More than two decades after Arnold Schwarzenegger rumbled in the jungle with a lethal, camouflaged foe, the Predator franchise has been recycled. This time around, a buffed Adrien Brody (the Best Actor Oscar-winner from The Pianist) and a motley group of warriors must fend off the monster mayhem.
The update has a couple of winning ingredients. Firstly, rather than having the big baddies come to Earth as in the original, the action is now relocated to their jungle-infested planet. Then again, the formidable creatures first show up on-screen only after about 40 minutes or so.
Aside from these new elements, the film is a repeat of the clichés of its predecessors, which include the hybrid Predator-Alien spin-offs.
Produced by maverick Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi), the plural version plays like an extended computer game.
Hungarian-born helmer Antal (Vacancy) orchestrates the action sequences without any finesse or sense of fun. Even the climactic smack down is disappointing.
As for the samurai-style duel between a taciturn yakuza and one of the enemy, the less bemoaned the better.
Still, some of the creature effects are cool and there is a smart cameo by Laurence Fishburne as the sole survivor from a previous expedition.
Ultimately, though, these Predators don't quite earn their stripes.