Predators and Despicable Me

Despicable Me movie poster
Despicable Me

Me being me, I like variety. Plus, I must be the only person who can visit Bangkok for a day and spend 4 hours of it in a cinema…

Predators

“It’s a trap”

The original came out in 1987, the sequel with Danny Glover not much later (I saw it again recently – it was pants). Finally, in 2010 we get a proper sequel to Arnie’s alien shooter. It’s been given the Aliens treatment, hence the pluralised title, in that there is more than one predator. In fact, as the movie progresses you’ll find out there are quite a lot of them.

The opening’s pretty swift. No messing about with the fact this is an action film and one where the characters and audience begin without a clue as to what’s happening. Assuming you’ve not seen the trailer anyway. For those who want some background:

Eight people (well, 9 – you’ll see the ninth very early on) are kidnapped from earth and wake up as they drop from a significant height towards a jungle. Each of these people is a member of an elite fighting force or similar. Except one, who seems to have been “lifted” by accident. Work together, or go their own way? And who’s kidnapped them? And why?

Predators doesn’t take long to get going and the large cast get whittled away in no obvious order. The predators themselves are very close to those from the original film, which is welcome. No huge changes as there were with the aliens in the third and fourth films in that franchise.

For those who’ve read the comics and books, there is no great surprise in the way the alien hunters have developed. Some credence is given to the two Aliens v Predators films as well.

The rag-tag bunch aren’t played by any “big-name” actors which makes the order they’ll be plucked off slightly less predictable than usual. Still, just by looking at the bunch from the beginning it’s not difficult to make an educated guess as to who the last handful will be.

While not a classic, this certainly isn’t a bad update on what was – at the time – a classic action/sci-fi film. Building more on the original than any of the sequels was certainly a good decision and I’d certainly be interested in seeing where a sequel could go from here.

Despicable Me

“Curse you, tiny toilet!”

I love my cartoons and this one was great, even though I was forced to watch it in 3D which it really didn’t need, or use very much. Well, except for the end credits which you do need to st through.

Steve Carrell voices Gru, a supervillain. Well, OK. More of a crap villain. Getting on in years and being upstaged by younger villains, Gru sets about the Plan Of The Century – stealing the moon. Trying to stop him is new villain, Vector (Jason Segel), who has stolen the shrink ray that Gru himself pinched.

Thrown into the mix are three little orphan girls who slowly soften Gru down while the stars of the show are without a doubt the “minions”. Countless little yellow guys who are used as experimental objects, punching bags and so forth. They even make the same “waaaaaaaaawww” noise in unison as the little three-eyed aliens from Toy Story. Cute as.

It’s a nice simple plot, the voice acting is superb (with one exception) and the laughs are plenty. Adults will enjoy a few very subtle bits of humour – check the out the former name of the Bank of Evil as Gru enters.

Definitely recommend, but save your money and see it in 2D if you can find anywhere presenting it in that format. I couldn’t.

Oh, and the poor performance? Russell Brand who voices an aging professor. It just doesn’t work. Besides, will people stop hiring this man? He’s a complete funt-wit. Let him vanish into the obscurity he so richly deserves.

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