Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Hunt Is On...

When the first Predator film movie came out, I found myself only really interested in the latter part of the film, when the military unit was being hunted by the Predator. I found myself wishing, actually, that the WHOLE movie was done in that mode, instead of wasting time with useless plot points unnecessary to the theme of the film. Imagine how fantastic that movie would have been, finding out who and what these people were during the small, still moments and for the rest of time riding the thrill of the hunt.

The interesting thing about hunting is how clear cut & focused the process of a hunt is. A hunter finds its prey, then uses whatever tools and environmental advantages it has to capture/kill its prey. There is no extraneous information, no emotional complications, just the hunt. Successful or not, there is just the hunt. And the hunt ends when either the prey gets away, or the hunter kills the prey. There's no lingering and no aftermath, the end of the hunt is just as clear cut as the hunt itself. That kind of simplicity is what the studios needed to bring to the Predator series, in my opinion. And finally, they have done that. I can honestly say that the movie I had imagined is Predators.

The movie starts with the arrival of new prey to the hunting grounds, a.k.a. the beginning of the hunt. As the story progresses, we find that the prey are hunters themselves, and they use their predatory skills to not only try to survive what's happening to them, but also to understand the creatures hunting them. This adds a new dimension of psychology to the series, since the people in the movie aren't a cohesive unit and attempt to play out their own hunts while being hunted by the Predators themselves.

As with all of the Predator movies, there are fantastic action sequences, delicious moments of suspense, and one-on-one combat scenes that are simply captivating. My personal favorite is the fight between one of the Predator aliens and the Yakuza enforcer. When you watch the movie, dear readers, you'll understand why.

The Predator franchise is surprisingly resilient. That resiliency has to do entirely with the simple, primal nature of the Predator itself. It's taken Hollywood a little over twenty years, but they finally managed to produce a film that showcases that primal force. And it is awesome. When I walked out of the theater after watching Predators, there was one thought in the front of my mind: "It's about damned time!!"

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