starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Laurence Fishburne
screenplay by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch
directed by Nimród Antal
by Walter Chaw It opens with a grab-bag of heavily-armed genre clichés--the world-weary man of action (Adrien Brody), the tough-talking Latina (Alice Braga), the mad-dog orange jump-suited killer (Walton Goggins), the Yakuza enforcer (Louis Ozawa Changchien), the Soviet (Oleg Taktarov), the savage (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), the nebbish (Topher Grace), and the wrong Mexican (Danny Trejo)--free-falling through a jungle canopy into bush that doesn't make Cambodia look like Kansas so much as it makes Predators look like Avatar. They're the game, see--the most dangerous game! And they've been dropped on an alien wildlife preserve for the express purpose of being hunted by a trio of the titular Predators. As if that weren't enough, the film's weak-ass script takes pains to establish that our "heroes" are also, vocationally, "predators." Get it? It's what passes for clever in a film that takes too long to get where we want it to go, diverting itself with one of those dumb nick-of-time animal-shooting sequences that didn't thrill in Dances with Wolves and doesn't thrill here (so they do it twice, why not), as well as an extended monologue delivered by a fish-eyed, paunchy Laurence Fishburne that, for all its kitsch pleasure, grinds the movie to a standstill. If it's not going to be smart, it could at least have the decency to not also be boring.