Predators is a 2010 American science fiction action film directed by Nimród Antal and starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Oleg Taktarov and Louis Ozawa Changchien. It was distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the third installment of the Predator franchise, following Predator (1987) and Predator 2 (1990).
The film follows Royce (Adrien Brody), a mercenary, who wakes up finding himself falling from the sky into a jungle. Once on the ground, he meets other people who have arrived there in the same manner, all of whom have questionable backgrounds, except for a doctor (Topher Grace). As the film progresses, the group discovers that they are on an alien planet that acts as a game preserve where they are being hunted by a merciless race of aliens known as Predators.
Producer Robert Rodriguez had developed a script as early as 1994, although it was not until 2009 that 20th Century Fox greenlit the project. According to Rodriguez, the title Predators is an allusion to the second film in the Alien franchise, Aliens (1986). The title also has a double meaning, referring both to the extraterrestrial Predator creatures and to the group of human characters who are pitted against them. Principal photography for Predators began on September 28, 2009 and concluded after 53 days; filming took place in Hawaii and then in Austin, Texas.
Predators was released in the United States on July 9, 2010, and was met with mixed reception from film critics, with Metacritic giving it a score of 51% from selected mainstream critics. The film grossed over $24 million on its opening weekend, and has since grossed over $52 million in the United States, with an estimated total of $127 million worldwideWrite the first paragraph of your page here.
Royce (Adrien Brody) awakens to find himself parachuting into an unfamiliar jungle. He meets several others who arrived in the same manner: Mexican drug cartel enforcer Cuchillo (Danny Trejo), Spetsnaz soldier Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov), Israel Defense Forces sniper Isabelle (Alice Braga), Revolutionary United Front officer Mombasa (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), death row inmate Stans (Walton Goggins), Yakuza enforcer Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien), and doctor Edwin (Topher Grace). All are armed and lethal killers, with the apparent exception of Edwin, though none know where they are or how they got there. The group follows Royce, whom Isabelle suspects is a former black operations soldier turned mercenary. In the jungle they find empty cages, plants with a neurotoxic poison that Edwin collects on a scalpel, and a deceased US Special Forces soldier. Arriving at higher ground they find themselves staring at an alien sky and realize that they are not on Earth.
The party is attacked by a pack of dog-like alien beasts, during which Cuchillo is killed. The survivors avoid a trap, as something mimicking Cuchillo's voice tries to lure them close to his slumped body. Royce guesses they are on a planet used as a game preserve, where humans are hunted as game. The group follows the quadrupeds' tracks to a hunting encampment and find a captive Predator. Three larger Predators attack, revealed to be their hunters, killing Mombasa as the rest of the group escapes. Isabelle reveals that she has heard of the Predators before, from a report by the only survivor of a Special Forces team who encountered one in Guatemala in 1987.
The group next meets Noland (Laurence Fishburne), a lone soldier who has survived on the planet for years by hiding and scavenging. He explains that the Predators sharpen their killing skills by collecting warriors and dangerous beasts from other worlds and bringing them to the planet to hunt. Noland also reveals that the Predators hunt in threes, and that there is a blood feud between the larger Predators and the smaller ones. Royce hopes that if the group can free the smaller Predator being held prisoner in the encampment, it may take them home using the other Predators' spaceship. Noland attempts to murder the group during the night, but Royce uses an explosive to attract the Predators, who kill Noland. In the ensuing chase, Nikolai sacrifices himself to kill one of the Predators using an explosive. Stans savagely attacks a second Predator with his shiv to allow the others to escape, and is killed. Hanzo duels the third Predator with a katana, killing it at the cost of his own life.
Edwin is injured by a trap as he, Royce, and Isabelle head for the encampment. When Isabelle refuses to abandon him, Royce leaves them both behind and they are caught by the remaining large Predator. Royce frees the smaller Predator and heads for the ship as the two Predators confront each other. The larger Predator kills the smaller one and then destroys the ship as it takes off. Meanwhile, Edwin paralyzes Isabelle with the neurotoxic poison on his scalpel and reveals that on Earth he was a psychotic murderer, and feels that he fits in on this planet among the monsters. Royce appears, never having boarded the ship, and saves Isabelle by stabbing Edwin through his throat.
Royce booby-traps Edwin's body with grenades, using him as bait to disorient the Predator. A fight ensues in which Royce successfully decapitates the Predator after being saved by a sniper shot from the recovering Isabelle. As Royce and Isabelle recover from their ordeal, they observe more prey parachuting into the jungle. Royce tells Isabelle that they must find another way to get off the planet.
- Adrien Brody as Royce, an ex-military soldier turned mercenary who reluctantly assumes leadership of the group of humans. Brody claimed he had been "blown away" by Predator and viewed his role as a challenge, wanting to bring a complexity to the character that would contrast with Schwarzenegger's role in the original film. He did put on twenty-five pounds of muscle for the role, stating that "I want it to be entertaining and part of the ride that people see when they see a movie like that. But that's not really why I'm in it and that's not really what I brought to it. I brought the same kind of discipline that I would to a film like The Pianist." Antal and Rodriguez specifically wanted to avoid casting an actor physically similar to Schwarzenegger, wanting to "go in a very different direction" and reasoning that real-life soldiers are wiry and tough rather than burly. "We thought casting a physically 'Schwarzenegger-esque' character would have done the original film a disservice", said Antal, "and would have done this film a disservice because we are not trying to remake or copy the original film. I told everybody early on that I can make anybody look tough. What I can't do is teach them how to act". Brody has expressed interest in reprising his role in future sequels.
- Alice Braga as Isabelle, a sniper from the Israel Defense Force. She failed to save her spotter during a mission, and feels that she has been brought to the alien planet as punishment and to seek redemption. As the only female character, Isabelle plays the role of peacemaker: "My character, funny enough," said Braga, "is the one that is always trying to grab everyone together and like reuniting everyone and stop[ping] the fights and saying that we have strength in numbers." Braga described the character as "a tough cookie ... sweet inside but tough outside". She read a sniper manual to prepare for the role, and carried a fourteen-pound sniper rifle during shooting.
- Topher Grace as Edwin, a doctor who does not seem to belong amongst the group of hardened killers until he reveals that he is a psychopathic murderer. Grace was dubious about taking the role when he read the script, "because I really liked the first Predator, but all the sequels haven't been as good. Then when I read this, I thought, 'What Aliens was to Alien, this is to Predator'. Because Predator never really got its due; it never really got that sequel." He compared Antal's approach to that of James Cameron, director of Aliens; remaining faithful to the original work but taking the concepts in slightly different directions. Grace performed some of his own stunts, including jumping off of a waterfall.
- Walton Goggins as Stans, a death row inmate from San Quentin State Prison who was scheduled to be executed in two days before suddenly finding himself on the alien planet. Responsible for 38 murders and also strongly implied to be a rapist.
- Oleg Taktarov as Nikolai, a Russian commando from the Spetsnaz Alpha Group who was fighting in Chechnya before finding himself on the alien planet. Taktarov, a retired mixed martial artist and former Ultimate Fighting Champion, described his role as combining elements of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, and Bill Duke's characters from the original Predator film, and praised it as "the first time you get a really, really, positive, good Russian character in an American [film]". Taktarov used his martial arts training during some of the film's action sequences. While filming a scene he hit his face on a steadicam and was bleeding, but continued filming because the blood added to the effect of the scene.
- Louis Ozawa Changchien as Hanzo, a Yakuza enforcer who rarely speaks and reveals late in the film that he is missing his leftmost two fingers, having performed yubitsume. "I guess he used to be a guy who can murder someone without a qualm," said Changchien of the character, "but by the time he arrives [on the alien planet], he'll no longer be that kind of person. Those things aren't explained in the script, but you'll get it when you see the movie." Changchien used his kendo training for a scene in which his character uses a katana in a duel against a Predator. Antal, a kendo fan, insisted that the swordfight look authentic.
- Mahershalalhashbaz Ali as Mombasa, a Sierra Leone Revolutionary United Front death squad soldier.
- Danny Trejo as Cuchillo, a ruthless enforcer for the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel who carries twin submachine guns.
- Laurence Fishburne as Noland, a United States Army Air Cavalry soldier who has survived on the alien planet for multiple hunting cycles. "It's a really interesting role," said Fishburne, "quite different from Morpheus [from The Matrix]. He's a bit shady, crazy, surviving on his own, kind of a ratty character."
The four Predators in the film are portrayed by Derek Mears, Carey Jones, and Brian Steele. The Predators are identified in the film's credits as the "Classic Predator", "Tracker Predator", "Falconer Predator", and "Berserker Predator". Mears plays the Classic Predator, designed to resemble the creature in the original Predator film. Steele plays the Berserker and Falconer Predators, two of the larger Predators hunting the humans. The Berserker Predator is identified by an alien mandible attached to its helmet and faces off against Royce in the film's climax, while the Falconer Predator controls a flying reconnaissance drone and is killed by Hanzo. Jones plays the Tracker Predator, identified by a pair of tusks attached to its helmet, which controls the quadrupedal hunting animals and is killed by Nikolai. Jones also doubled for Steele in some scenes as the Berserker and Falconer Predators