Nate Watches “Predators”

In 1987 the perfect guy movie was released.

23 years later the 2nd sequel for the movie is released.

How does Predators (P3) relate to Predator (P1)?  The best example is how Little Richard’s song, “Long Tall Sally” – a song used to open P1 and introduce the characters – is used over the credits of P3.

In many ways, P3 is to P1 what Superman Returns was to Superman 1 – only better done.  This sequel has many homages to the series’ parent while possessing its own spirit and heart.

The internet has had a lot of rumors floating around about this film.  I’ll warn you now: they are all false.  It really is a return to form with the story elements simplified and streamlined.

There’s really not a lot to talk about because the best predator (and alien for that matter) movies are the basic ones.  There’s nothing else much below the surface, just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Technical merits and acting merits are both top notch.  If anything I felt Laurence Fishburne and Topher Grace were under used.  Ideally Laurence’s character should have been cut (his role to the plot could be substituted easily) and more done with Topher’s character.  There’s a bit of a “twist” to him, but a moments thought makes it obvious.  (I was only “surprised” because of the rumors I heard going into the film so by the end I had his role narrowed down to 3 possibilities – well it’s the first guess that’s right.)  If anything, dragging out the “mystery” of him is the movie’s greatest disservice.  Topher Grace is – in my opinion – one of the best actors out there right now.  Why aren’t movies using him more? (is he cursed from Spidey 3?)

By far the biggest and smartest part of the movie is its “flexibility”.  What do I mean?  At the midpoint in the movie, the girl recounts the events of P1 and only P1.  Which means if you really REALLY hated P2, you can take this as confirmation that P2 is no longer in continuity.  On the other hand, if you didn’t mind P2 or even liked it, there is plausible deniability in the character.  This is the rule of thumb through out the film.  Laurence makes a mention about “2 kinds of ’em.”  What does that mean?  There’s enough context given in the movie for several possible readings.  If there are any further sequels, the writers have plenty of room to take the narrative – dropping what fans hated and expanding on what the fans loved.  It’s a move so brilliant I’m surprised you don’t see it more nowadays in serial works.

So, if you love predators at all, go see the movie.  If they’re not your thing, knock a few shells off the score.

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