Back in the 1980s there was a limited series from Marvel Comics called Secret Wars, where several heroes and villains were transported to an alien world for the sole purpose of fighting to the death. Subtract super powers, include the most famous hunting aliens in movies, add lots of guns, and you have Predators.

With an opening reminiscent of Lost, a mercenary (Adrien Brody) finds himself in freefall, frantically trying to deploy his parachute before crashing. He soon meets several other parachuters in the jungle. These characters have no idea how they got there or why, but they're all killers: female sniper Isabelle (Alice Braga), a redneck prisoner (Walton Goggins), a member of the Mexican cartel (Danny Trejo), a Yakuza member (Louis Ozawa Changchien), and assorted military personnel. (The odd exception is Edwin (Topher Grace), a nervous doctor.) Following initial mistrust, the eight characters decide to work together, and they soon discover that they're not on Earth. Fortunately, all of them are well armed. Unfortunately, they're being hunted.

If you've seen Predator or Predator 2, you'll recognize the predator's infrared view, mimicry of people's voices, near-invisibility, and shoulder-mounted energy weapons. If you haven't seen these movies, suffice it to say that the aliens are after worthy sport.

Unfortunately, Predators isn't that worthy of a movie. The characters are all one dimensional (Goggins gets the most laughs and attention just for being disgusting -- and not as generic as the rest). Brody goes through the movie with a low, earnest voice that sounds like a bad Batman impression; between this and Splice it's hard to believe he was in The Pianist. As for the action, there are few surprises and not all that much excitement; the topography of the planet seems to change just to suit the next action sequence. Predators is full of cliches and seldom rises above them.

Overall grade: D
Reviewed by James Lynch

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