A group of surly (and sweaty) looking combat vets and ruthless (also, very sweaty) killers carve their way through an endless jungle. Something is hunting them. Something cunning! Something inhuman is picking off members of this motley group one by one in a very calculating, deliberately scary way and making sure the survivors know it. A battle of wits, weaponry and (lots of) guts between (sweaty) Man and Monster sees a tranquil jungle transformed into a trap laden combat zone; a nightmare of screams, howls, gunfire and explosions. The human prey presses on, desperately trying to outsmart their relentless pursuer(s). One by one, testosterone he-men succumb to the might of their otherworldly hunter in a gruesome display of red mists, decapitations and dismemberment. But not without a fight. Man does not go down without leaving a profound (yet sweaty) mark on Monster. Monster's gleeful rampage is met with Man's resourcefulness and tenacious will to survive - violently.

Rad! ... But, wait. Haven't I seen this film before? That is Predator, right? At first glance, indeed it is. Essentially, Predators, at its core, is the spitting image of the franchise's first installment from way back in 1987, where a group of surly looking (and would you believe it? Sweaty!) combat vets are chased through an endless jungle-turned nightmare combat zone by an alien hunter in a gruesome display of... yeah. But! Is this necessarily a bad thing?

What Predators borrows from it's grandfather film (not counting it's bastard cousins, AVP and AVP 2: Requiem, while still family are, well, bastard cousins) it more than reciprocates with an exciting chapter to a series of films that has been a bit disfigured thanks to its last two (stupid family) installments. Where Arnie's Predator took some time to get going and establish the whole hunter-hunted thing, Predators wastes no time in dropping (quite literally) our reluctant heroes right into the thick of an alien monster's playground. It is quickly discovered by our muscle-y no nonsense (but full of macho one liners and para-military cliches) anti-hero, Adrien Brody, that:

1. Yes, he and his new friends are being hunted by something. Secondly: no, this is not Earth, and C: if they don't come up with some kind of plan, they are all very much screwed.

This series of revelations is delivered pretty rapid fire after the initial meet and greet, get to know you stuff is out of the way. What follows is a well paced action flick that's punctuated every now and again with some pretty nifty discovery and adventure elements that the first two films were missing. Our ragtag group of handpicked killer/warrior guys (and gal),  are not the only big game prospects the alien hunters have imported onto their private hunting reserve, oh no! There are a few other otherworldly nightmares and bloodthirsty creatures they've thrown into the mix to make the game a bit more interesting. And leftover humans? The aliens like to keep their hunting ground well stocked, as evidenced by the discovery of a very mentally unstable Lawrence Fishburn, who's been on the godforsaken planet for a good ten years (and offed a few Predators during his stay!), barely making a living aboard a nano-cyber-punk looking  derelict spaceship filled with all manner of futuristic scavenger fodder leftover from other bipedal unfortunates.

The settings continue to showcase some dynamic variety despite the mostly jungle environment, ranging from dense forest to aforementioned crashed space-rig, and even a nifty Predator camp, complete with a defeated, strung up, lesser Predator. There seems to be some sort of feud going on between the big ones and the small ones, Fishburn's character explains to a filthy, worn out Adrien Brody, and, ding! goes the light bulb above our hero's noggin.  If he can find a way to ally with the Predator prisoner, he figures he might be able to use the aliens' technology against them and get himself (and anyone left alive) off that damn planet.

And what a cool looking planet. The special effects in the film are something to behold: you're not going to find a poorly done mish-mash of CG predators and post production madness here. Any digital effects that are used are executed tastefully and with (some) restraint, and only add to the in camera artistry. The new Predators are well designed, the makeup is gruesomely wild and the full body prosthetics are savagely convincing. The expertly handled special effects and creature designs lend a palpable realism to the monsters, which helps since you get to see more of the Predator (or, Yautja, in some of the games/comics/novels etc.) culture in this film than perhaps in any of the previous installments. They are a badass warrior race, and they look it!

This is not a cerebral story. The plot is fairly predictable and the road it takes is well traveled, but appropriate for a Predator film. This is a straight up bloodbath of an action sci-fi adventure movie the likes of which has been absent for a time (aside from the excellent District 9) that was handled with a lot of care and respect for the source material, and it shows. Thank you Mr. Nimrod, Mr. Rodriguez, for allowing me to fall in love with the (sweaty) Predator all over again. I salute you.