIES Reviews