Halloween Blogging: Predators (2010)
Given the nature of Hollywood product in 2016, many of my efforts in daily film criticism here involve the assessment of sequels, remakes, prequels and even re-imaginations.
Also, Laurence Fishburne appears in the film as a kind of hybrid version of Quint from Jaws (1975) and Kurtz from Apocalypse Now (1979). His purpose is to function as the film's "voice of fear." He has survived who-knows-how-many encounters with the Predators and remains abundantly terrified of them.
Requiem retroactively shat on all of Ripley's amazing accomplishments by having a 21st century town-sheriff with a shotgun outsmart and survive an encounter with not one kind of alien menace, but two. What's the big deal Ripley, huh?
And secondly, the film's inventive setting -- a planetary game preserve -- also fits in with what we understand about the Predators; that hunting is their primary sport, and that they entertain themselves with a variety of game, in a variety of settings.
The film also picks up on one of the few good ideas of AVP (2004): that Predators can, on occasion, work with their prey if the situation demands it.
The script is highly literate, finding time to quote that great hunter, Ernest Hemingway. But more importantly, the movie strikes on a worthwhile theme: that the Predators -- the monsters of another world -- are battling the monsters of our world. Here, the Predators test their mettle against guns-for- hire, death squad murderers, drug runners sociopaths, snipers, Yakuza and other individuals who have turned murder into a profitable art. They truly are the predators of our civilization.
This is not really an idea enunciated in any previous Predator movie, and it comments on the world we live in today, in 2015. We've had almost fifteen years of non-stop war now. Murder is big business on Earth at the moment and so Predators (written over a decade ago) feels not just smart, but actually relevant to current events.
The Predators featured in this film are involved in a process of evolution; making themselves better killers. I was pleasantly surprised that the filmmakers sought an evolution of sorts too. In sequels.
The end result? They made a good one.