Starring: Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Danny Trejo, Topher Grace
Director: Nimrod Antal
Rating: 3/5

We all know that the Alien vs Predator franchise of films were all a bit rubbish, harsh but true, but Robert Rodriguez has stepped up and grabbed the 'Predator' brand by the scruff of the neck to produce a movie that has more in common with the eighties original.

Royce (Brody) is a cold-blooded mercenary whose only allegiance is to those who pay him. Mysteriously transported to a hostile jungle terrain, he meets a group of others who've been taken, including Cuchillo (Trejo), Noland (Fishburne) and Isabelle (Braga).

With the notable exception of disgraced physician Edwin (Grace), they are all remorseless killers - mercenaries, Yakuza, convicts, death squad members.

Slowly the group realise that they've all been specially chosen for a reason. They are on an alien planet that is a gigantic game reserve - and they are the game.

Then the killing begins. As his companions are systematically picked off by invisible killers with advanced weaponry, Royce reluctantly becomes the survivors' leader, desperately seeking a way to combat these unstoppable alien Predators.

They always say that sequels are rubbish but you know this one isn't half bad as the franchise is taken back to it's roots, group of people in a jungle being picked off one by one.

And while director Antal Nimrod and producer Robert Rodriguez do pay homage to the Arnie movie of 1987 they successfully move the franchise forward as the Predators have adapted and developed.

And while the idea of these aliens hunters facing off against Adrien Brody it actually works out so much better than it does on paper as Brody is a revelation in the central role of Royce.

It's great to see the Oscar winner move into the action role and he really has all the makings of a hero in this genre with his bulked up frame he looks every bit the merciless killer.

Brody leads from the front as the self appointed leader of the group and his chemistry and banter with Alice Braga's character Isabelle  works really well.

Sadly the rest of the characters aren't as well developed and are easily forgettable, except that of Fishburne who puts in a great turn as Noland, a soldier who has been hiding on the planet for ten years and is slowly descending into madness.

What is great about this movie is Nimrod and co have cut out all the complications and silliness Predators is a simple human vs alien battle to the death, much like the original.

I appreciate that Predators does bare a huge resemblance to the original but if Rodriguez has franchise in mind then it really does have to start somewhere, at least all that killer alien in futuristic LA nonsense is out of the way.

The action scenes are handled well, perhaps not as many as you would have expected but the final face-off between Brody and the Predator really is great as Brody shows his ability to turn his hand to any genre of film.

The Predators look amazing although we don't see too much of them in the opening thirty minutes, but that just racks up the tension of the film which works really well.

In all Predators is an all action sci-fi thriller than stays true to it's roots while it is a little rough around the edges it's a strong foundation to build on.

Predators is out now.

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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