“Predators” is a wildly entertaining picture that bends the franchise back to more captivating quandaries, erasing much of the bad taste left behind by previous installments. It took a few too many years to reach this point, but thanks to Robert Rodriguez, the Predators have finally been restored to their original tribal roar.
Enter Robert Rodriguez, who assumes a shepherding role for “Predators,” questing to get beastly matters back on track, working from a script that understands the need for graphic violence, salty language, and burly men brandishing city block-sized guns. “Predators” returns the franchise to the basics, once again observing an anxious group in a jungle setting, slowly coming to grips with the monster hunters stalking the area.
Cleverly, Rodriguez and director Nimrod Antal (“Vacancy,” “Armored”) rework the premise to shake Earth out of the equation, moving the action to a neutral planet the Predators use as a testing ground, sending packs of three at a time to hunt and kill whatever they’ve decided to parachute in. Outside of the fact that the new environment provides exotic, gorgeous locations (a mix of Hawaii and Texas) to survey, the fresh surroundings provide diverse elements of menace, as it’s not only Predators after the team, but the flora and fauna as well.