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Neo-opsis Review


20th Century Fox


      This movie starts off with some human predators dropped (literally, not figuratively) onto a hunting preserve planet used by alien Predators.

      Watching the trailers for this movie gave me the impression that the movie would be about a bunch of human sociopaths and psychopaths fighting Predators. The personalities of the humans wouldn’t get me vested in any of the characters, so there wouldn’t be much tension about when all or most of them wind up getting killed. The only tension in the movie would be about whether or not they bag any of the Predators by the end of the movie. My first impression turned out to be pretty much correct. Predictable didn’t make it bad, it just means if you didn’t like the first Predator movie, there likely isn’t much you’ll find to like in this. If you liked the first Predator movie, this is likely enough of a variation on the theme to keep you watching.

      We have a pretty standard mix of sociopath/psychopathic personalities among the human prey. Royce (played by Adrien Brody), a mercenary with US military training who likes hunting humans. Isabelle (Alice Braga), a spook who shoots people both for the Israeli government and the CIA. Edwin (Topher Grace), a doctor, Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov), a Russian machine gunner who couldn’t hit the broad side of a brontosaurus with a thousand rounds. Stans (Walton Goggins), a death row inmate who confesses a fondness for rape. Mombasa (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), a member of a death squad from Sierra Leone who admits to using people he’s wounded as bait. Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien), a Japanese organized crime enforcer. And Cuchillo (Danny Trejo) a Mexican organized crime enforcer.

    As seems common enough with violent sorts in both movies and real life, all but two of the ones in the movie seem blissfully unaware of what the sites on their guns are for. This, predictably, leads to some scenes like in the first Predator movie, where the merry band of mercenaries fire huge numbers of bullets into the jungle, having little to no effect on anything not part of the plant kingdom.

      The movie has some back story elements, such as two types of Predator aliens at war with each other, that we may expect to see in more detail in future movies.

      As with all the Predator movies the predators once again show themselves to be cowards deep down. They pretend to be tough, but even when they’re wearing bullet proof armour and have self-aiming directed energy weapons, they still feel the need to cower behind high tech camouflage / invisibility suits.

        Review by Karl Johanson

           Originally published in Neo-opsis issue 20


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