Predator seems to mean predator fish and angler as predator, mixed in with the idea of big, powerful fish. OK, it can mean all of the above. I’m still not really clear if that ambiguity is part of the project.
The film opens with trout fishing, and it is some of the best trout fishing footage I have watched. Captured in high-definition, the camera lingers in super close-up on hovering damsels, mating, egg-laying. Linking shots show the angler in from below the surface, sub-surface shots of fish … then seemingly massive trout launch themselves above the surface, taking damsels in flight. Fantastic footage! The narrator chats away, explaining the lifecycle and behaviour of insects and trout – but the sheer spectacle of those damsel-feeding trout!
Then we move to an estuary where trout, sea run and river dwelling, feed on smelt. The footage is good, certainly the fishing is exciting.
Next the team go to Japan, fishing for Ito, Japanese taimen. Again, the fishing is great but the filming is less detailed, more informal, and I am less involved.
Then it’s barramundi fishing. Again, superb fishing with exciting action footage – but not of the standard set in the first section. Next comes queen fish – great looking flats fishing – and finally, samson fish.
For me this seems like two different pieces of work. The early section where we watch feeding trout and then watch fishing for those trout was simply sensational. The remainder of the film is not filmed and edited the same way. There’s some great scenes and good fishing footage, but far less intricate, far more conventional; it’s ‘watch-a-man-fishing’ type footage. The film quality seems to vary with the location. I can imagine access and equipment is an issue with a project of this type. The narrative is fine, perhaps a little obvious and ‘preachy’ near the end, but OK.
Predator is a good DVD, but perhaps not my favourite from the Gin Clear stable.