The Predator franchise has never escaped the shadow of the first movie, but the third installment, Predators, doesn’t get enough credit as the best Predator follow-up. After the 1987 original became an instant classic, none of the sequels or spin-offs, including a few Alien crossovers, have received nearly the same level of appreciation, but Predators was able to return to the core of what made the series so great, while updating the concept and adding to the established mythology.
To be fair, the competition isn’t exactly stiff. While Predator 2 has its defenders, it still fails to satisfy as a follow-up and the Alien crossovers are commonly seen as a source of shame for both franchises. While series like Alien and Terminator both had their stars return for widely praised direct sequels, Schwarzenegger never made a second Predator appearance, despite 4 attempts, making it hard to recapture the magic of the first film by continuing his story.
Predators certainly didn’t make a huge splash at the box office or inspire a new string of sequels, but it did embrace the established mythology, improve on a number of franchise tropes, and offer a new direction for the series. If the original plan had been followed, it even could have been the salvation the predator franchise needed. Despite being followed by an 8-year gap before the next movie, The Predator, it’s still a solid, mostly satisfying, stand-alone action movie, and a worthy successor to the original.
- This Page: Predators Has The Best Ensemble of the Franchise
- Page 2: Predators “Gets” What the Predator Franchise Is All About
Predators Has The Best Ensemble of the Franchise
The Predator franchise is no stranger to ensembles, with the first one sporting Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, and Shane Black, but Predators sets a high bar, not only with a team of powerhouse talent, but also a cast of compelling and unique characters for them to play. Predators’ cast and plot is a great example of how good a Suicide Squad movie could be if they just made it a straightforward action romp. And, like a proper Suicide Squad movie, its not precious with its characters. Everyone is disposable, and that becomes clear early on.
The cast included 2 academy award winners, Adrian Brody and Mahershala Ali (who was still a few years away from winning his award), along with big-name personalities like Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Topher Grace, and Laurence Fishbourne. While the previous selection of characters in other Predator movies were mostly random soldiers and cops – some unfortunate people that happened to run into a killer alien – the characters in Predators are all the best at what they do, which is all some different type of killing.
It’s not just that the crew of Predators is a team of lethal badasses, though. That may be cool enough in its own right, but the fact that they were chosen by the Predators for this exact talent sheds some light on the Predators themselves, making each individual on the team some sort of foil for the Predators hunting them. Yes, even (8-year-old spoiler alert) Topher Grace’s shifty serial killer is someone the Predators saw as a worthy opponent.
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