Year: 2010
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Nimród Antal
Producer: Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Alex Litvak/Michael Finch
Cast: Adrien Brody, Lawrence Fishburne, Topher Grace, Danny Trejo, Alice Braga

Everything I've heard and read about this movie so far makes me wonder if I saw the wrong film or a pre-edit cut. Maybe fans and critics felt so bitter about the Alien vs Predator films they were prepared to accept anything that wasn't part of that spin-off franchise.

Maybe it was because I didn't mind those movies as standalone entertainment pieces that I found this film such a let down. No, neither of them cast a shadow anywhere near John McTiernan's 1987 high concept sci-fi action slugfest. Neither did the dopey 1990 sequel with Danny Glover. But they weren't as irascible as you always hear.

So I have no idea what anyone thinks this clag shares with the classic original. The idea was great – instead of one of the Predators coming to Earth, some unseen powers that be drop various lowlives onto their jungle-clad home planet for them to hunt on home turf. When one such group figures out what's going on they decide on an uneasy truce and band together and combine their unique skills to beat their pursuers and get home.

It gets the costumes and creatures right and has plenty of action, with a few scenes of nerve-crawling tension. But little else about it worked. I understand Adrien Brody wasn't meant to take Schwarzenegger's place (or even Glover's), and I could almost buy him as an old-school action hero in Peter Jackson's King Kong . But his sad doe eyes, huge nose and reed thin body looks like something the titular monsters would clean their teeth with.

The rest of the cast are numbered killer-a-like fodder until it's just the hero and the hot girl left. Topher Grace in particular is totally miscast as the odd man out who's behind the nasty pre-climax twist, looking like he just stepped out of The OC. And, as if the writers (you've never heard of them either) simply ran out of ideas, Lawrence Fishburne pops up in a completely redundant suplot.

Maybe if producer Rodriguez had directed instead of an untested, indistinct director like Nimrod Antal (Vacancy, another miscast misfire) it would have had something more, even if it was his brand of TexMex-flavoured mayhem.

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