Fox is prepping a Predator reboot, with Robert "Grindhouse" Rodriguez in the mix. But can a new version possibly capture the original's commando-squad awesomeness? We have our doubts.
Bloody Disgusting spilled the beans that 20th Century Fox is in the process of rebooting the Predator, with genre lover Robert Rodriguez leading that way. No word if he's directing or producing, but he's involved in so much at this point, I assume his involvement would be as a producer.
I was always okay with more Predator movies being tacked on to the franchise. AVP had it's own special "why-not" appeal that held my attention, for however long it ran. But actually remaking the original Predator? I'm sorry, I just don't believe it can be done.
Even though I believe Rodriguez is as about as close as you can get to someone who understands over-the-top explosions and working with gladiator actors (let's not forget Mickey Rourke's amazing turn as Marv in Sin City) we just don't have that crop of actors that can recreate Predator without delving into CG hell — or setting up shots just for the sake of getting a video game out of it (Hey Indiana Jones IV, I'm looking at you).
The leaked plot of the reboot sounds pretty close to the original, except that there may be more than one Predator in this movie, which seems wrong because we all know the point of the original Predator is man versus alien, not man versus tons of aliens. But anyways, here's the plot:
In the reboot a team of commandoes face down a mysterious race of vicious monsters.
Just the word "commandos" puts me in a tailspin. Commandos, in the 80s, meant a completely different thing than it does now. These days action movies are full of Bourne Identity secret ops "commandos." Heck just look at the new G.I. Joe posters, they're all in black bat-suits, trying desperately to look realistic. That's supposed to be tough? Sure, Snake Eyes gets points for his painted-on abs, but the rest of them would be beaten into a bloody pulp if the original Predator team met those kids in the jungle (Snake Eyes would survive, though). Gone are the Carl Weathers, Jesse "The Body" Ventura and Arnolds of yester-year. And if the new Predator isn't full of 6'4" 250 pound ripped human lunatics, then I do not want.
The original's collection of ridiculous men was the reason that I loved Predator. It was, at its heart, the ultimate man versus the ultimate Predator. Why wasn't Predator 2 as great as the original? Because Danny Glover was never a believable menace to the beast. Sure he was crafty, but I don't think Predator 2, in its entirety, could hold a candle to the moment in the original when Sonny Landham (Billy) takes a knife to his chest waiting for his time with the alien warrior.
I don't want to see a group of modern-day commandos in chemical gear stalk a team of alien Predators with modern day technology and stealthy techniques. I want to see men in tank tops, smoking cigars and hoisting 50-pound guns on their backs with bandoliered ammo crossing their chests. Then I want them to make weapons from sticks. That's the Predator. Hell, even if said remake somehow manages to strip down both teams to a battle of wits and fists like the original, you will not be able to convince me it's a fair fight. The Body, Weathers and Arnold were the best of their time. I want to see a human gladiator go up against another world's gladiator with sharpened sticks, just so you can have that slow burn fight leading to the ending face-to-face reveal.
Rodriguez, I beg of you, find these men. I do not think they exist anymore in Hollywood, but find them. Go overseas if you must. Abandon the Matt Damon and Hugh Jackman cut physiques that are populating the movies of today and go back to the Arnolds. That's who fights the first Predator, mano-a-mano, in my mind.
Do I want to see a Bourne Identity with an alien in it? Hell yes! Do I want to see a Bourne Identity Predator, or a more realistic Predator at all? No, thank you. Please get it right — make it big and bring back the 1980s action that we've started losing over the years. Or you could just leave it alone, and let the original stand on its own, which wouldn't be a bad idea either.