Written by: Psyko113
For starters, we need to lay down a little of the films origins. The story is based on a script that Robert Rodriguez did early in his film career, back when there was still talks in Hollywood of doing a Predator 3. While the film never got made, and the script Rodriguez wrote was never filmed, it helped him get his career on the fast-track. Now, decades later, he has the means and status to go back and do it (although, hand the directing reigns over to another, one Nimrod Antal).
Predators manages to do what not even Predator 2 could: it recaptures the feeling of seeing the first film. Sure, a lot of that has to do with the fact that it's a group of soldiers walking around in the jungle, all the while being stalked by an unseen enemy. And yes, the story follows a very close plot path to that of the original film...but all of that is what makes the film great!
Production values are at their A-game in this film. The soudtrack/effects feel ripped right out of the first two films, and it couldn't feel more right. Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger do an amazing job with the make-up effects, and Alex Litvak and Michael Finch did a great job taking Rodriguez's original concept and turning it into a fleshed-out story (albeit, with some dialogue that the film could have done without here and there, but nothing that actually hurts the film or the story).
The acting is great in the film. Adrien Brody does remarkably well as the lead hero of the film, giving the character a sense of danger without the need of being a walking mountain of muscle (it's very good contrast to the stereotype most of us have grown up with). Topher Grace does well enough for his character, though some of the afformentioned dialogue hurts the big reveal of why he's mixed with the others toward the end. Alice Braga practically steals the show in terms of character quality; she's the only female in the film, and carries the part with her head held high and giving one the sense that she'll kick your ass seven ways from Sunday, without going the route of the whole "bad girl" routine ala Michelle Rodriguez. We've also got the great Danny Trejo in the film, and while his role is relatively small, he carries it well. Mahershalalhashbaz Ali is another actor with a minor role who does the character justice. The rest of the core group (comprised of Oleg Taktarov, Walton Goggins and Louis Ozawa Changchien) do well enough, but I feel their characters are a bit underused, especially in Changchien's case. They try, but we're not really given the insight to their characters enough to really have too great an emotional connection to them. Also added to the cast is Laurence Fishbourne, who friggin' shines in his role!
The crew within the suits for the Predators themselves (Carey Jones, Brian Steele and the most recent Jason Vorhees, Derek Mears) do Kevin Peter Hall's memory justice. They have the right physical build, but they also have the right movement. Add to this the fact that we're introduced to another "breed" of Predator, and with that came a performance that actually felt as such, and you have a very interesting take on something many of us have grown up having an understanding of.
I really don't want to go into the details of the story, as there are some elements to it that are best explained through seeing it (unless you're the type who doesn't care for spoilers, that is), so I'll just end this review with stating that Predators is the third film in the franchise we've been waiting to see! What the AvP series couldn't do with the character, this film alone more than makes up for.