Taking its title cue from Aliens in order to position itself as the true first sequel to 1987’s Arnold Schwarzenegger classic, Predators – opening with an image of Adrien Brody’s commando awakening to find himself freefalling through the atmosphere – drops one right into its action, which revolves around a group of disparate killers dumped in a lush, imposing jungle. Focusing on multicultural strangers who’ve crash-landed in an otherworldly tropical locale lends the proceedings a deliberate Lost vibe, though despite such surface similarities, producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimród Antal’s primary source material is John McTiernan’s original. Patiently establishing a mood of ominous mystery as to both the characters’ environment as well as the reason for their selection in what soon turns out to be a round of The Most Dangerous Game, the filmmakers generate tension from the tantalizing unknown. Antal’s camera is the key to this early atmosphere, his striking widescreen compositions – often of miniscule, silhouetted people dwarfed by inhospitable surroundings – creating a disquieting sense of scale, and ever-present danger. Once the motley crew discovers that they’re being hunted by a trio of alien Predators, the material shifts into a more straightforward horror-combat vein, but Antal’s lucid images of terror and wonder continually elevate the action. Just as the script opts for Reagan-era tough-guy speak and one-liners (often matched by cuts or zooms into close-up), Antal’s signature visual employs digital effects for a distinctly ‘80s-style matte-painting panorama of a skyline filled with multiple planets. Predators uses such period clichés not for wink-wink humor but, instead, to align itself with its predecessor’s rugged spirit, a goal that continues through a sturdy second-act cameo (which also recalls Tim Robbins’ appearance in Spielberg’s War of the Worlds) and only flags during a third-act bogged down by outlandish decision-making and gimmicky pseudo-twists. Between suitably intense turns by Brody and Alice Braga and Antal’s taut, impressively orchestrated mayhem, it’s a big-budget B-movie made with some A-level flair.