by Omar Mazariego

I remember one day a few years back when I was working at XXL, I was sitting at my desk, which was all the way in the back of “The Cave” (the XXL offices), right in front of the SLAM office door and in front of the janitor’s closet. (I miss hearing Cuban Max say “Fri-day! Yes!” every Friday when emptying out my trash can.) One day, Lang came back and started telling me and Khalid about a reality game show he and Sam’ron hatched: You take two white kids, throw a blue shirt on one and a red shirt on the other and dump them in Blood and Crip hoods in Compton to see who makes it out first. I’m reality TV’s biggest hater, but I loved this idea.

[Ed. Note: While I agree this does sound like an idea with some potential, I have no memory of coming up with this.—Lang]

Watching Predators, which was presented by Robert Rodriguez—this man is a movie God to me; can’t wait for Machete—I noticed it was similar to the concept Lang and Sam had. Waking up during predators-adrien-brodyfreefalls from the sky, Royce (Adrien Brody) and six other unlucky bastards wind up in a jungle with no knowledge of how they got there, who put them there or where they got their parachutes from. They knew something was amiss when they realized they had a view of four planets that seem to be a stone’s throw away.

Not long after learning that they’re all bad-asses with military or criminal backgrounds, the hunt begins. Whether escaping booby traps or out-running and gunning down Predator-race canines, the group of prey begins to know what it feels like to be Latino in Arizona. And even though some get blasted right through the chest or catch a shank though the back, or even have their spines and skulls torn right out while still breathing, at least the Predators do it all without any need for an hour-long special on ESPN to let the victims know how it’s gonna go down. It was awesomely gruesome and classy all at the same time.

And while Adrien Brody didn’t have the brawn of The Governator or Apollo Creed’s signature mustache, he definitely held his own and convinced me that with his smarts and strategy, he could give a Predator more of a fair one than Danny Glover. (He couldn’t even beat Jet-Li, how’d he kill a Predator?) Not to mention the lovely and deadly Isabelle (Alice Braga), who handled her rifle in a manner that should’ve made this flick NC-17. (My future wife/baby mama enlisted in the Army in case y’all wondering why that Isabelle character aroused me the way she did.)

Critics are hating on Predators, but in my opinion it’s one of the best sci-fi flicks of its genre. And while it was meant to be an action driven movie—and it was—Predators had its share of chuckles courtesy of Topher Grace, whose Edwin character seemed like he was abducted right out of That ‘70s Show. Even Laurence Fishburne’s on-the-edge-of-madness-Nolan character had me smirking a few times with his nuttiness. When it was said and done I was highly entertained and left the theater feenin’ for more like Jodeci.

And who knows, maybe this movie might inspire someone to parachute Mel Gibson, James Dolan, Isiah Thomas, Lindsay Lohan, and LeBron James off for their inhumane actions. Just drop off Mel at The Apollo or Spanish Harlem; James Dolan at Latrell Sprewell’s house; Isiah anywhere James Dolan can’t find him and rehire him (probably Latrell Sprewell’s house or park bench); LeBron in the middle of Cleveland when they officially declare the town is broke and for sale; and Lindsay Lohan at my crib so I could rip a page out of the Predator’s book, and tear her back out in my own special way.

I got that perico, mami!

RATING: 4 Gangstas