Nimrod Antal (Vancancy) helms this Robert Rodriguez production, which wants to be the true follow-up to the Arnold Schwarzenegger action-adventure from the late 1980s. That’s a fantastic idea, since it neatly sidesteps the two silly Aliens vs. Predators mash-ups (the only thing missing from these inane excuses to rip and kill at will were Abbott and Costello) and gets back to basics.
Rather than setting things on Earth, though, the action takes place in an alien junglescape that will test the skills and fortitude of a team of mercenaries and outcasts led by Oscar-winner Adrien Brody, who looks a bit like a Road Warrior-styled muscle car with able support from a steely-eyed Alice Braga.
The obvious formula — picking off the assembled players one at a time — requires an investment in the characters and the shock value of having each kill be more horrific than the last, but neither aspect comes to fruition here, which leaves audiences stranded in quicksand.
Plus, it’s just too bad the dredlocked alien hunter-killers have never developed much personality because they make killing look as sweatily mundane as mowing the lawn on a long hot summer day. Really, where are Abbott and Costello when you need them? Grade: D-plus
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