There is little more satisfying than when a fan-favorite series that has gone off track returns to its roots. Look at 1987's thrilling "Predator," which pitted Arnold Schwarzenegger against a reptilian alien foe armed with a cloaking device, technologically superior weapons and an insatiable love of the hunt. Moviegoers welcomed the Rastafarian-looking monster to the screen again for "Predator 2," but the franchise went foul with two stinky "Alien vs. Predator" crossover films.
The Nimród Antal-directed sequel "Predators," produced by Robert Rodriguez -- who has been developing a script since 1994 -- mainlines adrenaline into the ailing series. From the opening shot of Royce (Adrien Brody) waking from unconsciousness to find himself plummeting through the clouds, you know this ride is going to be relentless.
Royce finds himself in a jungle with some fellow skydivers that also have no recollection of how they got there but, with the exception of one doctor (Topher Grace), have one thing in common: they are all killers by trade.
The group realizes that they have been brought to an alien world as game for the Predators to hunt. Alice Braga, who plays Israel Defense Forces sniper Isabelle, for one, seems tough enough to last to the end credits.
An air assault soldier (Laurence Fishburne) who has survived as a scavenger on the planet for years tells the group about a blood feud between the smaller Predators (the ones we've seen on-screen in movies previously) and the larger Predators, which make the smaller ones look like Disney creations by comparison.
Royce finds himself in the middle of a Predator-vs.-Predator battle royale that alone is worth the price of admission, but fans will appreciate the return to R-rated violence, an unsettling drug-induced confrontation in the jungle and familiar supporting players like Danny "Machete" Trejo in this most satisfying "Predator" sequel yet.
Maybe when Schwarzenegger wraps up that little governing California thing, he can team up with Brody and teach him how to survive the next round of "How to Catch a Predator."
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray have commentary, Motion Comics and "De-Cloaking the Invisible: Alien Terrain." Exclusive to the Blu-ray are more Motion Comics, "Predators as Prey," "The Chosen," "Yuatja Transformed," "Rite of Passage," nine deleted and extended scenes, a Fox Movie Channel special, "Bloodline" and "Intelligent Design: The Hunting Camp."