A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, like its predecessors (including 1987's Predator with Arnold Schwarzenegger), Predators is a very violent sci-fi action movie. The alien creatures are deadly hunters, and the human fighters who are forced to deal with them are killers and mercenaries in their own right. Expect lots of fantasy violence, including guns, knives, fighting, blood, and gore. Humans and aliens are shot and killed, and there are scary moments when unseen things leap out from the shadows. There's lots of strong language, including "f--k" and "s--t," and in one scene, a character briefly speaks of "doing cocaine" and "raping some bitches" when he gets home.
What's the story?
A mercenary named Royce (Adrien Brody) wakes up while falling through the sky. He crash lands in a weird jungle and finds seven others in the same situation -- including Isabelle (Alice Braga), Edwin (Topher Grace), and Cuchillo (Danny Trejo) -- all fighters, killers, and warriors from different parts of the world. They soon discover that they're actually on an alien world and that a race of deadly hunters -- capable of cloaking themselves and reading heat signatures -- is lurking nearby. With Royce at the lead, the eight humans must learn to adapt and work together if they hope to survive and possibly find a way back home.
Is it any good?
Almost totally abandoning any storylines from the not very good Predator predecessors, this movie is admirably stripped-down and simplified. Director Nimrod Antal and producer Robert Rodriguez keep the pace nimble, using the jungle setting for maximum atmosphere. Even the rest breaks between attacks contain a tingly sense of dread.
The script, on the other hand, never goes very deep. For example, one character is seen removing his expensive shoes (to avoid getting them muddy), and nothing ever comes of it. And the idea of two different races of predators isn't used very interestingly, either. Nor does the movie do anything interesting with the wild card character, the doctor played by Grace. Still, it's easy to forgive this lapse of imagination while enjoying the movie's well-engineered action and mood.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the film's violence. What impact does it have? Is it thrilling and exciting, or disturbing? Why?
Was the movie scary? Why or why not?
How does this movie compare to others in the Predator franchise? What does it have in common with them? What sets it apart?
What's the difference between being "alive" and being "human"?
- In theaters: July 9, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: October 19, 2010
- Cast: Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace
- Director: Nimrod Antal
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Run time: 106 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong creature violence and gore, and pervasive language
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